The brainchild of Winnipeg, Manitoba, MC, singer, and producer Odario Williams, Grand Analog is an acclaimed reggae/dub-driven hip-hop project that has served as a conduit for Williams' more eclectic inclinations. Williams, also a member of Canadian rap group Mood Ruff, actually first put together Grand Analog as a genre-bending rock band in 2002, but this first incarnation of GA never took off and collapsed shortly after its creation. Four years later, Williams restarted the project, assembling a more versatile group of hand-picked musicians and producers from Winnipeg, including Darcy Ataman (producer), Damon Mitchell (guitar) of American Flamewhip and the New Meanies, his brother Ofield Williams (producer/DJ), DJ Catalist (producer/keys), Arun Chaturvedi (bass/keys), Joel Kaverklamp (bass) of the Hummers, and Warren Bray (bass). After multiple recording sessions in both Toronto and Winnipeg, Williams released the Grand Analog debut, Calligraffiti, on UrbNet Records in July 2007. Prompting the inevitable comparisons to similarly reggae-influenced Canadian rapper k-os, the LP's fusion of hip-hop with dub, soul, alternative rock, and pop enjoyed rave reviews, albeit outside of mainstream press. Digitally released singles (and their accompanying YouTube videos) such as "Social Butterfly," "I'll Walk Alone," and "Around the Town" maintained the album's buzz throughout 2007. ~ Cyril Cordor
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