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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Juice, the a cappella British women's vocal trio, doesn't sound quite like anything else; it is truly sui generis. Other music that its work at various times calls to mind includes that of Meredith Monk most strongly, Bobby McFerrin, Toby Twining, the Swingle Singers, Tuvan throat singers, and the sweet harmonies of more traditional women's folk ensembles. Sopranos Anna Snow and Sarah Dacey are traditionally trained singers with distinguished solo careers and alto Kerry Andrew, known primarily as a composer, is a prominent figure on the British new music scene. In most of these pieces they sing with a relatively straight, folk-like tone, although their astonishing ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Juice, the a cappella British women's vocal trio, doesn't sound quite like anything else; it is truly sui generis. Other music that its work at various times calls to mind includes that of Meredith Monk most strongly, Bobby McFerrin, Toby Twining, the Swingle Singers, Tuvan throat singers, and the sweet harmonies of more traditional women's folk ensembles. Sopranos Anna Snow and Sarah Dacey are traditionally trained singers with distinguished solo careers and alto Kerry Andrew, known primarily as a composer, is a prominent figure on the British new music scene. In most of these pieces they sing with a relatively straight, folk-like tone, although their astonishing virtuosity leaves no doubt that they could also negotiate the most florid coloratura repertoire. The program is wonderfully diverse, ranging from a straightforward performance of Elisabeth Lutyens' modernist 1974 motet "Of the Snow," to the group's inventive arrangements of folk songs, to new pieces by composers like Gabriel Prokofiev, Morag Galloway, Paul Robinson, and Juice member Andrew, written to showcase the singers' distinctive abilities and aesthetic proclivities. One thing that immediately stands out in their performances is that almost no matter how demanding the music in the extremity of it range, the density of its harmonies, the eccentricities of its timbres, and the complexity of its rhythms, the singers make consistently beautiful sounds with astonishingly clean intonation. The instances where tone or pitch falter, as in parts of "Luna-cy," are few and far between. This could be a good starter album for fans of vocal music willing to venture out into the realm of new music; the human voice softens the effect of dissonance more than any other instrument, and chords that might be jarring if heard played by a piano or a choir of clarinets can have a cushiony warmth when sung in tune and with lovely tone quality, as they are here. Standout performances include the ensemble's profoundly creepy arrangement of the disturbing English folk song "Cruel Mother Down by the Greenwood Side," Paul Robinson's whimsical "The Triadic Riddles of Water," David Breslin's "Skuld," and James Lindsay's kinetic "Sanbiki no kashikoi saru." As with most of Nonclassical label's releases, several tracks are devoted to inventive remixes of some of the pieces. The sound is clean, detailed, and realistic.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2011
  • Label: Nonclassical
  • UPC: 689492107123
  • Catalog Number: 12
  • Sales rank: 306,463

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Juice Vocal Ensemble Primary Artist, Vocal Ensemble
Kerry Andrew Vocals, Group Member
Anna Snow Vocals, Group Member
Sarah Dacey Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
T Bone Burnett Composer, Lyricist
Gillian Welch Composer, Lyricist
Elisabeth Lutyens Composer
Steve Kitch Mastering
Traditional Composer
Paul Abbott Remixing, Additional Production
Mikhail Karikis Composer, Remixing, Additional Production
Geoffrey Bownas translation
Tivannagh L'Abbé Composer, Remixing, Additional Production
Anthony Thwaite translation
Paul Robinson Composer
Gabriel Prokofiev Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Remixing, Engineering, Additional Production
Simon Marlow Logo Design
F. Martens Composer, Lyricist
Kerry Andrew Composer, Lyricist
Sarah Dacey Adaptation
John Kameel Farah Composer, Remixing, Additional Production
Makila Nsika Composer, Lyricist
Dexter Artwork
David Breslin Composer
Matthew "Majiker" Ker Remixing, Additional Production
James Lindsay Composer
Fujiwara Sanesada Composer, Lyricist
Fiachra O'Longain Composer, Remixing, Additional Production
Morag Galloway Composer, Lyricist
Philip Neil Martin Drum Sounds
Paul J. Abbott Composer
Juice Vocal Ensemble Arranger
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2011

    Songspin/Juice vocal ensemble/Non classical

    I opened this slickly packaged CD with some trepidation, as I really didn't want to hear the female 3 tenors or the winners of 'England's Got Talent". I was not disappointed but nor was I completely elated as the CD, though delightful in parts, slightly cancels its many strengths taken as a whole. First of all, 'Juice' is an excellent Brit female a cappella trio consisting of Kerry Andrews, Anna Snow, and Sarah Dacey, (which seems to also be partially under the musical co-direction of Gabriel Prokofiev). The singing itself is the high point - despite a few bumps in the road, full of incredible intonation, crisp rhythms, strong attacks, and a lot of really beautiful sounding voices. Their musical material is a real po-mo mix of pop, minimalism, renaissance hocketing, chromatic madrigals, jazz, 18th C. counterpoint, Negro spirituals and avant-garde vocal sound effects. Often all these styles are squeezed into one song, mostly in the 4:00 range and are perfect for marketing for a classical commuter radio show (a real plus). But the succinctness of the material is both a blessing and a curse-the curse being there is not a substantive length of music or weighty composer to really sink one's teeth into. It would be great if there were one or two pieces that used all these diverse singing styles as a structural component in a longer piece.
    As for the recording, it's excellent. Most of it is very closed miked with added reverb to really enhance the intimacy of the ensemble. Occasionally Prokofiev plays with the reverb (sometimes very dry) to enhance the mood (that's a weird sentence to have the name Prokofiev!!!). Sometimes, there is the odd bumped mike stand, pop through the windscreen and some bad edit pops, and questionably panning choices, but this is normal given how exposed the singers are (I also don't know, if I would keep the first breath of every song-nit-picky reviewer).
    In contrast, the second part of the CD is all remixes of the first part using the singing for percussive effects and it is all done very effectively. The remixes are very tasty---a fine tension between pop electronica and more traditional classical electro-acoustic music. There's no smarmy house music here. But my feeling is the second half makes it two distinctive CDs, the amazing remixes cancelling out the delicate intimacy of the a cappella singing. I'm I being too narrow-minded? Probably. Believe me I like both halves but I have a real problem putting them together. Music is about marketing a product that distinguishes itself in some narrow way from the competition. I would hate to see the young, talented people on this CD not bring more focus to their endeavors and perhaps finding a way to integrate these approaches and reach a really large audience. At that point, I'd have no problem if they won 'England's Got Talent". If you are easier going than this reviewer and love a cappella singing and/or remixes of cappella singing, get this CD!

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