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Juju & Jordash – Down to the Roach EP

Hot on the heels of last year’s Clean-Cut comes a new EP from Juju & Jordash. While the Amsterdam duo’s 2014 album veered from freeform, jazz-inspired grooves to mood music, Down to the Roach is more streamlined and direct, designed for clubs. Yet despite having more functional qualities than the sprawling Clean-Cut, this four-tracker is brought to life by more twists and turns than the plot line of an airport novel.

Juju & Jordash - Down To The Roach
Juju & Jordash
Down To The Roach
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Each piece teems with a playful unpredictability that is synonymous with Juju & Jordash’s work. It begins with the title track; over a warbling electronic bass and frazzled percussive judders, the pair introduce a ghostly vocal that swoops in and out of the arrangement. It continues in that vein for a good five minutes before a dreamy synth brings the track to an epic denouement.

“Bean Bag Motel” is more all over the place; rough dub beats and subsonic tones provide an intro, before it flows into an almost Drexciya-like synth passage, with this mysterious segue accompanied by an ominous bass. The use of reverb and other effects only adds to the sense that the pair are happy to drag the listener down dead alleys or let them get lost in the matrix of tiny, winding roads that each track comprises. The dub version of “Down to the Roach” is the only exception to this approach, with a straighter rhythm backing up bursts of electronic sound and the ghostly wails.

Indeed, it proves to be a temporary distraction. “Lights at Night” is a distant cousin of both the title track from the last J&J album and Jordan’s solo release Future Times. Swathes of guitar shine and chime like sunshine reflected off a river’s surface while robust drums provide a supporting role. Somewhere along this blissed out path, the pair come back to their senses and realise that “Lights at Night” requires a dark, pulsing force to work on the dance floor. It’s the last action in a release that effortlessly balances the functional with the unpredictable.

Richard Brophy


A1. Down To The Roach
A2. Bean Bag Motel
B1. Lights At Night
B2. Down To The Roach (Dub)