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Unagi Unagi

Wow, for once a music journalist proves he can hold his own when creating the same music he criticizes. The startlingly good debut album from San Francisco's Unagi (a.k.a. Brolin Winning, who writes about hip-hop) is the kind of album you want to crank up extra loud on a sunny spring or summer day, nodding your head along to the warm, soulful hip-hop beats while enjoying the company of friends and Northern California's finest herb. The genius of Unagi is its simplicity, created entirely via samples and loops from a wide assortment of 1970s-era r&b and soul music, and live drum-machine playing onto a beat-up four-track recorder. All the songs are short and to the point, leaving the listener wanting more. Precisely.

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