This week’s Heal Yourself and Move—a biweekly column about dance and electronic music by Andrew Field-Pickering—features an interview with Juju and Jordash, a former jazz duo turned space techno with insane drums (seriously, check the music after the jump, drums sound nuts. And the drums aren't even necessarily the main point). Check the interview and J+J's "Time Slip Remix" after the jump.
Juju & Jordash (Dekmantel) is a bonafide pro. If I had to pinpoint one distinct vibe on this LP (as there are tons), it would be that their music can't help but change. Juju and Jordash apparently used to jam in a jazz group, and you can totally tell. These dudes are obviously more of a duo than just two producers working together. On this new LP, drum and synth lines get slammed in seemingly whenever (but less "eh...whenever" than "surprise!!!"), and the "one" constantly seems to change, an element of their jazzy freedom smushed into a machine. The parts are constantly stopping and starting and getting whipped around, whether they be the arpeggiated spikes in "Dirty Spikes," or the trumpets that turn into Detroit sparkles on "Jazzy Trance." "Quasi Dub" melts down completely, complete with fucked-up laughing that kind of winks at you. And closer "Niks" does a kind of Don Cherry Brown Rice impression, but with rocksteady parts.
"Deep Blue Meanies" remains one of the fiercest jams of the year, but I already gushed about that one in one of my older columns. "Time Slip Remix", a new take on one of their older songs, is the real smasher for me on this LP. Its just so FAT, with tons of cascading hooks. I mean peep this:
I recently talked with Juju & Jordash about past, present, and future.
What are some big tracks for you right now?
Newworldacquaium, "Bond," Hieroglyphic Being, "The Universe We Reside In," Miles Sagnia, "Relativity," Specter, "Lost World, Nacho Patrol EP on KS, RICK WADE on LAID.
Not to be a geek (yeah right), but what do you use to make tracks? It seems as if you guys play live drums and shit on the new album, do you have a fully functioning studio?
Jordash: We record and play as many synths and instruments as we can and use as many pieces of cool outboard gear as we can—mash 'em up together and try to have fun.
Juju: We recorded a live drummer friend for two tracks on the album, as well as many other live instruments (guitar, percussion, sax, oud, trumpet, melodica, double bass, etc…). Weird mic-ing techniques is an important part of the process as well. We are fortunate to be able to produce our stuff at Fortress Studio, a fully functioning recording and mixing studio, which really fits our style and way of work. We prefer working with hardware, outboard and vintage gear (tubes, tapes, EFX, etc...) so it works good over there.
Do you find it difficult to play disco and boogie sounds out there (in Europe), or are audiences starting to get into it?
Jordash: Some crowds love it all, some crowds need a lil' more thump.
Juju: I guess it still depends on the crowd and venue. At the D3K festival in Croatia, for example, we could really play any kind of good music we wanted and the people digged it. At other gigs with more of a 'general pubic' kinda crowd, some people have less patience, unfortunately, for disco, boogie and the like. They'll come and say “Do you have some harder techno? I come here every week and that's what the DJ plays!", or just make what I call the "fist gesture" hinting you to play a louder and faster kick.
Jordash: yeah, and girls that ask for the Black Eyed Peas (while we're playing a Gino Soccio track …)
How did you guys come to meet up and make tracks?
Jordash: We used to jam together in a hard-bop/free jazz trio and slowly we got into doing other shit together. When you can connect with a guy playing jazz, it usually means you can communicate well in all sorts of musics. I was already producing some music and I guess we started collaboration when JuJu caught the bug as well.
What's the deal with Dekmantel? Looking at the MySpace, it seems kind of like a collective of up-and-coming Amsterdam folks. Who else are you feeling from your town right now?
The Dekmantel collective was founded by Casper Tielrooij and Thomas Martojo. They are two younger DJs with a lot of enthusiasm and love for good music. They started throwing parties a couple of years back, and by now many of the cooler parties in Amsterdam are organized by them. They also consistently bring in some of the best DJs in the scene from abroad (DJ Traxx, Theo Parrish, Jus Ed, DJ Rahaan, Scott Ferguson, Keith Worthy, to name a few...). The Dekmantel guys launched their label this year (Rush Hour distribution) with a 12-inch by us, up next is our LP which will be out by the end of September. Their label will house some other talented producers from the Dam. Aside from the Dekmantel crew, we’re feeling NWAQ, a true Amsterdam maestro, as well as the stuff from M>O>S.
What's next, after the album? Tracks, 12-inches, mixes, vacations, huge parties?
Well, soon after the album we’re gonna put out a 12-inch (two tracks) on the very dope new Madrid based label Downbeat. After that we’re heading back to the studio to finish few new tracks and a couple of remixes for other people -- so no real vacation. We’ve been recording quite a few music mixes right now, cause every other Thursday we have a radio show (also archived) on deepfrequency.com. The bigger parties we’re playing soon are: a live show @ the Amsterdam Dance Event (October 22nd), DJing @ Café Capital (Antwerp, November 7th) and a live show @ The Panorama Bar on the Aesthetic Audio/Sistrum night (November 27th).
And finally, for good measure, the original "Time Slip" video: