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Rocket Juice & The Moon CD


Price: £8.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Honest Jon's Records
  • ASIN: B00775650K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,256 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. 1-2-3-4-5-6 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Hey, Shooter (feat. Erykah Badu) 4:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Lolo (feat. Fatoumata Diawara & M.anifest) 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Night Watch 2:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Forward Sweep 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Follow-Fashion (feat. Fatoumata Diawara & M.anifest) 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Chop Up (feat. M.anifest & M3nsa) 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Poison (feat. Damon Albarn) 3:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Extinguished (feat. Cheick Tidiane Seck) 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Rotary Connection 2:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Check Out 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. There 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Worries 1:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Benko (feat. Fatoumata Diawara & Damon Albarn) 2:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. The Unfadable (feat. M.anifest) 2:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Dam(n) [feat. Erykah Badu & M.anifest] 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Fatherless 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Leave-Taking 2:07£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Damon Albarn, Tony Allen and Flea. With Erykah Badu, Fatoumata Diawara, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, M.anifest, and Cheick Tidiane Seck. High up in the skies, amongst the clouds, Rocket Juice & The Moon was born. Literally. It happened back in 2008, when Damon Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen convened on the same Lagos flight, to play and exchange musical ideas in that city as part of the Africa Express collective. Relishing a shared enthusiasm for one another's work, and bonding immediately, there and then the triumvirate laid down the blueprint for Rocket Juice. Still, more than a year passed before conditions were set for three weeks together at Albarn's West London studio, recording and refining two-dozen startlingly out and deeply funky instrumental grooves. The next stage was to invite onboard some extremely talented friends, with further sessions in Dallas, New York, Chicago and Paris… Erykah Badu, no less, queen of contemporary soul. Three companions from Africa Express: Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, whose debut album has topped World Music charts since its release last Autumn; her multi-talented compatriot Cheick Tidiane Seck, whose prodigious keyboardism has lit up releases by artists ranging from Youssou N'Dour to Hank Jones; the young, Ghanaian rapper M.anifest, quizzically existential, switching seamlessly between Twi and English. And the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, long-time stalwarts in the Honest Jon's set-up. Finally, the tracks were dispatched for mixing to Berlin, to be meticulously honed, polished and envenomed by Mark Ernestus, one half of the legendary Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound partnerships. The result is Rocket Juice & The Moon, a triumphant exploration and proliferation of kinetic Afro-funk rhythms: organic, exuberant, communal music-making, evidenced by the project's live debut on stage as part of the Honest Jon's Chop Up in late 2011, which hit London, Marseille, Dublin, and Cork to such great acclaim. Where the best of vintage Afrobeat sides sustained their concentrated energies over the course of sprawling, marathon jams, RJ & TM manages something altogether different: the group bottles the idiom into capsules of funk… and real songs. Beautifully buoyed by Erykah Badu's unmistakable vocals, Hey, Shooter brilliantly traverses metaphysical spaceways sans any semblance of noodling. Lolo and Follow-Fashion — featuring the open-hearted sensuality of Diawara's singing, M.anifest's quick, brawny science, and more brass blasts — play like its musical cousins or codas. Indeed, the album's shrewd sequencing creates the composite effect of tracks working both individually or within the context of an extended song-cycle.

BBC Review

To enjoy this excellent album, it probably helps to bear certain things in mind. Firstly, you should be aware that this is a funk album. A very odd funk album, but a funk album nonetheless. If you do not like funk, there is every chance you will not enjoy it. This may seem like an obvious thing to point out, but several early reviews of this 18-track gem have been written by the self-diagnosed funk-phobic who then go on to register their surprise that they have not really connected with it. But given that the rhythm section of the group includes arguably the world’s funkiest drummer (Tony Allen) and its most famous white funk bassist currently applying a bony thumb to a fretless instrument (Flea), it’s hard to take these lukewarm reviews seriously.

Secondly, this is a jam album, and if you’re averse to looseness then this just isn’t going to cut it. This album is hellishly loose. You know the old woman who lived in the shoe? The one who had so many children she didn’t know what to do? This album is much looser than her. Imagine you got locked in a laxative factory with nothing else to eat for an entire weekend. Your stools on Monday morning would be compact and bullet-like compared to the looseness of this collection of synth funk, neo-Afrobeat, highlife, organic hip hop and nu-soul jams. In a final fit of total looseness, the band simply sent off a bunch of recordings to their record label and left it to the sleeve designer to give them and the album a name.

