GRAND ANALOG at the Reverb (651 Queen West), Saturday (June 14), 10 pm. $15, free w/ NXNE wristband (see page 62). 416-504-0744. Rating: NNNNN
Ever notice that a disproportionate number of Winnipeggers live in Toronto? Well, let’s thank whoever is responsible, because if people stayed put we wouldn’t be able to call Grand Analog – one of T.O.’s most promising hip-?hop acts – our own. Led by ex-?Mood Ruff frontman Odario Williams, Grand Analog are no run-?of-?the-?mill rap act. Thanks to Williams’s upbringing – his dad was a reggae DJ and he grew up listening to punk rock records – this group, which also includes Odario’s brother Ofield Williams, has made its mark fusing hip-?hop, funk, rock and dub.
Some might compare what Williams is doing to Kanye West’s sound, but Grand Analog’s music is far more humble. The melodies are simple, the riffs modest and the recording not at all glossy. But by melding myriad genres, they’ve created a hook-?filled record that’s arguably on a par with West’s hip-?hop creations.
“The world is ready for an amalgamation of sounds,” Williams says about his combination of disparate sounds. “We’re in the mashup era now. Once, listeners didn’t know where to place genre-?bending, but now they’re past that. They realize people can do whatever they want.”