The Berlin-based group Jahcoozi are fast becoming known for their unique brand of bass-heavy dance, but now they’re on another quest: to present the art project Resurrecting The Dread based around a very special cape. Designed by 3mulgator stylist Hugo Schneider, the cape is made from the dreadlocks of those who have volunteered to give their hair for a worthy cause. We spoke with Jahcoozi vocalist Sasha Perera about the project and the stories of the others who contributed a part of themselves in the name of art.
Electronic Beats: So you’re making a ceremonial cape of dreads? What’s the ceremony?
Sasha: That a lot of peoples DNA is gonna be on a piece of attire? I dunno, there’s a lot of irony in the sense that a lot of people get some dreads and they’re totally into it for like 10 years and they sign their whole life away to an alternative form of life and then they cut them off and get a mortgage – that kind of stuff. But they do tend to keep them in a box because they’re attached to this old image of themselves or the identity that they had, that they were interested in something slightly alternative.
S: This Russian promoter Kostya booked Jahcoozi to play at a wicked club in Moscow called Solyanka in February. At this stage the whole idea of doing this dready cape project was still a bit of a joke. All a bit dada/Spinal Tap. But that night in Moscow it suddenly came out in a conversation during dinner before our gig that Kostya used to have dreads. I started telling him about the idea that Hugo Schneider and I came up with and started convincing him to send me his dreadlocks. It was only after I realised that I really had managed to convince someone to send me their dreadlocks all the way from Russia that I actually started spreading the ‘Dreadlock Donation Alert’ over the internet. One of the dreads he sent is sooooo fat and phallus-like it actually looks obscene! It’s a dreadlock where one really feels like we have been given an intimate part of someone’s life.
EB: So you’d say that this coat is like a collection of so many different experiences just in one garment? Like a coat made out of people’s identities, essentially.
S: In a way, and I think in a way most of the people who gave us their hair identify themselves in a way with us just because…what can you do in this life which is your own, you know? You can grow your hair. It doesn’t cost you anything, it’s your shit, you can produce it? It’s still a form expression which is entirely up to you. So I’m presenting this cape as a ceremonial tribute to that. We’re making a film/documentary/music video which we havent finished yet, dunno what it is yet so I dunno how to describe it really.
S: Oren (also of Jahcoozi) allowed Hugo to cut off his dreads on camera in Radialsystem for part of the documentary.
EB: Will you have any dreadlock leftovers? Maybe you could make some matching dreadlock accessories.
S: Are you suggesting I start some sort of dreadlock accessory line like Jay-Z?
EB: It’s a cool idea!
S: It would be great to auction it off for my pension or something, but this is just a one-time piece man. Can’t buy it can’t get it…..one time. You know? It’s such a collection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that it should be a once-in-a-lifetime piece.
The ceremonial cape will be unveiled at Resurrecting The Dread:
August 13th 2011