Exposé Online banner

Mad Juana — Acoustic Voodoo
(Azra 008, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01

Acoustic Voodoo Cover art

I was going to say, “Here’s one out of left field” but that’s unfair. Mad Juana comes from somewhere outside the ballpark entirely, from some dark, candle-lit back-alley fortune teller’s den, where the smell of incense and who-knows-what tells you that boundaries are illusions and reality may not be what you think it is. Like a number of other groups (Charming Hostess, Barbez, and Luminescent Orchestrii come to mind), they mix punk-informed rock with influences from around the world, be they gypsy, Balkan, or whatever. Mad Juana’s particular mix includes some Spanish flavor and more than a little spooky Cajun vibe – not the bouncy sound of Zydeco, more the slow blues of the bayou. And like those other bands, mad Juana features a charismatic female singer, in this case Karmen Guy, a sort of cross-cultural Patti Smith. As the title implies, instrumentation is essentially acoustic, though that does not lead to any shortage of drive or energy. Between Tony Mann’s congas and the mad strumming of Sami Yaffa’s guitar, there’s plenty of propulsive power. Accordion, viola, trumpet, and saxes fill out the sound with a small-scale cinematic esthetic akin to Ennio Morricone’s more offbeat work. And it’s all catchy as hell. Check out their reworking of “Venus in Furs” – included in three alternate versions in addition to the album track.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Mad Juana

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Miriodor - Jongleries Élastiques – Anyone who's at all familiar with Miriodor will be immediately struck by the changes in this French-Canadian band. Where's all the synth, where's all the soprano sax melodies? The addition of Bernard...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues