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

2020-05-15
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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nurse with Wound - She and Me Fall Together in Free Death – Beta-lactam Ring Records seems to revel in obscurity. Most of their product is released only on LP in limited pressings, they come with minimal credits, the discs themselves have lovely graphics in...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues