- Juju & Jordash are techno's most popular jam band. Jordan Czamanski and Gal Aner take to a genre known for its rigid form with gleeful formlessness, incorporating elements of jazz, dub and rock. No two records sound the same, but they've all been psychedelic and meandering. Clean-Cut, their last LP, signalled a change—Czamanski and Aner reined in their improvisational approach for a more straightforward, dance floor style. On Sis-boom-bah!, the duo make a lateral move away from the dance floor but show the same discipline. In the process, they've made their most idiosyncratic and enjoyable album, reconciling their two sides in a way that none of their previous records have.
Sis-boom-bah! was made with a stripped-back approach. The duo laid down drum tracks over which they'd groove with guitar and Fender Rhodes. The mood is pitched mostly between a Balearic beach and an arid desert. Full of humid wah-wah licks, groovy basslines and exotic synth leads, the instrumental interplay is top notch and the duo's use of effects is subtle but potent. The rhythm section on "Back Tuck Basket Toss" is so dubbed-out and springy that it makes the track feel like it's floating on the breeze, gently changing direction here and there.
"Back Tuck Basket Toss" is a good example of how Aner and Czamanski have tightened their composition. Its ebb and flow is occasionally disrupted by a pretty synth motif before locking back into the beat, as if the two were startled back into attention after daydreaming. Most of the tracks on Sis-boom-bah! groove on a single idea, which leads to some unusually droney tracks ("Deadman") as well as some lovely techno like "L-Motion," which sounds like a Detroit track submerged and rippling through water. Sis-boom-bah!'s every touch feels considered, whether it's the funky bassline on "Herkie" or the trickling melodies of "Hanging Pyramid," which is so delicate that you imagine any loud noise might send it falling over.
Juju & Jordash have found a home in restraint and rigour. Given the nature of their live performances and albums like Techno Primitivism, this change would have once seemed unlikely. Rather than letting compositions fan out in all directions, the duo focus on a sweet spot and wring everything they can out of it. That makes Sis-boom-bah! their smoothest and most consistent album. Czamanski mixed the album by himself for the first time, which might help explain the change. His solo work, as Jordan GCZ, is meditative like Krautrock, qualities that now apply to the duo's music. Whatever the cause, they're a band with a new purpose. Where once they seemed content to let their instruments take them wherever they ended up, Juju & Jordash now know exactly where they want to go, and how to get there.
03. Back Tuck Basket Toss
05. Paper Dolls
06. Hanging Pyramid
08. Attack The Crowd
09. One Armed Liberty