We’re certainly not dedicated to covering and following certain music and artists just because they’re a part of a scene or a movement. We tend to write about everything that draws our attention and in this case it’s FUJAKO‘s very interesting, alternative and even extreme I’d say, look on hip-hop did the job. The band is actually more of an international collaborative project, recording its music from Porto to Brussels. Soul Buzz is their return and quite a neat one as well.
Rarely can a hip hop album make me spin it more than once and this small record put out on a 10″ by the Belgian Ångstrom Records gave me a lot of material to come back to. The complexity of the pieces grant you a number of listens and many new sonic discoveries during each replay. FUJAKO are far from your everyday hip hop band. They’re experimental to the bone. Their music is based on massive analogue sound, thick basslines, sparse ambiance and dubbier effecting. The instrumentals were produced by both Jonathan Uliel Saldanha (Portugal) and Nicolas Esterle (Belgium), the latter some of you may know as the modular shaman behind the Belgian act Ripit.
Everything about this record stays quite outside any box, even the vocals. They’re mostly in the hands of Black Saturn, except for the Citizen Ledge featuring in Preacher. Usually the leading element in hip hop, here the vox are varying and diverse. From sticking to the more straight-forward rapping to being heavily effected and transformed into lively soundscapes, sunk in unhealthy amounts of reverb and delay. At points they get quite dubbier and sometimes they even resemble voices found in power electronics.
In general Soul Buzz is a super intelligently approached record. Each track stands for itself and follows a specific logic so it affect you in a different way. Still, the album as a whole functions perfectly homogeneous and makes you not only spin it over and over again but wanting to hear this massive sound on a huge sounds system live. Good thing is FUJAKO are actually pretty active live as well.