16.06.15

The 10 best mindblowing song productions, according to Juju & Jordash

Juju & Jordash (Gal "Juju" Aner and Jordan "Jordash" Czamanski) have been racking up releases for labels like Golf Channel Recordings and Dekmantel for the best part of a decade now, but in recent years it's seemed like the duo have hit their stride, producing the most confident and accomplished material of their career. Last year's excellent 'Clean-Cut' album saw Aner and Czamanski refine their drawn-out, colourful, psychedelic take on house music, resulting in their most satisfying full-length yet. 

One of the reasons they seem to have become so adept in the studio might be due to how increasingly in-demand they've become as a touring act. Their live show is entirely improvised and entirely hardware-based, and they've taken it to just about every major club and festival around – it's not a huge leap to assume that the experience gained playing their drum machines and synthesizers live has been brought back to the studio with them.

Needless to say, Juju & Jordash's combined musicality and studio chops mean that they understand, on a microscopic level, what makes a good tune, and that's why their contribution to Dummy's 10 best series is so interesting. Their selections are focused on song production, but the emphasis is really on the song – the production, be it the synthetic genius of Thomas Dolby, the Fairlight experiments of Yello's Boris Blank, or the drum rhythms of Arif Mardin and Chaka Khan, is always in aid of the song; it's never purely about the sounds and textures used.

Juju & Jordash are set to play this year's Dekmantel Festival, taking place in Amsterdam from July 31st to August 2nd, as well as Dekmantel's Off Sonar party on June 21st. Take a listen to their selections below.

01. Chaka Khan I Feel For You

Jordan Czamanski: "Best pop song production of all time? Maybe. Probably the best DMX drum machine ever sounded. Tight tight tight! And of course that break with the bass slide thing. Iconic pop production by Arif Mardin."

02. Chris & Cosey Cowboys In Cuba

Jordan Czamanski: "Raw sounds sculpted to sound amazing on any system. Those reverse guitars or synths or whatever riding the background throughout the song, behind the very oddly-produced drum machine, makes a totally unique soundscape. Way more interesting than most techno tracks these days."

03. Yellow Magic Orchestra Computer Game

Jordan Czamanski: "If you've ever heard this played in a club, you'll know why it’s on this list. That intro just sounds amazing, and when the drums come in… Jesus."

04. Thomas Dolby Screen Kiss

Jordan Czamanski: "This is what a fretless bass can sound like. Smooth like buttah."

05. Fleetwood Mac Sara

Jordan Czamanski: "I can never seem to crank up the amp enough for this. The backing vocals are just as impressive as those in 10cc’s I’m Not In Love, if a bit more subtle. Amazing."

06. Ryuichi Sakamoto & Thomas Dolby Field Work

Gal Aner: "A dream collaboration between two geniuses results in this epic tune. Beautifully sequenced synths, Japanese-flavoured melodies, sweet FM style chords, awesome drum sound, and just generally so many ear candies and an attention to detail that goes so well with the moving vocals. The sudden 'switch' around 2:46 simply blew my mind on first listen and still does."

07. Grace Jones Private Life

Gal Aner: "Everything is just perfect about this production – so smooth, rich, hi-fi, and dynamic. Sly & Robbie supply the best imaginable drums and bass, and Wally Badarou colours everything with beautiful synth chords and melodies just in the right places. Grace Jones’s amazing vocals shine on top with a cool and creepy harmoniser and subtle delays."

08. Neil Young Hitchhiker

Gal Aner: "Great to hear Neil going all demented dub on this album. Beautiful production creating a wall of sound and full spectrum solely from guitar and vocal, while still sounding like a live performance."

09. P-Funk All-Stars Hydraulic Pump

Gal Aner: "Crazy space funk ride… Kicks off with one of the best clap sounds ever, massive flangers, and a unique stereo slap bass guitar. As usual with George Clinton, the vocals and choirs jumps at you from all directions on top of spot-on drums, sneaky guitar, and a tight horn section. A decade later Orlando Voorn sampled the unforgettable synth hook, which resulted in one of my favourites techno tracks of all time."

10. Yello No More Words

Gal Aner: "These Swiss masters always wow me with their special brand of surprising multi-layered productions that also make you laugh hard. You never know what will come next (i.e the distorted guitar chords and upfront no – more – words here) and you can hear that they spent ages in the studio crafting their songs. Stick in for the last few seconds for one extra laugh."

Juju & Jordash play Dekmantel Festival's Off Sonar party on June 21st (tickets), followed by Dekmantel Festival in Amsterdam from July 31st to August 2nd 2015 (tickets).