August 30, 2007

Record Review: Oh No

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Hip-hop instrumentalists are a tricky breed. Even the best among them — see MF DOOM’s Special Herbs series, J Dilla’s Donuts and RJD2’s Deadringer — struggle to hold the everyday hip-hop listener’s very short attention span.
Oh No carefully attends to our aural impatience on the Oxperiment — no track exceeds two minutes and the sampled sounds are weirdly eclectic.
It’s hard to tell whether the samples, lifted from the popular music of Greece and Lebanon, Turkey and India, are genuine or ironic. To be sure, Oh No is excited at the way the sound over his percussion, and that they’re foreign. But his motivations may be to simply make his music quirkier. In other words, might the sampling merely be an (O)experiment of Oh No’s whim, an attempt to attract with flamboyance? Perhaps this is an unfair nitpick, but until it is resolved, the listener may find it difficult to enjoy the otherwise fun and eccentric beats.