Live and improvised.
Intuition and improvisation are the key ingredients in Juju & Jordash's music. Gal Aner and Jordan Czamanski, two musicians who met in the Israeli town of Haifa, have been producing together for decade. During that time, they've created a sound that's derived from live jams on synthesizers and drum machines, and is heavily influenced by their backgrounds in jazz and post-rock. You could call it house or techno, but using either term would do a disservice to their style. At times their music has also been defined by its political commentary. The two-part Unleash The Golem is a particularly explicit example, a series that was inspired by "years wrestling with Zionism, victimhood and vengeance."
These days Aner and Czamanski are based in Amsterdam, where they're regarded as key artists in the city's electronic music scene. They have close ties to Dekmantel, the respected label and party series, who have now released two Juju & Jordash albums—a 2009 self-titled LP and last year's excellent Techno Primitivism. In the last few years, Move D has also become an important collaborator: the trio perform live together as Magic Mountain High, and have released a couple of 12-inches through Workshop, the most recent of which, Live At Freerotation, was a recording of their set at the much-loved Welsh festival this year.
On RA.379 we find Juju & Jordash in full effect. The podcast is a recording of their closing set at this year's Mutek festival in Montreal, which perfectly captures the essence of their fully improvised explorations in club music.
What have you been up to recently?
Gal Aner: We've been busy performing in various clubs and festivals around Europe. Just back from the amazing Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam where we also did a Boiler Room live session. In the studio we've been busy on future EPs for Dekmantel and Golf Channel, as well as a bunch of remixes. We have also been busy with getting the next Magic Mountain High release ready, which will be out on Jordan's new label, Off Minor Recordings, on a later date.
Jordan Czamanski: Don't forget Gazzara! It's a new hot band with Max D and a guest appearance from the mysterious and ever changing Carl Cardigan. The first 12-inch will be on Off Minor in a few months I think.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Gal Aner: This is a live recording from our show at Mutek festival in Montreal a couple of months ago. This was the closing show of the whole festival, right after Borderland.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Gal Aner: As always in our live shows, we connect a bunch of synths, drum machines and effects and jam the night away. 100% improvisation.
Jordan Czamanski: For the hardcore nerds, we had an SH-101, a Juno-60, a Poly-800 II, a DX11, a TR-909, an MFB, a TR-707, a Roland R8, a Strat and a Melodica.
You recently released a recording of your Magic Mountain High performance at Freerotation. Can you explain why the festival has become such a key event for you?
Jordan Czamanski: Freerotation is all about the intimate vibe. It's like hanging out with about 500 of your closest friends, so naturally playing there is always special. The crowd is open. We are open. We felt like we should try to document and kinda pay tribute to that.
You guys will also be playing as The Mulholland Free Clinic alongside Jonah Sharp at Unsound. Have you figured out how you'll approach the gig?
Jordan Czamanski: We haven't really discussed the details yet, but we're super excited about it. This show will be all about restraint. Four guys with too much to say, trying to communicate, and express something meaningful together. We've never played as a group, and Jonah and Gal have never even met, so it will be the perfect kind of challenge. It's going to be awesome
What are you up to next?
Jordan Czamanski: Besides what Gal said, we have a bunch of great gigs coming up, both Magic Mountain High ones (Heidelberg, Cologne, Paris, Elevate) and Juju & Jordash live and DJ things (Dimensions, The Hague, London, Panorama Bar). In October we will be performing our Der Golem soundtrack once again, this time in Belgium. So yeah, really good times.
Photo credit: Rene Passet