It’s not often that dance music producers require their audiences to think in order to fully enjoy their work. The mindset seems to be, if you’re thinking you’re not dancing, and that latter concern tends to outweigh all others. Yet some of the most compelling records of the last few years have encouraged introspective moments — DJ Sprinkles’ Midtown 120 Blues immediately springs to mind. It’s rarer still for these weighty moments to come in 12″ form, as albums offer a larger canvas to address issues and aren’t inherently geared towards club play. For their limited edition series of Unleash the Golem singles for Gold Channel Recordings, Juju & Jordash dare to do just that, asking listeners to ponder the existence of their one-time home country of Israel. Inspired in part by their time spend soundtracking the 1920 silent film “Der Golem: wie er in die Welt kam” alongside Dave Moufang, the record is not explicit in its terms but instead provides atmospheres as primed for tackling huge philosophical issues as they are for entertaining deeper dance floors.
Just as Unleash The Golem Part 1 offers two different takes on a single composition, it can be seen as offering two perspectives on one of the world’s most embattled places. “Chelm Is Burning” examines the tangled cacophony of opinions and interests existing within Israel’s diverse constituency, its slender, almost proggy guitar riffs and somber piano chords intertwined with a framework of unyielding bass and conflicted synth chords looming above. “Chelm Is Dubbing,” then, reflects that same constituency’s united belief in the country’s right to exist despite any misgivings. Built on a similar set up of anxious chords and driving bass, a more focused set of motifs emerges, rendered with nattering synth arpeggios and electrified vamps that crash and hiss as if ready to do battle. Both could do some damage in a warm-up set, although the faster and more synth-oriented “Chelm Is Dubbing” is likely to see more action. That Juju & Jordash manage to turn such difficult, complicated issues into glorious, floor-worthy music that can be enjoyed while blissfully ignorant is hugely to their credit. I can hardly wait to see what else comes from this series.