JuJu, the brainchild of Gioele Valenti, are back with a new album: ‘La Que Sabe’, out via Weird Beard Records. Sicilian multi-instrumentalist and producer Gioele Valenti is a key figure of the European underground music scene. He is one half of acclaimed Occult Psych project Llay Lamas (Rocket Recordings).
He is the man behind Herself, a folktronica project that involved the likes of Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev, John Fallon of The Steppes and Amaury Cambuzat of Faust and Ulan Bator. He was also the guitarist of Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation. Most importantly, he is the creator of the unclassifiable JuJu.
Championed by Goatman and Capra Informis of GOAT, JuJu have already released three albums (two of which with Fuzz Club Records) and left a permanent mark in the international Psychedelic scene and beyond. ‘La Que Sabe’ is “She who knows”, “The Great Mother”, the witch, the “Mater Obscura”.
Not by chance, the title conjures an imagery that is bound to the Mediterranean sea and lands, the Earth Magic and the Mother goddess in many ancient cultures. The cover shows a KAPALIKA, an Hindu monk who follows the doctrine of the “Left Hand Path”.
The music, however, has shifted, both sonically and geographically. JuJu’s self-titled debut (Sunrise Ocean Bender) encompassed a mix of rhythmic psychedelia, ancient myths and Mediterranean neopaganism and told the story of an on-going exodus from Africa.
The follow-up “Our Mother Was A Plant” (Fuzz Club), was even more forward-thinking and adventurous. It summoned all kinds of spirits with its rhythmic, otherworldly psychedelia, introducing shamanic mantras influenced by Afrobeat, Krautrock, Glam, Post Punk, Art Rock, drone and everything in between.
The third LP, “Maps & Territory” (Fuzz Club), reaffirmed and at the same time transcended JuJu’s unique formula. It deconstructed, reassembled and expanded their original vision, bordering Jazz territories.
The new album, “La Que Sabe”, is another game-changer. It marks an evolution from their signature sound, but also a return to the origins and to a much more “western” imagery, combining Post Punk, Shoegaze, Darkwave, Industrial, Synthpop, R’n’R with Dance, Club and Disco. Sonically, JuJu have somehow migrated from the South to the North, but without losing the mystical knowledge and experience gathered in their previous wanderings. The result is an infectious vibration that invites sacrilegious disco rituals with Shoegaze guitars, and much more.
“ … 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