About the album
We are proud to be able to present JÆ’s stunning debut album ‘Balls and Kittens, Draught and Strangling Rain’. JÆ is a solo project from the talented Dutch musician, songwriter and singer Jessica Sligter, who has divided her time between Oslo and Amsterdam in recent years.
JÆ’s music is an eclectic mix of influences from folk, pre-war blues, jazz, classical music, free improvisation and more. Ragged and windblown, seductive and captivating, always with something unexpected lurking right around the corner. ‘I don’t attempt to polish the music into utter perfection – I’m more interested in character,’ she said in an interview with the website Ballade.no in 2008.
Sligter is originally from Utrecht, the Netherlands, and was trained at the music conservatories in Utrecht and Amsterdam. She found a group of musicians who suited her project perfectly in Oslo’s young jazz and improvisation community. ‘When I studied music in Amsterdam I found myself moving more and more in an experimental direction. I didn’t see any possibility of doing what I wanted to do musically in Amsterdam, and couldn’t find a milieu that suited me. But I did find one in Norway! When I arrived in Oslo I booked a room at a hostel, took the underground up to the Norwegian Academy of Music, and asked people coming out of the building if they were studying jazz! It was fun, but I wouldn’t do the same thing now,’ she says. ‘But that’s how I got to know some people from the young improv community, and then it was easy to make contact with many more.’
She has a versatile group of musicians joining her on the record. They come from bands including Splashgirl, Streifenjunko, the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble and Rockettothesky.
Recorded at Grand Sport Studios, Oslo, and at home. Mixed by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Bonnie Prince Billy), Nashville. Cover design: Yokoland