With ?Magazine? from 1998 (re-issued with bonus material by Smalltown Supersound in 2004), the band came even closer to the formula that today is the basis in the Jaga Jazzist sound. But it was first with ?A Livingroom Hush? in 2001, that Jaga Jazzist fully blossomed with an album that put Jaga Jazzist on the map and defined their unique sound world. With this album the band got an international record deal through Ninja Tune, something which gave them the opportunity to tour extendedly. For people outside of Norway this was the very sign of the Jaga Jazzist.
With 10 members, you also gets 10 different opinions, feelings and taste. With a result that the band never stands still. Instead of sucking on the successful formula of ?A Livingroom Hush?, they wanted to take their sound even further with the next album. To the extreme one might say. The result was 2003`s ?The Stix? album. This was Jaga Jazzist`s take on electronic music, an album characterized by its intricate drum patters and rolling beats.
After heavily touring, the time was come for the next chapter in the Jaga Jazzist history, ?What We Must?. After months with writing new material, the band went into studio in Spydeberg out in the Norwegian woods, to record the demo now known as the Spydeberg Session. This demo, recorded in one take in one day, showed another a new side of Jaga Jazzist. A sound that was closer to their live sound than ever before. For us close to the core of the band heard the band members talk about this as their rock album. But rock in a Jaga Jazzist way that is. And this is the essential with Jaga Jazzist, they have created their own signature sound, and each new offering is variations of the signature sound. This is what characterizes all great bands, and this is what characterizes Jaga Jazzist. Listening to the Spydeberg session it became evident that the band was influenced by as different styles as British shoegazer guitar pop from the early nineties to 70`s prog rock. An Illogical combination on the paper that Jaga Jazzist made pure logic.
After the Spydeberg session, the band went on a 14 shows tour of Canada and USA where they tested their new material. And directly from this tour they went with producer Marcus Schmickler to Notwist`s studio in Weilheim, Germany, and after that to Schmickler`s own studio in Cologne. Here they recorded the basis of the album. After a couple of months break, the band completed and mixed the album in Propeller Music Division in Oslo, Norway, with producer K?re Christoffer Vestrheim and Mike Hartung.
The result is ?What We Must?
Jaga Jazzist is a restless soul, going in many directions at the same time, but always going forward. Fast. The band always pushes the boundaries, both personal and musical. That is why they are impossible to categorize. And that is why they are special. Jaga Jazzist is something natural and beautiful. A necessity. For both them and us.
They are just Jaga Jazzist. And this is what they must.
Bio by Joakim Haugland