Friday, December 11, 2015

Recording: JOOJ

Artist: JOOJ

Song: Jessica

Recorded at Smiling Buddha (Silent Shout Festival – Night 2), December 5, 2014.

JOOJ - Jessica

Although they'd stepped away from presenting live music, Silent Shout returned for a two-night celebration to mark their fifth anniversary. Taking over the Smiling Buddha for two nights gave the site's designer Roxanne Ignatius a chance to re-imagine the space, with a deconstructed disco ball twirling above clouds and webby fabric tendrils. Plus, downstairs there was a gallery of her consistently-excellent show posters, going right back to the series' beginning when it had to spell out its mandate of "EVIL DISCO / GLOOMY ELECTRO / DEATHLY SYNTHPOP". And though there was a retrospective element to the whole affair, the music was decisively forward-looking, including a couple bands making their debuts. The second night even upped the ante by adding lasers!

JOOJ might not have been a strictly populist choice to headline the festival's second night, but the selection served as a reminder that Silent Shout's vision of electronic music includes art drone experimentation as well as dancefloor action. Adam Litovitz and Sook-Yin Lee's musical project trades in uncomfortable surges and pulsing heartbeat rhythms, presented with a slightly-operatic stage presence. One got the sense that this might have been a little disorienting for some of the audience, but on the whole, it fit right into Silent Shout's soundworld.

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