From the creator of the historic, ground-breaking recording of poetry, 'Nuyorican Symphony', comes a starkly moody CD of amazing passion and clarity. Since 1980 Paul Skiff has been hushing crowds with musical poetry that combines raw, aggressive emotion with shocking logic. It has been difficult for the cultural establishment to find him acceptable. Developed by improvisation, the recordings on 'total juju' were captured live to preserve the immediacy of Paul's collaboration with melodic and rhythm-making musicians. The results are a wholly new style that reconciles American and African musical influences with what Miguel Algarin, the founder of the world renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe, calls 'an amazing passion and clarity.' Co-produced with Hui Cox, producer of Grammy Award-nominated recordings,'total juju' also contains subtle beatboxing and incantatory vocalectrics from the sensational a capella artist Kid Lucky. What you will hear on 'total juju' is eleven innovative, startling compositions that are by turns stark, grim, sensual and liberatory; a densely moody tour de force created from a small ensemble of master musicians and Paul Skiff's uncompromising words. Sophisticated guitar work along with rhythms owed to Africa, supported on riff-driven bass lines and complimented by unpredictable beatboxing, all composing a foundation for words spoken and sung that shift from melodious to unhumanly mechanical, from lush whisper to muscular declamation. From the totally unclassifyable 'pulsedrink' and 'laughing senators' to hints of jazz in 'ride around the sun' to the dark rock sounds of 'thirst' and 'honey jar' to the invocations of 'lovebite' and 'blessventure' the sound is urban, mysterious, cult-like, and completely at ease with the difficulty it presents. 'total juju' is a revolution in poetic language accompanied by brilliantly improvising musicians who revel in the power and inspiration. Artist biography: Paul Skiff is a performer, artist, writer and producer of cultural events who lives in New York City. Rarely published ('Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe' the American Book Award-winning anthology published by Henry Holt & Sons and 'Chick for a Day' the critically noticed anthology published by Simon and Schuster, and the now avidly collected Verbal Abuse Magazine, are three examples) and rarely recorded, Paul has been presenting his work in live performances since 1980. Paul's unrestrained commitment to speaking freely and the emotional power of his work have largely saved him from commercial exploitation. Paul's work is also full of intelligent laughter and a kind of psychic stamina that are both rare these days. He offers a view that combines raw, aggressive emotion with shocking logic. Crowds often become very quiet during his performances. If it is possible to say this hush is the result of his 'style' it is also of interest to know that style is the outcome of two conditions. First, Paul spent many years creating in a kind of self-imposed isolation, without influences, idols, or teachers. Being incompletely socialized is perhaps the main path of Paul's vision. The second situation influencing Paul's work comes from the creative environment he worked in during the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's. During that period Paul was adopted by three influential creative milieus; an anarchist group of poets centered in an area of New York City known locally as 'Loisaida'; the world famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe; and the legendary party production collective known as 'The Jackie Factory' -promoters of an audacious taboo-celebrating style of performance. As a result Paul is a unique example of the kind of revolution in live poetry and performance to grow out of that highly charged scene. The musical component of Paul's recording, 'total juju' comes from a connection Paul made when he worked for nearly a decade with the Grammy Award-winning godfather of Worldbeat music, Babatunde Olatunji. Paul assisted the direction of and managed Olatunji's productions during the musician's resurgent late career. This led to Paul's acquaintance with Hui Cox, a highly versatile guiatarist who produced Olatunji's last major recording, the Grammy Award-nominated 'Love Drum Talk.' It was at Hui's invitation that Paul recorded 'total juju'. Paul co-produced and created the astonishing sound design that combined voices of 68 poets in to the ultra-legendary ground breaking sound recording of poetry, 'Nuyorican Symphony' which was made in 1992. The symphony came to be regarded as the recording that changed what we think about the purpose of poetry. 'total juju' rushes the power and inspiration of that original revolution in to the twenty-first century.