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Joi

Origins: Bangladesh, U.K.
Styles: World groove, chillout, ethno-techno, dance, downtempo
Discography: 2006 - Without Zero
2001 - We Are Three
1999 - One and One is One
1996 - Spiritual Get-Together (single)
1991 - A Desert Storm (single)
Web Site:

realworldrecords.com/artists/joi

Old Astralwerks site
(A bit eerie, this site froze upon Haroon's death and has not been updated since, but inexplicably is still there.)

Joi began in the mid 1980s with brothers Farook and Haroon Shamsher who started as a DJ duo and soon went on to create groundbreaking world fusion music. They grew up in Bradford, England, but as kids moved to Brick Lane in London's East End where their father ran a traditional music shop, and would record tapes in a back room to sell on the street. The Shamsher brothers learned tablas and flutes and began experimenting mixing their music with prerecorded songs from people like James Brown and Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn. They began DJing at neighborhood parties and then began organizing their own raves first under the name "League of Joi Bangla Youth Organisation," then shortened to "Joi Bangla," and finally shortened to simply "Joi."

The founding members of the famous London Asian Underground club scene, Joi gained a cult following on the London DJ circuit with their innovative combination of Bengali music with funk and rave. From 1992 for three years, their rule at the Bass Clef club (later the Blue Note) every Thursday was little short of legendary, attracting nearly every credible artist of its time, from Orbital to the KLF, Goldie to Bjork. They released numerous singles (now extremely rare collectors' items) gaining enough notoriety that Peter Gabriel signed them to Real World Records. Joi released their first full-length album One and One Is One in 1999. The album was a big hit in the U.K. and Europe, winning a BBC Asian Music award and the duo toured Europe and North America.

Sadly Haroon died suddenly of a heart ailment July 8, 1999 just before the recording of their second album. Farook took the rifts and themes recorded by his brother, combined them with his own ideas and completed the album as a tribute to his brother, resulting in We Are Three in 2001. Farook understandably took a long break but reemerged in 2006 with the long awaited third album Without Zero. He kept alive the spirit of his brother and their work together while stepping out in fresh directions. The album returned Joi to prominence in the world music and club scenes. In December 2006 Farook Shamsher collected to prestigious UK Asian Music Award 2006 for 'Commitment To The Scene' in recognition for seminal work of those early days and his long-standing work in the Asian music scene.

Though still signed to Real World Records there is no word yet on the next Joi release.

2007 Interview with Farook Shamsheer.

 

 

 

Blend the genres.
Erase the boundaries.
Push the envelope.
Bring people together.

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