Making one's best so that hip-hop looks like a live experience, strengthening raps with the sounds of "real" instruments, has not always been a successful approach. The most famous group which tried to go this way, The Roots, has sometimes failed at it, coming dangerously close to boredom. And when a rapper proves to be good at this, it is more often in concerts than on records. Toolshed, though, a group from London, Ontario, used this formula fantastically on their second album, a record blended with bouncing guitar, drums, bass and saxophone sounds, reinforced with facetious and dynamic raps, and full of rhythm and scratches.
Illustrated is made of the same wood as Schemata, the very good album thanks to which we discovered Toolshed, in 2002. It is also of the same ilk as the previous album, an untitled one, they released in 2000. And maybe, it is similar to the group's other recordings, now untraceable. Timbuktu (MC, producer), Choke and Psyborg (MCs), B Swizzle (DJ), Danny Miles (percussionist), Andrew McCormick (bassist) and Pat Giles (guitarist) are not trying to change their recipe and flavor.