Album Reviews

Boozoo Bajou – Juke Joint Vol 2

(K7) UK release date: 7 August 2006

The first Juke Joint from German duo Boozoo Bajou (Peter Heider and Florian Seyberth) was released in 2003 and featured diverse material from the likes of Groove Armada, John Lee Hooker and Paul Weller. Theirs is not the sort of name that trips easily off the tongue, but could easily be used to complete a sentence containing Thievery Corporation or Rob Da Bank.

The new mix is described as “being influenced by the Southern Concept of a rura blues hangout”. Not too many of those in Germany, I’d wager, but not to worry – the duo use this as a start point from which to blend a heart-warming mix of soul, reggae, dub and bluesy chill out material.

The scene is set with a rare Boozoo Bajou remix of Terry Joe White‘s Rainy Night In Georgia, loosely combining most of the styles above and establishing a relaxed tempo for proceedings. This pace is generally maintained throughout, with the beats occasionally breaking in the case of the Mark Rae or the boys’ own darker rap track Back Up, a recent single, but the music largely stays on the couch rather than the dancefloor.

A sweet melancholia flavours the songs from Alice Russel and Urbs & Cutex, the former a torch song vocal with softly spoken saxophone in accompaniment, the latter an upward looking love song, its vaguely bluesy vocal picked up by The Meters.

Moving on from these blissful moments is an excellent section of reggae and dub, crowned by Dennis Bovell‘s spacey river song Rowing, whose undulating lines paint the motion of the water. The real thing is used later on by Hanne Hukkelberg, who sounds rather like a Tom Sawyer character but creates weirdly dreamy music with a hint of Bjork, tapping into the late night vibe.

Back to dub and reggae towards the close, with Gecko Turner‘s Dizzie blended into a lovely, unhurried trombone line over the chilled reggae beat of Light Of Saba and the heady sounds of John Holt. Josh Rouse closes the shutters with a typically effortless contribution in Comeback.

The great thing about compilations like this is their ability to introduce the listener to unfamiliar voices and styles of music, and it’s likely there will be something new here for everyone. It’s an enjoyable trip that provides on one hand a musical education, while on the other simply a relaxing soundtrack with which to drift away in the night time. File under ‘horizontal listening’.

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Boozoo Bajou – Juke Joint Vol 2