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Boozoo Bajou - Juke Joint II

Boozoo Bajou, Juke Joint II

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

AFTER they released Dust My Broom to widespread acclaim in 2005, Germany’s Boozoo Bajou have been busy expanding their laidback sound to incorporate the compilation series, Juke Joint.

The second of these brings together elements of chillout, blues, soul and hip-hop for a genuinely eclectic listen that’s defined by its ability to chill you out.

Like its PR suggests, some of the blues-guitar based works journey to a place that John Lee Hooker never even imagined – but it’s pretty special nonetheless.

Hence, the mix tape that results takes you on a truly blissful journey that’s almost certain to make you feel very good inside.

Kicking off with Boozoo Bajou’s Georgia Dub of Tony Joe White’s Rainy Night In Georgia, with its crisp guitar riffs, laidback beats and husky vocals, the album then drops 20 tracks of serene beauty – only occasionally upping the vibe to dance-floor levels.

Most of the acts you may never have heard of – but their quality is such that you may well be rushing to find out more about them.

Take Alice Russell’s supremely sultry vocal workout on the sassy Hurry On Now with its super-sexy stabs of sax and trumpet, or the Blend Crafters’ Bad Luck Blues, which succeeds in splicing some classy beats with the trademark blues riffs and vocals of a true Deep South performer.

Mark Rae gets in on the act with his soulful Medicine, a track that eases effortlessly into the hip-hop influenced Back Up – one of two new tracks from Boozoo Bajou themselves, featuring Oh No, a guest MC from Stones Throw.

Think the sublime beats of Nightmares on Wax mixed with a rap from someone like Q-Tip and you’re in the right sort of vicinity – the mix is downright essential.

To change the vibe a little more, Feeling Free by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators invests proceedings with a supremely lively Motown-inspired piece of funk, while the trumpets are in full effect on Emnete’s Mulatu Astatque.

Other tracks to keep an ear on are Pflug, a deeply ambient offering from the Boozoo outfit that marks the second new creation, and Gecko Turner’s Dizzie, a track that positively drips in soul and which benefits from a Boozoo Bajou remix.

The Josh Rouse track Comeback rounds things off in suitably satisfying style to complete a truly pleasant listen that completely catches you off guard and places you in a good mood.

So whether it’s mood music you seek to create a nice soundtrack for a dinner party, or chillout to ease the mind, this provides a confident form of relaxation therapy.

Track listing:

  1. Rainy Night In Georgia – White, Tony Joe
  2. Four Hills – DJ Day
  3. Hurry On Now – Russell, Alice & TM Juke
  4. Thing – Urbs & Cutex
  5. Heartache – Meters
  6. Hung Up On My Baby – El Michel’s Affair
  7. Rowing – Bovell, Dennis
  8. Bad Luck Blues – Blend Crafters
  9. Medicine – Rae, Mark
  10. Back Up – Boozoo Bajou & Oh No
  11. Feeling Free – Willis, Nicole & The Soul Investigators
  12. Emnete – Astatke, Mulatu
  13. Another Dark Alley Scenario – Headtric & Joshua Baumgarten
  14. Pflug – Boozoo Bajou
  15. Tiefenscharfe – Rechenzentrum
  16. Cast Anchor – Hukkelberg, Hanne
  17. Dizzie – Gecko Turner
  18. Lambs Bread Collie – Light Of Saba
  19. For The Love Of You – Holt, John
  20. Comeback – Rouse, Josh