069 – Juju & Jordash

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For the latest instalment of the series, we wanted to showcase the incredible talents of Amsterdam’s Juju & Jordash, two quirky musicians who have been jamming their way to international notoriety in the last few years with their twisted take on techno, house and everything in between. These days, they are one of the most in demand live acts in Europe, playing regularly together or as part of their newly formed live trio with Move D, Magic Mountain High.

Israeli born Juju aka Gal Aner and Jordash aka Jordan Czamanski have been steadily rising to techno stardom after joining forces in 2003, playing a pivotal role in Amsterdam’s thriving club scene with various releases for Dekmantel and Rush Hour, two of the city’s most respected outlets at the minute, plus solid EP’s for Golf Channel and Philpot amongst a host of other top shelf imprints.

Juju & Jordash take us deep into their inner sanctum for episode 069, with an exclusive, completely improvised live studio jam. They’ve also been nice enough to have a little chat..

Firstly, how are you guys holding up after a pretty eventful schedule this European Summer? Some highlights, lowlights?

Gal: We’re holding up pretty good, no complaints… Highlight of the summer was probably the Freerotation Festival in Wales. We played there live as Magic Mountain High (with Move D) and also did a J&J DJ set. It was a perfect weekend: full of non-stop great music, beautiful scenery and above all – wonderful crowd and organization. Rarely do you meet so many like-minded people, producers and DJs in one place, let alone party with them inside an old manor.

We know you guys hail from Israel, where you met and jammed together in the 90’s, but you each subsequently made the move to Amsterdam after starting Juju & Jordash in 2003. What was behind the move, and what were your reasons for choosing Amsterdam as the new home base for J & J?

Gal: We both had our own reasons to move, but in general I find Amsterdam, for the most part, to be a more laid-back and open-minded city. Both of us really liked Amsterdam years before we decided to live here, and after being here for the last 6 years, I still think it’s awesome. I believe it’s a great place if you are looking to just mind your own business and concentrate on making music (which isn’t always the case in Israel). The city is full with great producers, musicians, DJs and record shops. It also helps that it has a central location in Europe, which makes it easier on traveling and gigging.

From an onlookers perspective it’s clear you guys don’t like to take yourselves too seriously, which is always pretty refreshing in this industry. We had to giggle when seeing the title of your latest record on Golf Channel Jewsex. Can you tell us about the story behind that one?

Gal: The Jewsex EP was kind of a comic relief, after the heavy themed Unleash The Golem Part 1 release, also on Golf Channel. While ‘the Golem’ features pretty dark, politically charged music, and quite a heavy listening experience (it will be a series of 4 EP’s), the Jewsex record was a chance to lighten up. Reportedly, Jordan came up with the title while brushing his teeth.

You guys were responsible for the debut release of Amsterdam’s rapidly growing House institution Dekmantel, and have your second full length LP with them due to drop next month. Can you tell us about your relationship with the Dekmantel crew, how did that all start off?

Gal: Casper and Thomas from Dekmantel first approached us about 5 years ago. At the time they were familiar with our previous releases for labels like Psychostasia, Aesthetic Audio, and were quite surprised that we were based in the Netherlands. We played at one of their parties, then we invited them to come over to the studio. Soon after, the guys decided to open a label in addition to the growing success of the parties and events they organized. When Casper finally came to the studio, he was pretty blown away with the tracks we played him and straight away offered us to do the first LP. From the start up to this upcoming album, they gave us full artistic freedom and supported all our musical ideas.

Speaking of your forthcoming triple-vinyl LP for Dekmantel Techno Primitivism, it feels as though this has been quite a while in the making since you’re last full length saw release three years back now. How did you go about creating the new album, and what are some of the recurring themes on the record?

Jordan: Well, about 9 months all together. The first several months we multi-track recorded around 20 hours of material in our studio. Just hooked up the gear, pressed record and jammed for as long as our inspiration lasted. Then the tiring task of editing started and lasted another couple months. After accumulating a couple dozen rough edits we sat down and chose our favorite 15. Last couple months was dedicated to mixing. Voila!

It’s hard for me to pinpoint recurring themes.. I guess the fact that all the music for the LP was recorded in the same studio, with more or less the same gear, during the same period of time and being in the same mind frame, shaped the sound of the album and any recurring themes that may pop up.

Your Magic Mountain High Live project with Move D has received some great feedback and seems to be carrying a lot of momentum lately. What can you tell us about the live show, is it completely improvised? And what do you guys typically use in terms of gear when performing?

Jordan: Yup! we’ve been loving MMH this year. Both the MMH live shows and the Juju & Jordash live shows are completely improvised. We hook up the gear, do a little soundcheck and then when its our time to start playing, we just lift up the faders and go for it.

Each show the gear changes up a bit. Usually consisting of whatever bits each of us bring to the gig, and whatever the promoter can provide. Our live rider consists of a 909, an SH101 and either a Juno 60/6 or a JX3P (and of course a mixing desk with at least 24 channels). We bring the rest – A couple of synths, drum machines, guitar, Fx etc… whatever fits in the bags.

What can you tell us about this mix? How and where was it recorded?

Jordan: Well, we decided not to give you a mix! It can be pretty damn boring recording a mix at home, and last month we already recorded one for Crack Magazine so instead we decided to record a live studio jam for you.

We did what we do more or less regularly in the studio and on stage — kinda in between the two. We hooked up a few synths (YAMAHA CS-30, ROLAND SH-101, KORG POLYSIX, SOLINA STRING ENSAMBLE, YAMAHA DX7), a couple drum machines (TR707, TR909) a few FX units, and pressed record.

We recorded about two hours and cut it down to about 1.5, which is what you can hear here. No overdubbing (except for a small guitar part).

Like I said, this session is somewhat in-between our regular studio jams and our live shows. Less “clubby” than our live shows and on the other hand much more frenetic than our usual studio jams.

Finally, what exciting stuff do you have coming up for the remainder of the year that you’re able to tell us about?

Jordan: A couple weeks ago our JEWSEX EP was released on Golf Channel, and as you’ve mentioned our triple album Techno Primitivism will be released on September 17th on Dekmantel. you can listen to the clips here:

In November the second installment of our Golem EP series on Golf Channel will be released. SUPER excited about these. Besides those we have a bunch of remixes coming out..

We will be playing live shows + DJing quite a bit this season as well, including some special album release parties and MMH shows around europe. Fun fun fun!

Main Image: Carolina Georgatou

1 Comment

  1. lerato says:

    on fire !!!!!

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