"J Why and Julz A's Urban Shocker is mordant, funny, edgy, in your face, and more than most of what you hear, alive."
-- Fred Frith, from his liner notes for Urban Shocker
The music of the Urban Shocker project consists entirely of sounds recorded by duo J Why and Julz A in public: in the streets, subways and parks of New York City. Mixing the aesthetic of John Cage with modern hip-hop and electronica, J Why & Julz A take the illbient genre to its extreme, creating all sorts of grooves entirely out of found sounds and found objects from and within the urban landscape. Sampling technology allows one to capture the random "songs" of the urban soundscape; by re-framing the rhythms and melodies of daily city life out of their usual context, Why & A bring to light these ephemeral musical pieces. The Urban Shocker sound falls in the lineage of such diverse sampling artists as Matmos, Pauline Oliveros and DJ Spooky. The project takes its name from the pro baseball player Urban Shocker, a member of the legendary 1927 New York Yankees. One of the top pitchers of his time, Shocker is now mostly forgotten, even among baseball aficionados and historians.