FUJAKO came out of the clash of Jonathan Uliel Saldanha and Nyko Esterle, two producers obsessed with echo, bass and space. The first one, raised in Portugal and part of the collectives Soopa and Mécanosphère, deals with sonic alchemy, and is also known as HHY. The second one, raised in France, part of the Radon collective and a rider of the sound waves, is also known as Ripit. Both met to summon music of unlooped hip-hop, filled with spectres of haunting dub and ecstatic scapes.
LANDFORM, their first record (out on Wordsound Digital and Ångstrom Records) was born in a small stone house studio in the burnt forests and mountains of Portugal, between paradise and the gate of hell, made from soundscapes and beats recorded on mostly acoustic instruments, created in an hostile—yet natural—environment. After the initial production phase in the woods, LANDFORM was then haunted by the voices of several guests such as Sensational, Seraphim, Native, Cheravif and Scalper, as well as by the additional trash turntablism of DJ Urine.
For those who value such “luminous coincidences” (in the words of Louis Pauwels, of “Morning Of The Magicians” fame), I can recall that on that day in early August, as Jonathan Uliel Saldanha and Nyko Esterle, or HHY and Ripit if you prefer, packed their gear into a decaying automobile and left the city of Porto heading towards central Portugal’s mountainside, it was raining ashes. As forest fires ravaged the landscape all through the country, the sky was a fiery orange on an almost daily basis, and a glimpse of the Plagues of Egypt was offered to our modern day sinfulness. Fire is, of course, a central driving force in the process of alchemy, and alchemy is a central preoccupation permeating these two musicians work; the endless, minute recombinations and fusions of The Great Work are not at all distant from hip-hop’s sampling and reconfiguring tactics, or from the miraculous transmutations of sonic matter created by dub strategies. So, on LANDFORM, hip-hop and dub are explored as techniques of fusion; all manner of sound substances (instruments from various ages and places, all played by the duo in a short-circuit process of “self-sampling”, the MCs voices, the ghostly effects) are welded in a metaphorical forge, coalescing into a form of cosmic mountain-top music. Filipe Silva (a.k.a. The Banshee) is a portuguese musician. With Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, he runs Soopa, a polymorphic entity producing, presenting and releasing any form of music that acknowledges sound’s potential for transfiguration.
“I believe in the irony of mountains” (JG Ballard)
HHY is the main alias for multi-spectre instrumentalist and producer Jonathan Uliel Saldanha. His music is informed by Alchemy and Hermetic cosmologies, RA, Heavy Bass Pressure, Indian music, Calliope, Echo Chamber, Sonic Mayhem & Voodoo Downbeats.Under his own name or with other formations, HHY shares projects and collaborations with musicians such: Mark Stewart, Damo Suzuki, Steve Mackay, DJ Scotch Egg, Raz Mesinai, Vincent Paternostro, Scott Nydegger, Benjamin Brejon, Ewen Chardronnet and countless other artists from a wide lexicon of sonic contexts (Unlooped Hip-Hop, Spectral Dub, Brass Band, Shamanic Improv, Chaos Rock…). One of the individual entities lurking in the engine room of the Porto-based SOOPA and Faca Monstro collectives, and the transnational Mécanosphère organism; he is part of numerous projects such as HHY & The Macumbas, Herzbeat Hotel, F.R.I.C.S., Besta Bode, Mental Liberation Ensemble, and Çuta Kebab and Party.
RIPIT or Nyko Esterle forged his sonic weapons in the alternative electronic scene of Paris. Now based in Bruxelles, he runs several musical projects (Solar Skeletons, Extern Ykon, V-atak) and also music-related activities such as sound engineer at the Black Virgin Studio and the booking agency Vautour Operator. During the last decade, Nyko has toured Europe and North-America several times, delivering a wide range of musical genres, from breakcore to bluesy doom, from ambient to hip-hop, from harsh noise to Grindcore, always keeping a “Ripit’s touch” that would be called Industrial by some. Among a huge list of collaborators are Mike Watt, Steve Mackay (the Stooges), Marshal Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Hecate, Jason Forrest, Xanopticon, Koonda Holaa, just to name a few.
released September 1, 2012
Edition limited to 500 copies.
Recorded in Aldeia do Fujaco, Portugal.
Sleeve Artwork by Eric Audoubert
Layout by Anne Fontenelle
Composed & produced by Jonathan Uliel Saldanha & Nicolas Esterle
Mixed down at Silent-Block.
Mastering by Frederic Alstadt at Ångström Mastering
Cut by Yann de Kéroullas