- Artist: Jattatura
- Format: CD
- Release Date:10/7/2003
Space-rock ghost rides through inner-space? Dub-hop elegies for the disinformation age? Geeky jazz-rock posing as industrial music? However you take the music of NYC's jettatura, and whether you hone in on it's fatback beatscapes or it's eerie, sampladelic high-end, you'll come away with a haunting combination of cinematic sounds, rock to electro-textures and stone grooves. But while they may be eclectic in influence, the two-man group - drummer/producer Dave Hill Jr. and multiinstrumentalist James Rotondi - have turned their free flowing creative operating system into a dark, compelling style that could be a spooky cousin to Jon Hassell's global funk minimalism; Sigur Ros's ambient-rock abstractions; Talvin Singh's motoric ethno-techno; Angelo Badalamenti's emo-surf intrigue; Dan the Automator's art-hop orchestrations; or even the lap-top blip-hop of Autechre and Kid606. But if jettatura is that arty, it's still economical; four-minute instrumental songs based around a brooding breed of hooks and vamps. Taking their name from traditional Italian magic - 'jettatura' signifies the 'casting of the evil eye,' though it might speak to any projection of supernatural inner force - Hill and Rotondi began exploring their artistic chemistry in Seattle in 1998, under the auspices of ex-Santana great Michael Shrieve, who fit the drummer and guitarist together for a West Coast tour with ultra-literate songstress McKinley. For the next few years, they'd record and perform between other commitments: Rotondi, a sometime music crit for Spin and The Wire, who'd cut his teeth on the San Francisco acid-jazz scene with groups like the Grassy Knoll and Garaj Mahal, spent most of 1999 to 2002 on the road in Australia, the US and Europe, playing guitar and keys with Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle, before joining French electronic sensations Air on keyboards and vocals for their 16-month world tour supporting '10,000 Hz. Legend.' Hill, a Seattle jazz stalwart and session ace who'd run the voodoo down with jazzbos like Skerik (Critters Buggin, Les Claypool), Shrieve, Leif Totusek, and Brad Houser, also has a secret grunge past (with Chris Cornell's brother Pete in Inflatable Soule) and a World Percussion pedigree; he was a prime architect and player in Seattle's annual Bumberdrum concert with Trilok Gurtu and Mickey Hart. Relocating to NYC in 2000, he's joined the growing lap-top producer/DJ ranks with his Guv'nor Beats and Brainboxing projects, Mac-rockin' clubs like Galapagos, Luna Lounge, and Luxx. That digital audio acumen, with bending-end software like ACID, Reason, and Live, has resulted in Hill giving seminars at EMP and proselytizing in magazines like Remix, Mix, and Modern Drummer. But jettatura's future - and their future music - is decidedly in the now. And that eternal now might be the hyped-up apocalypse funk of 'Ghetto Foot,' the scimitar-flashing neo-'70s art-rock in 'Bed of Stars,' or the filmic, memoryshard meditation of 'Tight Corner.' But it's all emanating from jettatura's keen sonic eye, in an era where the very idea of 'musician' is morphing; embracing all the improvised sweat of the bandstand while becoming both self-cannibalizing DJ and Mac-Magus, making 50 year-old jazz samples and last night's badass jam all part of the same audio alchemy.
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