Album of the Week: Sex Judas – Go Down Judas

Tore Gjedrem (aka Ost from Ost & Kjex) conjures the golden tenor of Sex Judas for the character’s debut LP, Go Down Judas. After a couple of breakthrough EPs on Tim Paris’ Marketing music, Sex Judas found his way onto Optimo Music, where he’s resided since 2015 with Det Syke Vesen Som Kjeder Seg I Bunnen Av Mennesket.

Go down Judas is an album of sorrow and lament re-imagined through the sound of Disco, Funk and House, with the soulful R&B vocal of the main character breaking the fourth wall between this reality and his fictional world. “Let the power go” and “Navigating the sea of shit” deals with the greed, sexual inequality and “the destruction of truth” in a world of Putin and Trump, while “All good Junkies” and “Snake Song” elaborate on the Sex Judas story, from his birth in the original sin to his doomed future.

From Sex Judas’ birth at the beginning of time to the present, and his own dissolution with his imagined/real world through the opener “The Hedonist disappeared into Normality” Go Down Judas is the story of the character’s demise in a contemporary world, as he makes an unlikely protagonist against the backdrop of our current reality. A symbol of provocation in a sterile, conservative world, Sex Judas might just be the one that will pull us out of the writhing sea of snakes.

Gjedrem finally gets the band together on the album. Although it is a solo project, it has always been the intention of Sex Judas and Ricky’s creator to turn the project into a band, and on the album he’s succeeded with a stellar cast of musicians joining the producer in the studio. Ole Henrik Moe, Pål Strangefruit, Bugge Wesseltoft, and Sidiki Camara lend their distinguished, individual touches to the record, embodying the sound of a live band in a club setting.

Go Down Judas jumps from a proto-club sound of tracks like “Sidiki’s Jam” and “Candy Darling” to album songs like the album’s opener, “Snake Song” and the funky Disco of “The Sorrows of Young Walter”. Gjedrem’s eclectic tastes really come to the fore through this album with each track making a significant unique mark on the record. Even the more club-inspired tracks that bare some resemblance to Ost & Kjex’s approach the dance floor, travel from distant corners of that musical universe – Disco, House, Acid and Boogie all making a contribution to the style of the record, much like DJ Ost set.

Where previous EPs “My Girls” and “Big Sex Thing” were still really exploring the Sex Judas sound, and Det Syke Vesen Som Kjeder Seg I Bunnen Av Mennesket threw a bit of curveball,  “Go Down Judas” is the most concrete version of the Sex Judas sound we’ve heard to date; a sound perfectly suited for the album format.