Wookie

Wookie

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As usually happens with a production album from a much-hyped dance style, the self-titled debut from Wookie falls a little flat, especially compared to some of the incredible 2-step compilations (i.e., various-artists collections) out there. Specializing in the agile percussion and tech-basslines that made the 2-step/garage scene unique, Jason Chue's debut full-length includes his breakout hit "Battle" plus a few other singles as well as the requisite genre tracks and experiments. "Battle" is a skeletal, brittle track that doesn't quite justify its classic tag, with a series of repetitive strings and Rhodes piano doing little to pave the way for the album's house vocalist, Lain. "Back Up Back Up Back Up" is a garage-lite production that'll sound perfect as elevator music in a few years, and "What's Going On?" borrows much of its flair from the Soul II Soul sample included. "Get Enuff" and "Scrappy" are tougher, better productions, but Wookie leans perilously close to sounding immediately dated; it's the first 2-step album that can earn the dreaded designation of coffee-table fare.

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