Wednesday, December 10, 2014

JOUIS: "Dojo"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Beetroot Records 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Dojo" is clearly not your ordinary rock album as Jouis from Brighton, U.K. are blending and combining jazz, fusion, west coast, psychedelica and progressive rock on their debut album. Strictly intended to the open minded as you definitely need to enjoy several different styles and genres of complex and difficult music to truly appreciate their vivid effort. Simply look away for the next couple of minutes if you're only into simple and straight arrangements and top 40 easy listening.

This 5 piece is clearly on a mission as they've built their own analogue studio in an office block in Brighton, a space where they now live and work. Producer Phill Brown (Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin) helped them record 'Dojo' live to tape and result reeks of the groovy past and acts such Blood, Sweat & Tears, Aphrodite's Child (pre-Vangelis), Steely Dan (at their most complex era) and all those wild and crazy fusion acts of the swinging seventies.

Yes Sir Indeed. There's plenty of experiential rock and propulsive rhythmic flex on the nine tracks debut by Jouis (from the French word that roughly translate as high enjoyment and goes back to Jouissance). It's the concept album that tinkers with space and time, past experiences and philosophical ideas. The vocal parts and harmonies are soft, melodic, and nearly singer/songwriter like and you may also pick up the odd reference to Gentle Giant and Nektar. It's all very loose and jazzy free with fusion as the melting pot that brings it all together so to speak. I sure like it now, but absolutely hated this kind of music as a kid. Too hippie and mellow-yellow. Not to be missed if you're into the weird, complex, laid back stuff.

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