why? & miss ohio's
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why? & miss ohio's

Band Hip Hop Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"why?-oaklandazulasylum review"

"dive in and hang on to the moments of true beauty, the hards of shattered folk songs, synth pop and multi-tracked harmonies that litter- or decorate- why?'s mindscape ...underground-hiphop-influenced, electronic-charged-euphoria-100 percent why?." - Alternative Press

"why?-oaklandazulasylum review"

"This music found, felt and rendered anew according to a familiar, sunny West Coast sonic sensiblity." - The Wire

"why?-oaklandazulasylum review"

"one of anticon's most accomplished outings." - XLR8R


why?-oaklandazulasylum (anticon-2003)
why?-Early Whitney (anticon-2003)


Feeling a bit camera shy


why?, born Jonathan (Yoni) Wolf to a rabbi and a painter in late spring Cincinnati, grew up playing kickball in the cul de sac and watching 8-bit Nintendo in his big brother's attic bedroom. The minor key melodies of religious music and the tight belt, tight-laced shoes of his soft-spoken middle childhood in part provide the impetus for why?'s candytime-dissonant, singsong-suicide style.

The discovery of an ancient 4-track in the basement of his dad's synagogue during his pre-high school summer led why? to a few weeks of analog experimentation that anticipated his future recording obsession. In the following years, he rapped and played drums in public school, pizza stain, pot smoke garage bands; wrote bad poetry; and became serious about drawing.

In 1997, while attending art school at the University of Cincinnati, why? met doseone, a camouflaged hungry freestyle rapper, with whom he formed the live improvisational group Apogee along with his older brother and Mr. Dibbs. With his saved up tips from waiting bar mitzvah reception tables, why? bought a 4-track and, after a year of working in his bedroom at his parents' house, finished his first tape. In the fall of '98 why? and dose rented a basement apartment and began recording super lo-fi rap as greenthink, dubbing tapes one by one and selling them on the Internet with hand-drawn covers.

Soon odd nosdam entered the scene and collaborated with the why?/dose team to make the critically acclaimed cLOUDDEAD (MUSH/ Big Dada). After dropping out of art school, why? and nosdam continued working together as reaching quiet, recording in the shadow of the living room (MUSH), during which time why? came into his own as a producer. In 2001, March winds blew why? from the naked trees of the flat-chested Midwest to join the anticon clan in Oakland, California where he began his first official self-produced full-length release, oaklandazulasylum. The record released in June of 2003 and then was followed up by the Early Whitney EP, both to much acclaim.

In addition to his usual collaborators, why? has recorded with Hood, Fog, boombip, jel and sole; he has toured the world three times, performed two Peel Sessions under the cLOUDDEAD moniker, and is admired by Boards of Canada, Mum, Stereolab, Danielson Famile, The Notwist and Mogwai. With its dirty drum digital dark folkhop sound, why?'s quirky production and infectious melodies are merely sugar coating for the contents of a young man with unbuttoned lips and a gut spitting words.

After touring the world in the fall, and astounding the crowd at Austin's SXSW this past Spring with his band miss ohio's, why? chose to involve the band in the recording of his follow up to oaklandazulasylum, which is due out on anticon in 2005.