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******* This CD includes 11 songs and a video with extras on CD-ROM. ******* Warm beats wrapped in sensuous melodies, draped with layers of textured samples and sultry guitar parts. Jute swirls with intensity and beauty. Members Julie Axis, Joe Axis, and Robb Shakespeare manage to weave a variety of influences and colors into a beautiful river of sound. Altar Magazine says: Moody, deep, smokey, thick, layered, ethereal vocals. Clean but complex, smooth but intriguing with well constructed songs and rhythms that have a certain something that says... this is Jute, not one of a million other bands. The CD lives up to the 'narcotic' part of it's name, it's hypnotic instrumentals and sweet, dreaminess demand more than one listen. But it's much to smooth to be violent. The music is layered in a intriguing way that made me eager to discover what each track would unfold into. There is no guessing where each song will go - each is a journey to a different place in space and time. It won't make you dance, it won't make you cry, but it can set you free to relax and let dreams fly... there isn't a flat or boring tune on this record. Maximum Ink says: A narcotic that is VIOLENT? Could this music be the soundtrack to a high suspense high tech pop geek movie? Or perhaps it's one of the fresher breezes to blow out of Chicago lately....Miss Axis' ethereal vocals will enchant and entice you, as the subtle sultry rhythms wash over you...You will need your 'Violent Narcotic' fix again and again. And again. I know. I am a Jute junkie. This is spellbinding music for your winter in oblivion. Press play. --Andrew Frey, Maximum Ink BabySue Magazine says: Interesting Chicago band. The tunes on 'a violent narcotic' sound something like a cross between Bill Laswell, The Cocteau Tewins, and Yoko Ono. Jute compositions are built around dub-like rhythms and feature spooky electronics that merge with hypnotic female vocals. While the tunes have definite parameters, the band obviously enjoys experimenting with sounds. These 11 tracks are dense and peculiar, yet they have a strangely calming effect. Wonderful stuff here, particularly when you consider the fact that the band is doing it all on their own. Bewildering and satisfying. [Excellent rating] Splendid Ezine says: In the wake of high-profile crossovers by Massive Attack and Portishead, the word 'downtempo' has lost much of it's power. Jute, however, stand poised to renew the sense of sensual floating the word once carried. While the group's various musical elements are nothing new to the genre, only a handful of artists have used them this successfully. A Violent Narcotic is a rich, moving example of what the trip-hop genre can achieve. Lush, enveloping melodies are encased in rhythms that move like amber and experimental sounds that add unexpected angles to music that is all curves. In the middle of all this, the voice rises; here it's provided by Julie Axis, formerly of My Scarlet Life. Her warm, glowing vocals drip honey over the music, and her sweeping delivery mostly hints at lyrics rather than hewing concrete words. This gives the music's alluring caress an additional layer of shifting focus -- but does not diminish the role played by the rest of the band (Joe Axis and Robb Shakespeare). The music feels familiar, and warrants comparisons to some of the genre's classics, but Jute set themselves apart by incorporating a more worldly sound into their music...I've turned off the lights, turned up the volume, and repeatedly allowed Jute's sound to take me on a satisfying and electrifying journey. --Ron Davies, Splendid eZine.
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