Mo’Ju: Oro, Plata, Mata

It’s often forgotten that the Greek tragedy of Midas, the man with the golden touch, is actually a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for. Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga – the Filipino-Wiradjuri artist better known as Mo’Ju, formerly Mojo Juju – has not forgotten the lesson. On their fourth album Oro, Plata, Mata, Mo’Ju dedicates a song to the mythical king of Phrygia: “I won’t worship at your phoney idols,” they sing.

Some background to this high-concept album is necessary: Oro, Plata, Mata was a 1982 film made by Mo’Ju’s late uncle, the celebrated Filipino director Peque Gallaga. The title literally translates as Gold, Silver, Death – drawn from the Spanish Filipino architectural superstition that the design components of a house (especially staircases) should not be in multiples of three. The film’s three acts follow this theme: from luxury to retreat to ill fortune.

In its title and structure, Mo’Ju’s album is an homage to Gallaga. The three tracks representing the title are short, eerie and near-identical snippets, after which follow three songs each: (Oro): Gold, Money, Midas; (Plata): Something To Believe In, Bran Nue Wurld, Change Has To Come; (Mata): The Future, World Would End and Swan Song.… Read more..

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