JUJU – ‘AND PLAY A GAME’. Sicilian multi-instrumentalist announces highly-anticipated second LP Shares game-changing first single ‘And Play A Game’

JuJu is the brainchild of Sicilian multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti (Lay Llamas, Herself). Following on from the project’s 2016 S/T debut – widely hailed as one of the best, most innovative psych albums of the year – Valenti has signed to Fuzz Club for the release of sophomore LP ‘Our Mother Was A Plant’. Carrying on in its predecessor’s footsteps, the new LP is a continuation of JuJu’s ritualistic sonic exploration into the cultural implications of the ongoing refugee crisis and humanities increasingly strained relationship with Mother Earth.

Featuring guest appearances from Capra Informis (the masked djembe player in Goat), JuJu’s second album is due for release September 22nd – the same day he’s set to return to this years Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. With the announcement, Fuzz Club is sharing the first taste of the new LP – the utterly hypnotic first single ‘And Play A Game’. The track was premiered by Clash Magazine who had this to say: “[JuJu] matches Neu! type repetition to mind-blowing effects, gently re-organising the co-ordinates for psych-rock in the process… a lengthy, exotic piece that borders on tribal funk, it seems to exist entirely in a world of its own.”

‘And Play A Game’ opens with celestial synths, gospel drones and distorted echoing vocals recalling the more experimental cuts from Spiritualized’s discography before a warped motorik bassline propels the song with a groove-ridden krautrock drive – summoning the metronomic, atonal beating hearts of Neu! or Kraftwerk. It’s never easy pinning JuJu’s sound – at times the heavily reverbed guitars, textured walls of sound and crooning vocals make you envision Manchester in the late 80s/early 90s but at others the funky, almost afro-beat rhythms place you in a desert plain somewhere in western Africa. And that’s exactly what makes JuJu stand out above the rafts of other bands in the scene – like the last, ‘Our Mother Is A Plant’ is an album that gets you more hooked and intrigued on each listen.

Even more forward-thinking and adventurous than the self-titled debut, Our Mother Was A Plant summons all kinds of spirits with its rhythmic, otherworldly psychedelia – changing the game, once again. Calling it just a ‘psych’ record would be an injustice though, JuJu’s shamanic mantras are influenced just as much by afrobeat, funk, krautrock, art rock, drone, shoegaze and everything in between.

PRAISE FOR JUJU

“‘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 coordinates 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” MoJo

“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… 4/5” Record Collector Magazine

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