mp3: JAHCOOZI style
Although based in Berlin, Jahcoozi’s roots are scattered across the globe – Israel, Sri Lanka, London – and it’s therefore no surprise that their sound resists any casual genre-plugging. They originally surfaced in 2003 with the ‘Fish’ EP and, on first contact, it seemed as if they were going to coast into a side alley of alternative electro pop, a low-bpm glitch cousin of Barbara Morgenstern perhaps. However, the subsequent album release ‘Pure Breed Mongrel’ put paid to that notion – coming on strong with a tasty blend of ragga, hip hop and electro influences. So much so, that the album remains one of my highlights of the last few years, and it was therefore with some anticipation, and trepidation, that I unwrapped their follow-up ‘Blitz N Ass’ (Asound).
On first bite, it’s certainly not as experimental as the debut, however the move to a more streamlined, tighter sound works in their favour. It’s as if Jahcoozi are trying to push the envelope in both directions – the beats and rhythms are often harder and deeper, yet the melodies could sit at home in a pop or R&B landscape. It’s precisely this schism that allows Jahcoozi to remain intriguing – sitting, teetering on the fence, refusing to fall in either direction and thus retaining a teasing sense of possibility in each and every track. Ultimately, ‘Blitz N Ass’ demands your presence on the dancefloor as much as Sasha Perera’s lyrics demand you pay close attention to the message gift-wrapped inside. They call it a “low-end grime-tech-dub-rave-tronic monster” – who are we to disagree?