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Elmore Judd - Unborn Again EP

Elmore Judd Unborn Again
Elmore Judd - Unborn Again EP
(12") Honest Jon's HJP46, 2008-11-24

Elmore Judd Unborn Again
Elmore Judd - Unborn Again EP
(12") Honest Jon's HJP46, 2008-11-24

Info :
Six brand new exclusives, going deeper and more diverse still, and brimming with musicality and good humour. This is vintage Judd: dazed and dubwise New York art-funk meets wonky skank in amongst the sozzled mongrels of Malian folk, rembetica and Gypsy jazz. Tip!!

Tracklisting :
A1. Bass Bully
A2. Air Makes My Day
A3. Groove Killer
B1. Skull Head Convention
B2. Ships In The Dark
B3. Staring At The Screen

Links :

Band Members :
Elmore Judd -lead vocals and keys
Iasta b - vocals
Enrique Joyette - vocals
Louis Slipperz - Synth
Criszuki-electric guitar
Skinz - drums
Leon de Bretagne - Bass

Biography :
Who is Elmore Judd? Listening to Insect Funk should give you a pretty good idea. The first thing you'll notice is that he's got an amazing record collection. Insect Funk references an array of artists and styles; from between-the-sheets soul and P-funk to art-school disco and rock avant-gardism, UK hip hop and African roots music, horror soundtracks and jazz.

You'll also notice that Elmore Judd has a vivid imagination; his world is populated by pirates, rats, Snakefinger, dead men and Tron. He lives in London. And he obviously knows how to have a good time - Insect Funk is an ecstatic, danceable, menacing record. He's probably the man at the party having more fun than anyone else and he's definitely going home with your date. Sound too good to be true? It is good, and it's almost true. Tease apart Elmore Judd's multiple personalities, and you'll find something like this….

Jesse Hackett made the first Elmore Judd record, Angel Sound, more or less on his own back in 2005, had a thousand copies made and sold them outside Rhythm Records - formerly Honest Jon's - on Camden High Street. 'I'm not such a bad salesman,' Jesse remembers. 'One day I sold ten. And they were a tenner each, so it was £100. Not a bad afternoon's work.' Drummer Tom Skinner made a brief appearance on Angel Sound, but he's all over Insect Funk, playing a kit, primitive drum machines, scaffolding poles and pots and pans. Guitar duties are handled by Chris Morphitis, childhood friend of Jesse and Tom. He's also the bouzouki player and rembetika enthusiast. 'He's half Greek' Jesse explains, 'and he's really got in to his Greek thing. He's interested in 1930s underground Greek music, really dark, weird stuff, all about smoking hash and funny goings on in brothels'.

Enrique Joyette is the band's secret weapon. His sweet vocals sit behind Jesse's on the record, but live he's a full-on soul shouter. He also kept the band alive while the record was being made, bringing his mum's West Indian cooking to the studio. 'We'd have no money,' says Tom, 'but at least we'd have something to eat!' Leon de Bretagne, the unmistakably French bass player, has also played with Bilal, John Legend, Ty and Estelle. Keeping it in the family, Jesse's brother Louis also lends a hand with percussion, keys and production. He's a veteran of the UK hip hop scene, turntablist to the Taskforce crew and originator of the £10 Bag mix CD series.

Insect Funk was put together in Jesse and Louis's studio space, just off the Camden Road, in a pretty much derelict warehouse. Their nearest neighbours were the upholsterers upstairs, and the band could - and did - make as much noise as they wanted. Jesse: 'We recorded smashing some scaffolding poles out in the courtyard. Just started throwing them around to give it that industrial edge…' You can hear the results of this al fresco recording method on Don't Lie, a cover of the Snakefinger tune and the only non-original track on the album.

Sessions were relaxed and the band set up was as near to live as possible, a situation that influenced the sound and shape of the record. 'We had loads of jams, weird ideas… we'd normally start just by playing. I don't think we ever started with a song first. It was much more about just playing and catching free ideas, as they came up,' explains Jesse. Not that it was all free-form chaos, according to Tom: 'We'd go back to these things and refine them - by that point maybe Jesse would have written some words and we'd construct the songs around them.'

No-one could accuse Elmore Judd of making simple music; they operate on the principle that if you've got a groove it can only be improved by a bit of bouzouki. Found a hook? Scuff it up, play it backwards and really make it sing. Ask them who they imagine their listeners to be, though, and they're totally direct and uncomplicated. 'People' says Jesse. 'Doesn't matter about age, or a scene, or a style.' 'It's our sound,' agrees Tom. 'It's not nu-rave.'

Future plans include lots of gigs. They've got an enthusiastic fan base for their live shows; joyful, sweaty parties where all are welcome. They're already working on the next record, but not at the Camden studio. Jesse shakes his head. 'It burnt down. The whole building was torched. We lost everything. The room was just …charred. Including our multi-tracks with our album on. I was convinced it was fucked, but we managed to clean up the boxes a little bit and send them off to Roland and the hard drives were fine. They recovered all our material, the whole album.' He's philosophical about their losses, though. 'It was horrible but it was just… things. You've still got your ideas and the music inside your head.'

So that's Elmore Judd; musician, music lover, survivor, fabulous figment of a collective imagination.


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