Tag Archives: dif juz

Dif Juz – the (still) hidden gem of 4AD

THE EIGHTIES WERE GOLDEN YEARS FOR THE 4AD LABEL, SHOWCASING SUCH SUCCESSFUL ACTS AS THE COCTEAU TWINS, DEAD CAN DANCE, THE WOLFGANG PRESS, THROWING MUSES, PIXIES, MODERN ENGLISH AND THIS MORTAL COIL.  AS MUCH AS WE ADORE MANY OF THESE GROUPS, OVER THE YEARS THE LESSER KNOWN 4AD BAND DIF JUZ HAS BEEN STEADILY GAINING RANK OVER THEIR PEERS ON OUR TURNTABLE.

WHY DIF JUZ WAS NOT MORE POPULAR IN THEIR TIME IS ONE OF THOSE UNANSWERABLE QUESTIONS, A MUSICAL MYSTERY THAT DEFIES LOGIC OR REASON.  PERHAPS THEIR INSTRUMENTAL BLEND OF POST-PUNK GUITARS, DUB BASS LINES AND JAZZ-INSPIRED POLY-RHYTHMS WERE JUST A LITTLE TOO AHEAD OF THEIR TIME.  OR THEIR ABILITY TO SWITCH FROM DRIVING, JANGLY, ANGULAR ROCKERS TO SUBDUED ATMOSPHERIC MELODIES WAS SIMPLY OVERLOOKED AND UNDER-APPRECIATED.  WHO KNOWS?!  FORTUNATELY FOR US THEY’VE LEFT SOME FINE ALBUMS AS PROOF OF THEIR TALENTS.

THE ALBUM  SOUNDPOOL (1999) IS A COMBINATION OF DIF JUZ’S FIRST TWO E.P.S, HUREMICS AND VIBRATING AIR (BOTH 1981), AND THE SONG ‘NO MOTION’  WHICH APPEARED ON THE 4AD COMPILATION LONELY IS AN EYESORE (1987).  NOT TO DIMINISH THEIR LATER RECORDINGS, BUT HUREMICS AND VIBRATING AIR  ARE WHERE DIF JUZ TRULY SHINE BRIGHTEST.  THE GUITAR WORK OF BROTHERS ALAN AND DAVE CURTIS IS AN ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL SYMBIOSIS, THE DRUMMING OF RICHARD THOMAS SIMPLY OUTSTANDING AND THE DUB-HEAVY BASS OF GARY BROMLEY A PERFECT GROUNDING FOUNDATION.

UNLIKE MANY OTHER RECORDINGS FROM 1981, DIF JUZ IS AGING VERY VERY WELL, PERHAPS STRENGTHENING THE ARGUMENT THAT THEY WERE INDEED AHEAD OF THEIR TIME AND ARE STILL DESERVING OF SOME MUCH-NEEDED RECOGNITION.  WE SAY, JUST BUY IT!!!



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