Monday, October 15, 2007

Juju -Punks

Juju, "Punks" (YSI link)

Juju, "Punks (Komonazmuk remix)"
(YSI link)

G-d, it's been a crazy, panic-y time lately, as if my life has decided to mirror the dubstep tunes we've been posting. I think that there's some sort of story about the chicken and the egg or something, but I don't remember how it goes or if it applies here. Whatever.

Dubstep, like grime, is synomous with the London area that gave birth to it. But, dubstep has begun to make its mark around the world, thanks to the Internet and magazines and radio. Most of all, I imagine it's the lyric-less aspect that has allowed it to surpass grime in its worldwide movement and adoption. Juju (real name: Neil Zarama) is an American, San Francisco to be precise, who has released a few dubstep 12"s over the past year or two on the NarcoHz label. Interestingly, he made his name in the drum'n'bass scene during the 90s and early part of this decade with some residencies, numerous releases and his own label, Phuturo Recordings. I say interesting, as I definitely hear a distinct d'n'b/jungle influence in this music, although it rarely gets listed as a major influence in the history.

I think you'll hear some of that d'n'b influence on this track, "Punks." This one's massive, having featured on the Dubstep All-Stars Volume 5 mix CD, it's a much more upbeat and banging track than say, the Skream stuff. Best of all, hearkening back to the d'n'b days, you get a wicked Method Man sample on the break, which touched my dark, conflicted hip-hop heart. Unlike the dnb sound, the music here isn't punishing; in fact, Juju plays with tension throughout, letting the bass fade out at times. Oh boy, when it comes in, it comes in, all wobbly and warbly and big! I feel like this would be an excellent starting point for people looking to get into this music, as the Meth vocals provide something to grab onto. The Komonazmuk remix is much busier and upbeat, possibly more dancefloor friendly yet ulitmately less succesful. The quickened pace takes away that dread that comes in the original, that ominous feeling that comes when the bass goes away and you are left with Meth's mumblings and the itchy drums.

Check out Juju's myspace page for more info, as this is clearly a dude to keep an eye on (or ear out for?). Cop the Punks 12" at Turntable Lab, as you're gonna want to grab the vocoderd sick B side, "Mogera."

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