- Words by Phie McKenzie
- Mix artwork by Ralph Bakshi
Jadu Heart come through with an ethereal mix of other-worldly folk ahead of their performance at Lost Village.
When we heard mysterious masked duo Jadu Heart were going to be playing at Lost Village this summer, we couldn’t think of a better act suited for the festival’s otherworldly dynamic. Taking place within an ‘abandoned village’ the festival plays on the mystical qualities of a hidden woodland with elements of the paranormal. It’s an ideal setup for the duo who take on the form of magical characters Dina and Faro – weird, cursed monsters from another dimension.
The pair behind the project met while studying, creating the story of Dina and Faro when they were assigned a task to create music in character. They have since signed to Mura Masa’s Anchor Point label and released their multi-layered, ambient, electronic debut LP, Wallflower. Now working on their second album and the second chapter of the Jadu Heart story, their Lost Village show will be their only one for the rest of the year.
We asked them to create a mix for our Groundwork series to give us not only taste of the magical experience that awaits Lost Village revellers but what’s to come on album number two.
Notion: Thanks for creating this mix for us.
Faro: It was good fun. It’s nice to make a mix where you don’t have to play club music. When we DJ, it’s a different kind of thing, it’s nice to play these relaxed songs.
Dina: It includes a lot of what we have been listening to lately.
Is this a mix made for a particular time or purpose?
Faro: We’ve been listening to quite a lot of psychedelic folk music. We really like edgy stuff at the moment. We feel like folk has got a bit of a sound to it.
Dina: I think a lot of people are scared of folk music. It was really uncool for a while – not that we have made it cool or anything – but we just discovered it and thought actually it’s really nice. A lot of the stuff on our new album is based on folky stuff and I guess that’s why.
Who have you got on this mix?
Faro: We featured two songs from a band called Wovoka Gentle, they are a band we found last year. They are so unknown.
Dina: They are so unknown, I don’t understand how no one knows their songs because they are really good.
Faro: There’s a song on there about halfway through called ‘When Cameron Was in Egypt’s Land, Let My Camera Go’. The song is super trippy. I feel a lot of people don’t make that kind of music at the moment; there’s not an abundance of it.
Dina: It’s cool to see young people making music like that. Another person on there is Paul White, who’s one of our favourites. We have always been big fans of him and he followed us on Twitter! We messaged him on Twitter and we’ve been making some tunes together since. He’s just released an album and there’s a song on here called ‘The Turning’ and we’ve had it on repeat for about a month, it’s such an amazing song.
Faro: There’s an artist called Haley on there too. We tuned the song down a bit, made it a bit more eery. It’s a song about a girl and boy being in bed and there are bugs in the room, and the guy is scared of the bugs and she has to catch the bugs for him. We thought that was just a cool little concept for a song.
You’ve even created some artwork for the mix
Faro: That’s actually a screenshot from the Lord of the Rings, there used to be loads of animated versions of it by a guy called Ralph Bakshi. They are so creepy and weird.
Dina: We love 2D animation, you know the old school BFG, such a cool style that isn’t really around anymore because it’s all 3D now. That 2D animation, the kind that takes years to draw every single shot of it, so much goes into it.
Faro: The artwork used to be a lot more conceptual for those kinds of films. Instead of the background being generated, they’d have all these weird paintings instead and this fits the vibe of the mix quite a lot.
We’re looking forward to you playing Lost Village festival in August. How does this mix compare to an upcoming live set of yours?
Faro: Textually it’s going to compare a lot. We’re rebuilding our set now; we’ve only just started. We used to play with a band and now it’s just us two, and it’s kind of more electronic. We’re making the live set more upbeat. It’s got these folky, melancholy textures in it but it’s more of a dance thing, a lot of improvised stuff.
Dina: We’re also going to be playing new songs from the album, which have a folky influence so that will be interesting.
Is there anything more you can share about your new album?
Dina: We’ve been writing it for a while and have written so many songs. In the past couple of months, we have written the two singles that will be for it. One of the songs is more like dad rock in a way, we really have come back to all the music that was super lame when we were younger, but now we really like.
Faro: It’s got a Radiohead influence, kind of alt bands, rocky bands.
Dina: But with that, there’s still a lot of it which is ‘Jadu’, our original beats so we haven’t lost what we did before. We’ve evolved a bit and incorporated it into the album. A lot of the songs, although we have produced them up, were originally written on the guitar, so that’s been really satisfying for us.
Jadu Heart play Lost Village Festival 23-26th August.
Follow Phie McKenzie on Twitter