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  • Filed under: Review
  • 03/15/2012

Jonwayne Oodles of Doodles

Where to begin with Oodles of Doodles? A veritable behemoth of a release, it's a beat tape consisting of 48 tracks—both old and new, heard and unheard—by Southern California producer Jonwayne. The double-disc offering clocks in at well over two hours, with cuts as short as 43 seconds and as long as six minutes, which is to say Oodles of Doodles is a record just about as varied as they come. But, surprisingly, the quality and style remains constant throughout.

You could use any number of worn-out descriptors to identify Jonwayne's sonic aesthetic—"blunted," "wonky," "nod-worthy," etc.—and you wouldn't be wrong. Like many of his beat-making peers, he favors 8-bit electronics and unquantized hip-hop rhythms, but instead of treating those sounds like ubiquitous ornamentation, they serve as the producer's bread and butter. Tunes like "Tubes," "Skeleton," and "Blood Hungry Bros." subsist purely on rickety boom-baps and blip-bloop synths (the most common pairing found on Oodles of Doodles), and are all stronger for their stripped-down arrangements. The effect is lessened considerably when Jonwayne tries to tack on a few extra bits of sonic accoutrement to his beats, as he does with the fuzzy "Bingo" or the meandering "Live at Guitar Center." Some of the cuts with fuller arrangements—"Asbestos/Shellshock," "Corridors," and "Fireflies," for instance—do manage to stand out among the rest, but the predominate high points of Jonwayne's beat tape include some variation of a dusty bump mingling with chip-tune melodies.

Still, there's more to the young up-and-comer's work than Nintendo references and late snare hits, and Oodles of Doodles reps the different sides of Jonwayne aptly. "Relaxxx" and "Moving Pictures & Secret Walls" each make use of jazzy piano chords; while the former maintains the source material's smooth and subdued vibe, the latter warps the refrain into something altogether more foreboding. And when Jonwayne tries his hand at remixing top-notch rap tunes (see: "Fugees Remix," "Shoot Em Up Remix," et al), it becomes glaringly apparent that his beats should be paired with fiery vocal performances more often. It's that kind of variety found within the producer's consistent sonic aesthetic that makes Oodles of Noodles a solid document of SoCal-bred instrumental hip-hop, one that will likely keep you bopping your skull and reaching for a spliff throughout its extended runtime.

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