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- Semicircle by Juffage
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 01 July 2011
This is the debut album from Chicago born Jeff T Smith, now residing in Leeds, UK, which is of course where we live too. I'd encountered him live one or two times, most memorably when I took my girlfriend (favourite band: Mumford and Sons, last gig: Lionel Richie) to see her first underground rock gig. There stood Juffage making an almighty squealing racket and as she covered her ears someone knocked a glass of wine over her. But it's in the sweaty lo-fidelity DIY scene Juffage has learned his trade and although the music is shot through with the noisy guitars and feedback drenched scree of many others, Juffage knows how to craft a tune amidst the debris. There is a cut and paste method of writing at play here which reminds me of the post cLOUDEAD movements of Subtle, Why? and Fog with scattershot drumming and adlibbed, edgy vocals. Not afraid to experiment with other textures there are ambient pieces, full on noise-outs and in 'Under Fanblades' something that sounds like this weeks fall guy Bon Iver cut into a billion pieces and stiched together at random. This album was recorded in various locations (inc. Albini's Electric Audio) over the last 6 years or so and the album has that kind of scattergun approach which generally pays off although final track 'Drone 2', featuring a horrible noise and cut up television shows, could be described as 'a waste of space'. Overall, a strong debut. This comes with a download code where you can get a digital version of the album plus a bonus remix EP, about which, despite my good association with Mr Google, I am unable to find which artists are involved.
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