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Almost two decades on from Yoni Wolf’s first release, he continues to ask ‘Why?’. In the case of 'AOKOHIO' the answer seems to be something to do with an accompanying visual project and an LP broken up into short song-suites. Musically it’s another set of bombastic avant-rap from the singular Wolf. Once again the likes of Dirty Projectors and Of Montreal are your sonic touchstones for a Why? album.

Limited Vinyl LP £21.49 JNR302LPC2

Red coloured vinyl LP on Joyful Noise.

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Limited Vinyl LP £21.49 JNR302LPC1

Yellow coloured vinyl LP on Joyful Noise.

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Vinyl LP £21.49 JNR302LP

Black vinyl LP on Joyful Noise.

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CD £11.99 JNR302CD

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REVIEWS

Aokohio by Why?
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 Will 29 August 2019

Why? seems to delight in confusion. The new album from Yoni Wolf has a certain quality that places it in the uncanny valley also inhabited by the Ballet, the Magnetic Fields, and Kanye West. It's a quality that disturbs the idea of the artist and their relation to real life. You wonder if Why? are real? If Yoni Wolf is real? Is the music for real? Why? Why? 

Why? is a shapeshifter. I suppose 'Aokohio' is a hip-hop album insofar as Kanye West is a hip-hop artist, but there are also elements of indie, electro, and psychedelia. He moves from wistful whimsical sad lad on 'Peel Free', wishing he "was a chocolatier", to inhabiting a more traditional rap persona on 'Deleterio Motilis', with a growly drawl. These about-turns happen throughout this tightly structured, tightly wrought album. The baleful 'Yeezus' vibe on 'Deleterio Motilis' is disrupted by the following track, 'Stained Glass Collective', which sounds like Animal Collective.

Lyrically, 'Aokohio' is all over the place. I suppose it's best summed up when Wolf says how he was "born when Jupiter got its rings" which he follows up by saying he was "baptized in the kitchen sink". This riff on rap's obsession with originality, with Wolf suggesting he was around billions of years ago, is then ridiculed by "kitchen sink" mundanity. 

'Aokohio' is a deeply complex work with a myriad of intricate elements, the only thing binding them together being their very dissimilarity. It's rare you hear a hip-hop album like this, but Why? has created something both playful and labyrinthine. 


7/10 Peter Customer rating (no review), 20th September 2019

VIDEO

WHY? - II. I’ve been carving my elbows, I might just take flight. (Official Video) - YouTube



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