One And One Is One


1999: Real World

  1. Fingers
  2. Everybody Say Yeah
  3. Asian Vibes
  4. Massive
  5. Oh My People
  6. ESY-SHJ
  7. March On
  8. Mission
  9. Heartbeat
  10. India
  11. Joi Bani

My introduction to Joi—“the original Asian breakbeat fusionists”—was Joi’s appearance as the opening act for Eurythmics’s Peacetour in late November of 1999 (Manchester); I had no idea who or what Joi was, and when the music ended and the main show’s final setup got underway I still wasn’t sure.

I decided to get a copy of this CD when I found that it was all Joi had recorded so far, and between that and their second album’s release I learned what Joi is, what Joi was, and specifically what Joi was when I saw that concert: Joi was originally brothers Farook and Haroon Shamsher, but just before their supporting role in the Peacetour dates Haroon had died, so what I saw was Farook trying madly to sustain the original intensity and chemistry with an array of musicians who may or may not have been involved in the debut album or its genesis. What struck me most, watching Joi in live performance, was two things: their female vocalist, who was excellent (although with Annie Lennox coming after her it was kind of a wasted effort, albeit an impressive one), and the almost-spastic body-energy of the keyboard player (in retrospect I know that was Farook, and his frantic antics make sense now). I know I liked what I heard, and that’s why I bought this CD.

Oh yeah: they (I think it was the singer) explained at some point in their five or six songs that “Joi” was a Bengal word meaning “victory.”

Actual song commentaries coming soon….