Album Reviews

Mujaji – On A Bridge Between Clouds

(Nomandic) UK release date: 17 April 2006

Despite sounding as if they should come direct from an Emmerdale storyline, brothers Jed and Seth are in fact from Brooklyn. For the last decade they have been writing and recording music, and now they look set to finally gain some recognition on this, their third full-length album.

Those of you that shop at M&S may already be subliminally familiar with their output, as they have been providing some in store music/muzak for them. If it is true that the shoppers of M&S are in fact the middle class types that hanker after Aga cookers and wept during the last episode of Cold Feet, then Mujaji have done their research well. They produce the kind of dreamy trip-hop that finds itself humming away in the background of dinner parties. The laid back drum patterns, and lovingly crafted samples losing themselves as the celery and hummus is passed around.

It seems quite likely then, that Mujaji will find themselves stored next to the likes of David Gray (Babylon is played at every single one of these get-togethers) and Royksopp, only to played upon the unveiling of a fondue set.

It would of course be something of a shame if On a Bridge Between Clouds only finds any real appreciation as an album that is only played quietly at dinner parties. If you spend some time actually listening to it, you find that there is a lot of depth to it. At times it sounds otherworldly. The guitars and the vocals flit around, barely making themselves known; as hard to grasp as the clouds themselves.

It’s a very ambient affair, drifting along gently, like cotton wool soaked in chloroform. It ambles track to track in an almost somnambulant manner, pausing occasionally to establish something that might be a tune. For the most part though, the tunes aren’t important as you find yourself getting lost in the swelling soundscapes created by tracks like Birdseye Cabaret.

The standout track on the album is the title track (and recent single), which features Norwegian songstress Maria Solheim. Her vocals are far more engaging than the efforts of the Brothers Emmerdale, and the tune itself also appears to be all the more focused and tuneful for her contribution.

On A Bridge Between Clouds is every bit as ephemeral as its title sounds. Hopefully it won’t find itself as mere background music in shopping centres and lifeless parties: Mujaji can create far more vibrant worlds than that.

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Mujaji – On A Bridge Between Clouds