“I wanted to develop some themes [from] the previous experience with Llamas… the link with Mother Earth, the theme of lysergic trip, symbols of Black Magic and a strange ancient grammelot that I call Ramanna. JuJu, besides being my personal point of view on the current Mediterranean exodus tragedy, of people and culture lost at sea, is even more of a solid tribute to the music I’ve always loved… Joy Division, Can, Neu!, Mercury Rev and many others.”
JuJu is the latest incarnation of Sicily-based Gioele Valenti (Lay Llamas, Herself). Used to designate objects, such as amulets, and spells used ceremoniously in West Africa, Valenti broadens the scope of ‘juju’ to encompass a mix of rhythmic psychedelia, ancient myths and Mediterranean neo-paganism. Through the music, JuJu tells the story of an on-going exodus from Africa that more often than not ends in ignored tragedies at sea, ‘a total defeat for humanity.’ Inspired by sources of Earth magic and soil secrets, JuJu strives to turn that defeat into a celebration of spirit and modern psychedelia.
An endless thought to the forgotten of the sea.
We Are You.
Limited edition 'transparent Orange Crush' vinyl, heavyweight 4C insert with download. Available as a download only.
SOB is distributed in N.A. by Cobraside, across the waters by Clear Spot.
“Many acts propose a 21st century awareness of music history, accepting into their bloodstream disparate influences, but few enter that same log as their heroes; too many will simply pay homage, ignoring the fact that the greatest homage to the musicians that shaped them would be to continue their legacy of influence on new listeners. JuJu achieves what so few can. … This one comes highly recommended.”—The Active Listener
“ … a tightly internalised and personalised twist. It comes from the heart and from the gut. … The result is a masterfully haunting set, and the passions and fervour of its entreaties ethereally linger in the memory.”—Record Collector Magazine
“‘JuJu’ is an album of sweepingly melodic music that still retains a strange kind of intimacy. Just when you thought you might never want to hear another ‘psych rock’ album again in your life, along comes an artist who resets the co-ordinates and makes the past seem startling new again.”—The Quietus
“…JuJu fuses elements of psychedelia, glam, prog and post-punk into a propulsive, melodic art rock. Valenti describes JuJu’s self-titled debut long-players as “my personal tribute to the big music I’ve always loved, regardless of genre.” But the album also has a more serious intention, sourcing the refugee crisis as its primary inspiration: ”Where I live in Sicily, we literally see children die among the waves.” For Valenti, the music and words “conspire with ancient symbols and arcane memory, something buried deep in the collective unconscious of the Mediterranean, to give voice to a ‘drowning’ culture.””—MOJO Magazine
“With percussion and a throbbing bass, “Bring Em War” closes the album in style, chanted lyrics, heavy guitar and a lysergic cloak of sound, seemingly summing up everything that has gone before, hypnotic, psychedelic and damn good. … this is an epic collection that takes a few listens to fully appreciate as good music generally does.”—The Terrascope
“This is a quite astounding album of modern psychedelia. Psychedelic music that is immediate, relevant, spiritual, affective and effective. … absolutely bloody ESSENTIAL!”—Psych Insight/Backseat Mafia
“ … a stunning sound that’s more akin to a pulsating, living organism, ‘JuJu’ transcends this modern-day psych-rock plain, bringing with it swathes of rhythmic, almost ritualistic, golden frequencies to the ears … a blistering album.”—The Sound of Confusion
“ … doesn’t just suggest but screams spiritual moorings; the album itself is a ritual and is ignited by Afro groove rhythms, Kraut repetition, drone-fuzz coated psych riffs, Manchester scene shoegaze synth, prog-infused astral folk vocals and organs and almost tribal rock atmospherics. All the while with this is underlined with an ever apparent mythical, Mediterranean neo-paganism.”—Maximum Volume Music
“ … a monumental creation, an album that refuses to blend into anything approaching either deafening polemic or simple background noise … Seek it out, and pay attention. It’s worth it.”—Goldmine Magazine
“JuJu makes a mindbending combination of intense psych-rock and shoegaze/dreampop-style atmospheric noise, with a healthy dose of free-thinking experimental attitude. … Another winner from Sunrise Ocean Bender, which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite labels.”—Bliss/Aquamarine
”JuJu courses with an uneasy supernatural charm. Paradoxically pitting an uplifting soundscape, against the inconvenience of a discomforting subject matter. Ultimately JuJu‘s provocative stance, aligns it with the canon of all great art.”—Chromaticism
“… it is an awesome album that, already, must be in the running for album of the year. … The melding of influences gives the album a well-rounded feel that leads the listener to exotic and fantastic places. It's taken the enthnopsych of Vespero, the hauntology of Broadcast and the fuzzy reverb of JAMC and mixed them all up with lashings of imagination and robust mysticism.”—Dayz of Purple & Orange
"…wonderful blend of Psychedelia mixed with Afrobeat that is well worth spending time with … another great SOB release."—Thee Psychedelicatessen