Friday 15 July 2011
Juffage Shows Us His Weakness
I was initially turned on to Juffage - AKA Jeff T. Smith, a solo sound artist and multi-instrumentalist from Leeds, via Chicago, Illinois - through a comment by Loud & Quiet that referred them in the same breath as Mogwai. Now, I wouldn't go down that road - but there is some early Ratatat, some tribal rhythms of the likes of Lightning Bolt and Holy Fuck in the mix, and some of that bizarre anti-folk wizardry that Akron/Family steep their sounds in. Enough touchstones to give him a listen - and to embrace him. Because what we have here is something that, despite the possible attractions to influences, is inherently warm and unique. He utilizes live looping and multitasking of drums, vocals, basses, guitars, keys, omnichord, clarinet, melodica, and manipulated cassettes, all into something that is evocative and yet strangely organic.
His new album Semicircle takes his distinctive larger-than-life performance style to an even grander scale, adding even more instruments to the mix. This debut is both defiantly experimental and unashamedly pop-oriented, with neither feature seeming out of place or at war with the other. We need more of this - seriously.
Semicircle is out now through London label Function Records (Maybeshewill, Shield Your Eyes, Cats Cats and Cats, Nitkowski).
Juffage - My Weakness