The JuJu Exchange is a creative jazz project between Nova Zaii (Everett Reid), Nico Segal, and Julian Reid. The trio are natives to Chicago, a city known for its own style of jazz that incorporates heavy bass and guitars with long solos and fast tempo. The Eternal Boombox EP is a collection of music that actively crosses between analogue and digital sounds, creating a sound that has “one foot in jazz, one foot in everything else.”
“I Can’t See My Eyes” is a dynamic lo-fi jazz tune held down by a steady kick drum beat. According to the group, The Eternal Boombox EP tackles the “grief of 2020” with each track representing a different stage of grief. “I Can’t See My Eyes” is about shock and denial. The instrumentation of the track is a great mix between skilled musicians playing live, and overall studio production mastery. The trumpet of Nico Segal interacts beautifully with the accompanying melody. The signature sound of the JuJu Exchange is thanks to the production efforts of Nova Zaii, a Detroit-based multi-instrumentalist that brands himself as “a sonic experience designer interested in stimulating the Light in both himself and the participant with deeply personal offerings of art.”
While studying at the University of Michigan, Zaii invented an instrument known as Nova Portals: “three ‘pods’ circumambient to his person that sense his movements, and he performs them, engaging a seemingly invisible atmosphere, by waving his hands back and forth in front of the pods.” This new-aged device seems like something out of science fiction, and adds to the groups unique sound; it’s refreshing to hear something so ground-breaking. The JuJu Exchange is definitely a vibe, sending out a wave of ingenuity that you will want to find yourself riding.