“…a mindbending combination…”
JuJu is the latest project of multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti (Lay Llamas, Herself). Taking its name from West African magical ritual paraphernalia, JuJu makes a mindbending combination of intense psych-rock and shoegaze/dreampop-style atmospheric noise, with a healthy dose of free-thinking experimental attitude. Samael is raw and dirty psychedelic blues rock with hypnotic repetitive rhythms and a dash of tribal-style percussion. We Spit On Yer Grave disguises its nihilistic lyrics within a hazy dreampop atmosphere. Stars and Sea starts off with a laid-back, mesmeric sound best described as ambient psych-rock, before turning up the volume to introduce an intense shoegaze-esque wall of noise and a relentless hypnotic bassline. Dance with the Fish is an instrumental interlude with neoclassical and film soundtrack tinges, wrapped up in a dreamlike haze. Lost straddles the boundaries between heavy psych-rock, neoclassical, electronica, experimental and world music, the combination of styles coming together completely naturally. The trance-inducing repetitive rhythmic quality that pervades much of JuJu’s music is here in full force on this track. Another winner from Sunrise Ocean Bender, which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite labels. The album is pressed on vivid orange vinyl and packaged with the usual high standard of graphic design work expected of Sunrise Ocean Bender.