Phil Pirrone is a Los Angeles-based musician and co-founder of Desert Daze. After spending a decade as a tourist bassist, Pirrone back in 2011 borrowed an SG and DL4 and began his exploration of recording looped based music with JJUUJJUU.
His JJUUJJUU debut, 2013’s FRST EP and the follow-up standalone single “Bleck” helped build up buzz about the project. Throughout that initial period, the lines and instrumentation of JJUUJJUU moved in step with the project’s ethos of ephemera and flux with the project touring in several different configurations with Pirrone at the center. During that period, Pirrone and JJUUUJJUU shared stages with the likes of The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Tortoise, Allah-Lahs, Temples, Tinariwen and others.
Pirrone spent the next few years recording material in various spaces around California. Those sessions included collaborations with Vinyl Williams, members of Lumerians, Dahga Bloom and others, and the material they recorded eventually comprised his JJUJJUU full-length debut, 2018’s Zionic Mud. The album’s release was accompanied by alternate version of its tracks remixed or reimaged by many of the band’s most notable fans and supporters, including J. Mascis, Warpaint‘s jennylee, Liars, METZ, and Autolux. JJUUJJUU supported the album with opening slots for Primus, Mastodon, Kikagaku Moyo, and Earhtless, as well as festival sets at Pickathon, Nelsonville, M3F and others.
During the height of the pandemic, Pirrone and his collaborators went on to record two follow-up efforts to Zionic Mud. And with the extra time on his hands, he taught himself how to record material, and then sent tracks to longtime band members Ian Gibbs and Joseph Assef. The tracks were then sent around to Boogarins, METZ’s Alex Adkins and a collection of friends that will be revealed in the future. When it was safe to do so, the band wound up at Rancho De La Luna with Dave Catching and Jon Russo and put finishing touches on the material.
Earlier this year, Pirrone shared “Nowhere,” a track that sonically brought Connect the Dots-era Toy, Deleters-era Holy Fuck to mind, as its built around a relentless motorik pulse, rolling drum beats, bursts of feedback and distortion paired with wailing vocals buried in the mix.
JJUUJJUU’s latest single in a recent string of singles is “No Way In.” Built around propulsive, polyrhythmic percussion, a sinuous bass line and falsetto wailing drenched in reverb and delay, “No Way In” may arguably the funkiest track Pirrone has released in some time, while still retaining the mind-bending drippiness that he’s best known for. “This is what would happen if JJUUJJUU was the soundtrack of 90s video game ToeJam & Earl,” Pirrone says.
Continuing an ongoing collaboration with Micah Buzin, the accompanying video for “No Way In” brings some of the trippy animated sequences of Pink Floyd‘s The Wall to mind — but while seemingly under a psilocybin-like haze: Geometric and lifelike shapes twist, turn and morph before your eyes to the song’s propulsive, motorik-like pulse.
Pirrone and his collaborators have a handful of live dates on the books. Check them out below.
JJUUJJUU TOUR DATES
6.29 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room *w/ Protomartyr
6.30 Los Angeles, CA – JJUUJJUU & Friends @ Gold Diggers w /Art Feynman – RSVP
7.27 Los Angeles, CA – JJUUJJUU & Friends @ Gold Diggers w/ John Dwyer + Tomas Dolas of OSEES – RSVP
8.31 Los Angeles, CA – JUUJJUU & Friends @ Gold Diggers w/ Death Valley Girls – RSVP
9.28 Los Angeles, CA – JUUJJUU & Friends @ Gold Diggers w/ LA Witch – RSVP