Can’t stop, won’t stop?

April 23, 2008

Yoni from Why?Are the Anticon crowd even slightly hip-hop anymore?

Those crazy Oakland nerds started out at least rapping over samples, even if they were pretty disconnected from hip-hop culture. Now it seems that their headline acts have gone wholly over into the world of whacked-out pop. Given the fact that I’m a completely un-hip-hop indie rock nerd, this isn’t a judgement. I quite like the new direction, but it makes me wonder who’s going to keep the spacey edge of beats and rhymes going without them.

Why? was probably the first act to jump ship – Elephant Eyelash a few years ago was pretty much a Pavement album with loops and added misanthropy.

Then there was the collaboration by Themselves with the Notwist as 13 & God – there was rapping sure, but the music was much more Germanic lap-pop than anything else.

Enter 2008 and Why?’s new album Alopecia is in a similar vein to his last, with lots of fractured melodies and strange nasal vocals. It’s all pretty weird and catchy and memorable. And Subtle’s new ExitingARM seems to have a similar direction.

These groups never really caught on with the purists, so there won’t be any outcry. And if you’re just a lover of adventurous pop music, then this might be just what you need.

Why? – “The Hollows”

Subtle – “ExitingARM”


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