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Roji ((露地) can be translated as «dewy ground» and In Japanese, this term is used for the garden through which one passes to the tea ceremony, generally cultivates an air of simplicity. The musical duo Roji – Portuguese bass player Gonçalo Almeida and German drummer Jörg A. Schneider – has nothing to do with simplicity. Roji takes the energetic and aggressive kind of free-improv into dark metal, punk, and noise territories and spices this volatile, anti-melodic compound with electronics. Roji enjoyed describing its frightening aesthetics to a better soundtrack for Lars von Trier’s film «Antichrist».

Roji hosted on its debut album, «The Hundred Headed Women» (Shhpuma, 2016), Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Britsh baritone sax player Colin Webster. The sophomore album borrows its title from Japanese culture, «Oni» (鬼), meaning demon or troll, often conceived of as red, blue or white-colored. This time Roji hosts Italian reeds player Riccardo Marogna and pianist and keyboards player Giovanni di Domenico.

Roji still plays as if it is loaded with steroids, reckless and merciless, demonic and distorted. Marogna and di Domenico intensify the layered, effects-laden and wildly processed, brutal bass playing of Almeida and the wild hammering of Schneider.  At times Roji sounds like a primitive, tortured version of the Italian punk-jazz trio Zu («Expulsion» and the tribal «Clash»), or as twisting the extreme, metal drones of SUNN O))) (on «Pretense» and «Breakpoint»), but sometimes Roji simply likes to drown in a thrash-metal swamp («The presence»). And on the last title-piece Roji sound like mixing these seminal influences into cathartic meltdown.

Listen at your own risk.

Eyal Hareuveni

Gonçalo Almeida (b, loops & elec), Jörg A. Schneider (dr), Riccardo Marogna (bcl, ts, elec), Giovanni di Domenico (p, keys, elec) 

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