Review: Juju ‘La Que Sabe’

JuJu’s La Que Sabe is brought to us almost entirely by Sicilian multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti who also appears in Llay Llamas, Herself and Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation. This is JuJu’s fifth studio album since 2012 and is due to be released on the 22nd October. This album (as with previous releases) has influences from a wide variety of genres such as synthpop, krautrock, art rock and psychedelia, but rarely in a straight line, as one style finishes another has already snuck into the limelight.

Juju ‘La Que Sabe’

The seven songs across the album are virtually created from seven bass riffs that rarely change to drive the album with mostly programmed drums for the synthpop base layer. However, Valenti creates soundscapes that move effortlessly between each of these musical realms through deft uses of melodic phrases, layering and effects.

Album opener Not This Time, epitomises the rest of the album to come as the rhythm section and guitars are feeding off each other’s energy, only to smuggle synth lines to the party before a return to the drive rock. The song feels like a full band is playing, each with their own taste, which is very hard for solo artists to achieve.

Nothing Endures has a grittier more industrialised tone that is only missing Maynard vocals to be at home on a Puscifer album. The no rules approach that are on Puscifer albums also apply to Juju’s writing style. That’s not to say JuJu’s vocal performance doesn’t do the song justice as they echo and haunt across the stereo spectrum, leaving a high watermark on the record.

Valenti continues to explore a diverse and seemingly unrelated variety of landscapes, yet blends them without sounding forced…

Could You Believe uses the La Que Sabe playbook but expands with a multitude of instruments flowing from one to the next. You can almost picture Valenti walking around his studio picking a different instrument every eight bars or so and skilfully blending it with its predecessors. She’s Perfect changes the mood, creating anxiety early in the song through the timing of the bass notes until the groove sets in as the titular chorus takes over and repeats until fading piece by piece. Juju sings ‘start a fire’ in the chorus of Walk The Line evoking that feeling when the sun is setting at a big festival just as the vices start to take hold and there’s already that one festival-goer that started earlier than most, dancing solo with arms out like no one is watching.

La Que Sabe is Spanish for ‘She Who Knows’ or the ‘One Who Knows’. The story goes that she created women from the sole of her divine foot because the sole feels everything. It’s a good metaphor for Juju’s album, and his other work in general, as Valenti continues to explore a diverse and seemingly unrelated variety of landscapes, yet blends them without sounding forced. The album is a good one to spin on a lazy Sunday afternoon, possibly still nursing a hangover from dancing solo at a festival.

Label: Weird Beard Records
Band Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Maxx