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8 July 2012

Dif Juz - 'Out Of The Trees' (4AD)

Dif Juz is a tough one to place - hard to say as well, but I've always pronounced it like 'diffuse'. This is their last release but chronologically drawn from their first, so I place it here. Out of the Trees takes their two 1981 12" singles and combines them into an LP, with some parts of the Vibrating Air 12" re-recorded in 1986. That material is the A-side, even though the Huremics 12" predates it, so the whole chronology is a bit messy. But that's ok, because this is music that's easy to slip away from consciousness. I don't want to call Dif Juz "slight" but that comes to mind - it's undeniably pleasant, even when vocals creep in (as on 'Heset') and create an odd, atmospheric post-dub 4AD soup. The bass is prodding, there's ripping rack effect textures on the guitars, and errant keyboard notes paint a perfect backdrop to the somewhat forgettable lyrics, which mention the title conceit of 'vibrating air' (isn't that what all sound is?). I really like Dif Juz though - they are a missing link between post-punk experiments such as Rip Rig and Panic and the second Slits album, and What We Talk About When We Talk About 4AD in the  1980s. The dub saturates the Vibrating Air tracks, but the flipside, Huremics, has a more driving feel, like Savage Republic gone surfing in Manchester clubs at the time. It's a bit simpler - 'Re' has triumphant guitar arcs over a solid bass foundation, and 'Mi' is populated with little guitar sounds, dancing in and out of the niches made by rhythm. 'Cs' is a great closer for the record, with psychedelic (almost sci-fi shimmer), bright sky dance beats, and a positive outlook - so maybe that's why it was sequenced here.

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