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World Music CD Reviews North American

J. U. F.

Published January 25, 2006

Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat
Stinky Stink

At the corner of Broadway and Canal Street in New York, at a place known as Mehanata, you can hear DJ Hutz spin his favorites every Thursday. Hutz, a.k.a Eugene Hutz, the wild frontman of Gogol Bordello, throws down Balkan, Turkish, Indian, rock, reggae and raï beats to create an astounding transglobal dance party. Building on Gogol Bordello’s gypsy punk aesthetic, here Hutz adds a DJ element to the mix to come up with an electro-gypsy punk band. Called J.U.F. (Jewish Ukrainian Freundschaft), the band takes its name from its members’ ethnic backgrounds, while saluting D.A.F. (Deutsche American Freundschaft), one of Hutz’s favorite bands. On the group’s first outing, two songs included, “Gypsy Part of Town” and “When I Was A Little Spy,” are notorious Mehanata hits. Staying true to their gypsy roots, but incorporating other influences such as hip-hop, punk-disco and dub, J.U.F. demonstrates how fluidly music can cross borders.