Thirdly, RJ&TM may also feature Damon Albarn as a core member, but his job here is not singing Kinks-inspired vignettes about pigeon fanciers called Bert who live in Surbiton in a Mockney accent. Instead, he’s teasing a refreshingly unhinged wall of fizzing and bleeping sound out of an array of analogue synthesizers. To be fair he does sing on a couple of tracks, most notably Poison which is reminiscent of one of Blur’s all-too-uncommon, introspective, sincere ballads. Vocal duties elsewhere are shared between an impressive international cast of singers and rappers, including the mesmeric Erykah Badu who, along with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, makes Hey, Shooter so memorable.

Put simply, this album is too stone to the bone for dilettantes or debutantes – but for those wanting a herbalised oddity that tips its scruffy, psychedelic cap to Fela Kuti, William Onyeabor, the Ohio Players, Fred Wesley, Augustus Pablo, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Bootsy Collins, this album is a genuinely enjoyable find.

--John Doran

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth on 3 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan of the various musical outpourings of the brilliant Damon Albarn, from Blur to Gorillaz, from Dr Dee to The Good, The Bad & The Queen, I have to admit to a sense of anti-climax after listening to this latest release a dozen times or so. Musically it's as accomplished as you'd expect, and with musicians such as The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's bassist 'Flea', and Soul giant Erykah Badu, there's plenty of quality on board here. The problem for me is the lack of any real variety or intricacy on the album; the bass lines are taut but repetitive, while that old cliche 'they all sound the same', is unerringly resonant after several listens. I have to say that one of the things I've always liked about the records made by Albarn is his distinctive voice, but he only sings on two tracks here.
Rocket Juice and the Moon is a decent mix-tape of funk oriented sessions from some brilliant musicians, however I think it's high time that Albarn stretched himself a little more; surely his genre-hopping of recent years is what's made his musical output so consistently appealing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr A Watt on 9 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD
To quote Jimmy from Quadrophenia...

'why don't you just turn over and do a few underwater farts'.
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By Fletch-a-sketch TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What an interesting album, Damon Albarn moves from the slick production of Gorillaz to to this more minimal approach.
I don’t think I have ever heard ‘Flea’ (Of the Red Hot Chillie peppers) sound so restrained, and Tony Allen’s drumming is pretty minimal.
The music is kind of funky certainly grooves and the vocalists Erykah Badu, Fatoumata Diawara, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, M.anifest, and Cheick Tidiane Seck, are top quality.
Nothing like what I was expecting but still very good.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Brown VINE VOICE on 11 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'm guessing some people may be anticipating a full-on Damon fest, a-la Gorrilaz or The Good, The Bad and The Queen, and will be extremely disappointed when they hear Rocket Juice... Albarn's role in this is more catalyst and musical director for what has already been pinned accurately as a very loose funk record with a heavy north African, Fela Kuti flavour.
But if you can put aside your expectations, it's actually extremely good. Tony Allen and Flea lock together to create a groove so solid you could set your watch by it, allowing Albarn and his guests the luxury of laying whatever they want over it without worrying about the back beat. For instance On Night Watch and Forward Sweep, which are essentially a series of keyboard washes and tones that go nowhere, in the grand funk tradition they rely on 'feel' rather than melody, but its engaging stuff. None of this bad, but if you're hoping for the winsome pretty melodies that Albarn is known for they're in short supply (indeed, his voice doesn't appear until the middle of album).
Also, a lot of the tracks are relatively short - hence the 18 song count - and feel impressionistic, rather than carefully worked out, a sort of first take "That feels kinda nice, let's keep it" vibe. Also, even where a vocal track does seem to be building up a head of steam ie Follow-Fashion, the song is allowed to stumble to a halt for no good reason, which can be annoying if you're enjoying the number, but also means that nothing here outstays its welcome.
So, perhaps for these reasons, Rocket... can feel a little slight - I guess that's what happens when you're more concerned with capturing a musical moment, rather than trying to meticulously create one - but taken on its own terms, it's a great album.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Harrison on 5 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
You can certainly spot the point at which Damon left the Gorillaz. Just before he made this recording! Don't get me wrong, it is good, but only as an 'extra cd of particular interest to none but the most avid All-branian'. I loved the drumming, but it seems to be a very un-formed album-sound over-all. Too many hyphens, I think. Nice album cover.
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