Change agents come in all forms, connecting us to ideas of what can be. Merging his creative flow with filmmaker Jonjames Oxberry-Hogg, Jody Bigfoot’s Duszt is both an album (with German producer Tandaro) and a feature film.
Bigfoot’s story as an artist revels in the connection between the existential and spiritual. UK born, his global travels led to an awakening while in Japan. The thematically-rich, socially conscious hip hop flourishes with Buddist, Daoist, and Zen philosophies. The album in its cinematic form flows as an immersive artistic experience from Japanese directors Kitano Takeshi and Akira Kurosawa. Filmed entirely in Japan, vibrant visuals elevate each note.
At roughly 6’6” tall, Bigfoot’s choice to film his existential commentary is visually stunning. His presence as a towering figure adds an odd perspective to the lyrics. The product is a ying/yang soothsayer’s commentary in twelve songs, a tightly constructed performance piece narrating transformation. “Where is the Style?” feels like a commentary that could live in a film noir classic, ripping apart the dark bits of society. Criticizing technology with “Temples” seems perfect, especially when paired with the film’s visuals. The musically rich “Stars’ shines, as the universal story creates a meditative experience with saxophone.
Accented by multi-instrumentalist Tandoro’s aesthetic as producer, this unique album is a vehicle for activism. Nuanced and subtle, Bigfoot’s vocal tone vibes with this creative universe, each note resonating with purpose. The richness of this release is matched by the talented artisans that brought the artistic vision to life. It has easily found its way into my top three for 2021. Definitely add Jody Bigfoot and Tandaro’s Duszt to your consciousness.–Lisa Whealy