Justin Adams is one the UK’s most original and inspirational guitarists, lending his talents to such artists as Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Robert Plant’s band The Strange Sensations.
Adams spent his youth living and traveling in the Middle East and North Africa. “My original love when I was young was The Clash and dub reggae,” says Justin. “I like to keep things raw and swinging – so it never gets too pristine or too sweet. I love listening to cassettes of Moroccan music and Algerian music. I like trancey, circular rhythms and voices that are in between pleasure and pain, where it’s bittersweet.”
A restless musical traveler, Adams’ solo debut http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006AE2R?ieUTF8&tagmusidelmund-20&linkCodexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB00006AE2R | Desert Road (World Village) created a dub-wise atmospheric soundscape filled with swaying grooves and parched tones that invoke desert landscapes, Arizona or Sahara — an ancient/contemporary Moorish blues with echoes of the call to prayer and African trance.
One of Justin Adam’s most important projects is his collaboration with Gambian musician Juldeh Camara. The connection was sparked by a phone call out of the blue from an excited Camara. “A friend gave me a copy of Justin’s CD and I took it with me in Gambia. When I got there I was playing the riti and trying to follow what he was playing. I was feeling it in my body. When I got to the UK, I got his number and called him. I said, ‘I heard your stuff. This style you play is very, very connected with my spirit.” Then over the phone Camara whipped out a few licks on his riti and the kologo, which he had picked up from Ghanaian musician Atongo Zimba, and Adams “went crazy” on the other end of the line. They were soon jamming and recording together.
Justin and Juldeh have been playing together since 2007, following the release of the critically acclaimed “Soul Science” in 2007 (winner of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in the Crossing Continents category), touring at festivals in Siberia, Mexico City, Morocco and the WOMAD festival. The touring experience has clearly brought them closer together as musicians and added to the unique nature of their musical style. “At certain soundchecks I’d start playing something and Juldeh would rush over and say ‘…keep playing that! We’ve got to play that tonight!’ Juldeh would record things on his mobile phone – so that’s they way we came up with a lot of material,” explains Justin.
In 2011, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara formed a new band called JuJu. The band is characterized by trance-like rhythms from traditional Africa, jazz and the wilder side of rock.