This Friday sees Jahcoozi front woman Sasha Perera over from Berlin to DJ at Club Lesley. Signed to Bpitch Control, Jahcoozi is made up of Sasha and "two beat-freak producers/multi-instrumentalists — Teuton Robot Koch and Tel-Aviv born Oren Gerlitz." Between them they create bass-heavy electronica that wins over fans of both dub and dance.
We caught up with Sasha ahead of her set to find out just what we can expect from this eclectic lady...
How did you meet your Jahcoozi band mates Robot Koch and Oren Gerlitz?
We met through a turntablist friend of ours in 2002. Berlin was much smaller then than it is now in terms of its creative scene. Everyone kind of knew each other personally and there was no internet. Most people didn’t even have a mobile phone. All three of us went to an Anti Pop Consortium concert and have been mates ever since.
As a native Londoner- can you tell us your favourite hometown hotspots?
That’s not easy as I haven’t lived there for 12 years! I’m not in London too often apart from Jahcoozi gigs. The last place I lived was Brixton. That was one of my favourite spots at the time. But, I guess it's changed a lot, as has London as a whole.
I actually love Southhall for its Indian and Sri Lankan food. It’s one of the most intensely Asian/Somalian /Polish areas of London. You can’t find anything like that in Berlin.
My ecologist cousin works at an old cemetery in Tower Hamlets telling kids about the plant species that live there. It's actually a great spot to hang out. I’m serious!
What led you to call Bpitch Control your record label home?
Modeselektor who were signed to Bpitch did a remix of an early Jahcoozi tune called Black Barbie in 2004. Then I wrote a song called Silikon on a Modeselektor beat for their debut album. A Jahcoozi tune called BLN also came out on a Bpitch compilation. So there have always been ties.
Ellen Allien had talked to us a couple of times in the past about releasing an album with them, and so with our third album Barefoot Wanderer we took that opportunity. Ellen has always loved our live show. She’s seen us playing all over Berlin ever since we released our first record and I think she digs that live energy as well as the sound.
What was the last record you bought?
Actually a Vex'd record called Gunman. It's some early nerdy dubstep tune. Bought it in 2005 in Hard Wax. I assume you mean vinyl. The last MP3 I bought was a track by Joe on Hemlock Recordings.
You tend to collaborate a lot so who would be your dream person to work with?
Right now - Gonja Sufi, he's a proper hero.
In the past – Moondog, also a proper hero but he's dead.
Can you tell us a bit about the music exchange program you were involved in last year in Kenya?
BLNRB = Jahcoozi, Gebrüder Teichmann and Modeselektor headed out to Nairobi and recorded a load of tunes with Kenyan musicians, Mcs and singers. The Goethe Institute funded the project and rented a house which we converted into makeshift studios. We ate, slept and worked in the same house. It was mental!! (and loud!) One day we took the soundsystem down to Kibera, which is the biggest ghetto in Nairobi and put on a party in front of a church (it was the safest place). An amazing day and a serious eye-opener that was only possible with the help of our friends at Kibera street-art collective Massai Mbilli. 22 Kenyan artists were also flown to Berlin for a big BLNRB concert for the Worldtronics Festival. They saw snow for the first time!!
What's in your record bag for Dalston Superstore?
Not telling, I don’t want to pre- ejaculate. Ok you twisted my arm. I admit I can’t stop playing tunes by Objekt. And there is the filthiest juke/footwork bootleg of a Destiny's Child tune, which I’m often scared to play, but I might just have the balls to this Saturday. Maybe some Evian Christ to soothe the people after that... or some Monolake. Don’t know actually. No idea. I DJ with Ableton so I might just feel it out.
Where's been the most unusual place you've ever played a gig or DJ set?
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin! Jahcoozi live and televised before A-HA at the opening of the Athletics World Championships in 2009. That was rather surreal, especially the crane shots of us on the telly!
We also played in Havana, Cuba in 2011 at a dilapidated amusement park in the jungle. Unfortunately there was a power cut after 7 songs. That kinda hurt because the place and vibe was so special.
What does 2013 hold for Jahcoozi?
We'll be releasing the tracks we made this year on a project called Sound Camp Asia where we made music with electronic musicians from Kabul, Karachi, Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Colombo and Berlin. It was a two-week residency with 20 artists on an island with no shops and just a dirt trail.
We're also releasing a tune we made with Barbara Panther on Bpitch Control and working on a new Jahcoozi album too. I have a load of solo stuff which sounds absolutely nothing like Jahcoozi and the album is almost finished. Exciting!!
Jahcoozi frontwoman Sasha joins us for a DJ set at Club Lesley this Friday 19th October from 9pm - 3am.