Boomkat Product Review:
Birthed from the seminal 1980s post-punk band Maximum Joy, MXMJoY is the dramatic reimagining by founding members Janine Rainforth and Charlie Llewellin. Their brand new album, ‘p.e.a.c.e.’ is a limited edition vinyl release via Janine’s own label, London Field Recordings.
"A pivotal point in Bristol’s dub-informed lineage, Pitchfork compared Maximum Joys sound to “one of the Slits backed by the Gang of Four”, while PopMatters said, “Musically, the group’s use of complex percussion, horns, danceable bass lines, and overtly English female vocals built a bridge between the worlds of Afrobeat, reggae, avant-garde jazz, funk and pop”.
Returning with a new line-up and all new material, MXMJoY have crafted an album that remains faithful to their roots but showcases an expanded experimental direction into dark electronics and expertly used samples and effects. An immediately enchanting album, ‘p.e.a.c.e’ also explores lush synthscapes, deep house hooks and a pop sensibility partnered with that unmistakable and bewitching vocal.
Across ten masterfully produced tracks you’ll hear an epic amalgamation of their wide scope of influences, and as ever tied up into the unique MXMJoY package. The title track and entrancing ‘Daughters of Tomorrow’ open the album with fittingly trip-hop beats and gloriously catchy choruses while songs like ‘Can Man Conquer It All’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ dwell in darker spaces melodically, with dreamlike washes of keys and delicate guitars. Elsewhere album highlights ‘Archetype’ and ‘We Breathe’ boast some of the strongest songwriting of MXMJoYs career with unforgettable vocal performances and lush electric guitar tones.
Rainforth continues; “As a collective band Maximum Joy and as individuals and now as MXMJoY – we have always shared the drive to evolve and keep looking for and finding new sounds & grooves that inspire, challenge, and maybe even soothe! The musical landscape today is exciting – there’s so much out there – I love all the sounds & textures & voices coming through, and Charlie shares that embracing of the new. The things that informed us then – free jazz; hip-hop; synth pop; disco; soul; funk; reggae; punk; world music – have not changed – but inevitably things have been, and always are being, added to those influences.”