No Matter fo Age
catalog-no. tx 2060
rock - 2001
No Matter of Age
"The music you listen to becomes the soundtrack of your
life", Mike Bloomfield once said. And when we finished working on this,
our third album, Bloomfield's words had become true for us as well, especially
concerning the new original music we created. We had started with a bunch of
new ideas and exact plans for the sound of this new album, but then instinctively
changed plans while we were recording the music - which we only noticed later.
When we listened to the finished tracks, it was a bit like looking into a mirror
and seeing what really had moved you during the process of working on the music.
Maybe it's because we again had chosen to record more or less in a live situation
with everybody in the same room at the same time. Of course this means less
control over the creative outcome - but that's just like in real life, isn't
Schluff Jull, March 2001
NO MATTER OF AGE - it almost sounds a little defiant, doesn't it? But it's a healthy attitude and more than a little understandable in these days of pop star clones and instantly disposable pop junk when a rock band who's more or less working the traditional way takes a stand against the domination of three-minute attention spans and for the freedom of generously creating music in their own sweet time. SCHLUFF JULL are certainly no hotspurs anymore who are there to get the attention of the pop world no matter what it takes - but they would like to be noticed. NO MATTER OF AGE is the third CD of this large band from Germany's Viersen, a town located in the northwestern region of the country close to the Dutch border. It's a flat and low-key area and the mentality is special. People know what friends are for - and so do the guys in SCHLUFF JULL.
And they still love being part of the "left bank" of the river Rhine. It's their home and always will be, probably. Being German and doing more or less American-based music has never been much of a problem for the Julls, as their collective influences mostly come from the traditions of classic American rock. Names like Grateful Dead, The Band and the Allman Brothers Band have been dropped many times when it came to naming influences, but today the guys also like to listen to the inheritors like Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic or Phish. "Southern Jam Rock" is a term that's most likely to be used when it comes to describing one of these extended shows that SCHLUFF JULL love to do - not only at Euro Deadheads meetings and retro festivals. And performing live is still what they like to do most - another point where the band resembles their idols, because the Dead as well were reluctant to take their etensive live extravaganza into the confines of a recording studio. And so NO MATTER OF AGE has again been mostly recorded live in the studio - no regrets. Grateful Dead influences found their way into the band's repertoire with covers of "I Know You Rider" and "Friend of the Devil" - next to original material mostly written by singer/guitarist Olaf Kalemba but collectively arranged.
It's quite reflectiving stuff with a touch of philosophy. That's just the way it is when you've done some living and have material to look upon and a piece of the road is still ahead. It's striking and also touching how the band's self-confidence and popularity is still growing, with a distinct "keeping the music alive" spirit at the center of their activities. These guys are still very much friends with each other even after more than 15 years as a band - and they are absolutely in for the music. It's a low-key and modest, but still firm attitude they have developed, balancing their individuality with the band's collective strengths.
And the sound of SCHLUFF JULL hasn't changed much since their last outing "Circlin' Round the Sun". Traditional song structures blend with deeply atmospheric passages creating intense moments of creative communication. Just check their 14-minute epic "Take My Chance" on NO MATTER OF AGE. And it is the songs like these that very much reflect the band's positive vibe on their music. It's an attitude of maturity and responsibility with a likeable and good natured core at the center. This is what makes this group so unaffectedly human. They're total failures when it comes to rock poses. They are real life people with an honest sound that incorporates many shades of rock and blues, with some extra folk and jazz leanings on the side. "True quality music," is what the US Deadhead magazine RELIX wrote about their second album. And this especially true for NO MATTER OF AGE.
See also: Schluff Jull's Homepage
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