Review: Jooklo Duo – The Warrior

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jooklo Duo are Virginia Genta on tenor and soprano sax and clarinet and David Vanzan on drums, who perform what is termed “fire music”. As fire, this music seems to consume all in its path. It is unrelenting and each side of this now unavailable 7″ (digital downloads are still available) could not be more appropriately titled. Primitive Power opens with Genta’s wailing saxophone, which, though calling out for a response, seems in itself enough to occupy the senses, before Vanzan answers the call and all hell breaks loose. The two sides culminate in a little under ten minutes of live performance, which packs enough energy in it to fill an ordinary LP. Each side ends abruptly but for the crash of a cymbal that seems to indicate that this energy is restrained only by the limitations of the medium onto which it has been recorded.

Jooklo Duo are currently on tour in Europe. They are performing tonight in Germany, before doing a tour of Italy. Below is an example of a what at first seems a more restrained live performance, but gives an indication of what you might expect of a live show.

Jooklo Duo: Official site (where more samples are available for streaming).

Purchase: Northern-Spy Records

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Overdue Review: Peelander-Z – Super DX Hitz

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It is hard to know how to describe Peelander-Z except by using their own terminology. A “Japanese Action Comic Punk Band”, they have remained unparalleled since they exploded into being in 1999 in New York City (where else?), with only one significant line-up change (in 2008, when Peelander-Blue was replaced with Peelander-Green on “drums and smiles”).

I can offer but one improvement to their tag, which would be that rather than the label of “band”, they might be better described as an experience. They have created a story around themselves: that their costumes (Peelander-Yellow and Peelander-Red are the remaining performing members, although they are sometimes assisted by a Peelander-Pink) are their own skin and that they come from the Z area of the planet Peelander, which does not seem altogether too far-fetched. They encourage active audience participation at their shows (which anybody who has witnessed one would testify is always insanely energetic); this can range from karaoke contests (a step above the usual getting the audience to join in on the choruses), to limbo dancing and human bowling. That this energy transfers to their studio recordings is near-immediately apparent when you see your one-hour musical programme consists of 28 tracks.

These 28 tracks represent a decent cross-section of their first five albums and is a great introduction to an exciting band who are soon to be jetting off on a Spring tour to promote their new album, Space Vacation, due out early next month on Chicken Ranch records.

Peelander-Z: Official site (where you can find a few MP3s and a host of videos, including the one above).

Purchase: Chicken Ranch Records || Amazon UK (MP3) | US (MP3)