by The Why Because

supported by
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Professionally replicated compact disc in jewel case (not a CR-r). Each copy comes with unique hand-glued photo on front cover.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Musicshapes via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      $8 USD or more 




'Musicshapes' is a 55 minute long set of improvisations recorded by a sextet with no overdubs. Features TWB regulars Michael Henning, Gabriel Raines, Brian Relph, and Ryan Miyashiro, plus TWB newcomers Marty Dowers and Dax Pierson from Subtle (Anticon / Lex). Recorded summer of 2004 during the first meeting of this particular incarnation of the group, which never convened again following the show we played just a few days after this recording was made. These pieces were completely improvised, with no structure or details discussed or worked out beforehand.

Limited number of physical copies still available:

CD in jewel case with hand glued cover photo fragment (each one is unique). 2006 release.

~$8 postpaid in the US, slightly more elsewhere. Contact thewhybecause (@) gmail .com to purchase this disc or any of our other releases.


Press for Musicshapes:

--The ever-changing roster of the impressive ensemble known as The Why Because is graced with numerous music luminaries from around the Bay Area. The line-up for Musicshapes, their third release, is a six member crew including folks from Anticon/Lex avant-hoppers Subtle and Themselves. The disc's five lengthy improvised tracks (recorded live back in 2004) explore the far reaches of jazz, postrock, psych/space rock and ambient experimentation. And they incorporate an even broader array of instruments with trumpet, saxophone and percussion taking prominence amid the Fender Rhodes, other keyboards, bass clarinet, guitar, bass and melodica. Musicshapes commences with "Fenced Bird Takes Flight" a barren landscape of faintly blown horns and Spartan drumming. This gradually blossoms into a more fleshed out and sprawling journey with many mesmerizing and meditative stretches as well as more kinetic cyclical passages. - Aquarius Records

--Bringing to mind the spacious explorations of electric Miles Davis, the oddball structures and sounds of Gang Gang Dance, the repetition of Can, and even some funk and hip-hop influences as well. Their long list of influences may have played some part in the long run, but in reality, there is very little quite like The Why Because. Though only five tracks long, Musicshapes is a lengthy release, carrying each song with loose structures into unforeseen horizons. Truly captivating stuff. -

--It takes a terribly large amount of talent to pull off what The Why Because has done together on this album. It would take a group of average musicians years to fine tune the work that this collective created in one evening together. This is definitely a scene to keep an eye on. "8 out of 10" - The Silent Ballet

--The Why Because have concocted a mutated hybrid of jazz and post-rock on these 5 improvised pieces that showcase a set of musicians at ease with each other and in full accord as to where they're heading. TWB's music manages to be both utterly chilled and maniacally twitchy alternating between atonal jazz skronk and the downright groovy. My guess would be that watching this lot jamming live must be a real blast because they're pretty damn good jamming on record. - Wonderful Wooden Reasons

--A free-jazz dappled descendent of Krautrockers like Can and Amon Duul II, these Bay Area instrumentalists (including members of Subtle) draw us forward in real time as their explorations awaken interesting new corridors. Listen hard and you hear a highly interactive language being forged. The eclectic ensemble remains fluid, switching instruments and members frequently, never resting in one spot for too long. There are strains of befuzzed '70s Miles Davis, the percussive chatter of Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Four Tet's pastoral electronics, but the cumulative groove is something freshly picked, the thick roots coated with dirt and an earthy musk. Space brass and balmy drums call, and our only choice is which direction we follow in this unusually hypnotic environment. - Dennis Cook (

--Like the music of Sun Ra, this is jazz that is out there... The Why Because are definitely explorers. They often veer off into more experimental and occasionally free form directions, allowing almost ambient-like textures to evolve in the playing. The Why Because skirts the edges of outer and inner space as they search for something undefined... this is the kind of album that really takes more than a few listens to appreciate. It takes a while to get beneath the surface... - Aural Innovations


released September 9, 2006




The Why Because Oakland, California

contact / help

Contact The Why Because

Streaming and
Download help