The world is certainly going to miss Just A Band. Their performance at the Blankets & Wine Aloe Blacc Show marked the start of a two-year hiatus that would see the trio pursue solo projects.
For nearly 10 years the ensemble made music that startled and delighted audiences across the globe. Their music videos and installations made use of different media, including puppetry, photography, and illustrations to convey dense and layered narratives.
Reflecting on the journey so far, band member Daniel Muli saw a lot of growth and change from a “more quiet, even timid sound” to JAB sounding surer of themselves. And now, buoyed by this confidence, they want to experiment a little on their own.
It’s fitting that their last major projects allowed fans to take a peek behind the curtain and see JAB’s creative processes plus show their increased growth as storytellers.
The first, PERSPECTIVE was a multi-sensory video art installation that run till April 8th. Muli says: “It was another chance to show how the collective is able to work outside the usual conventions of music makers.” The exhibition contained three short clips, including ‘Routine’ and ‘Violence’, all told through the first person point of view.
In the clips, the band merge off-beat, infectious background music with provocative narratives. ‘Routine’, for instance, sees a character reliving his suicide, while ‘Violence’ plays in alternating sequences a loving and an abusive romantic relationship. These single-channel installations set audiences in the minds, sights and emotions of a set of characters as they deal with real and surreal situations.
With the publication of Just A Book, an edition of the Goethe-Institut’s Contact Zones Series, the band went on what Muli describes as “an enjoyable and surprising journey". Given the hiatus and the fact that the book came with a CD of old unreleased songs, JAB have neatly closed that chapter of the band’s life.
“The consistent support and positive responses from fans and audiences has been humbling and inspires us to continue improving and producing work that is worthy of people interests, effort, and time,” says Muli.