Tag Archives: Justin Adams

Artist Profiles: JuJu

JuJu

JuJu is Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, backing vocals), Juldeh Camara (lead vocals ritti talking drum),Billy Fuller (bass) and Dave Smith (drums percussion).

JuJu’s successful hybrid sound was evident on their acclaimed 2007 debut ‘Soul Science’ and its equally praised follow up ‘Tell No Lies’. ‘In Trance’ came out in 2011, combining rock, African music, dub reggae and avant-garde jazz.

Justin’s playing gets inside my body and I can hear the music in his head,” said Camara. “Justin plays African style.”

The In Trance recording took place at Real World Studios featuring new band members Dave Smith and Billy Fuller.

Juldeh Camara is a Gambian singer and ritti maestro who was taught to play the single-string West African fiddle by his blind father who himself was taught directly by the jinn. Having lived and worked in traditional Fula society as a griot, the hereditary poets praise singers and musicians who carry the cultural knowledge of their people.

Justin Adams is widely regarded as one of England’s most innovative and original guitarists and a child of punk whose long and varied resume includes producing albums by Saharan desert bluesmen Tinariwen and collaborating with the iconic Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel and Jah Wobble.

Bassist Billy Fuller has collaborated with Massive Attack, triphoppers Malachai and Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation (in which Adams plays lead guitar.

Dave Smith is one of the finest and most versatile young drummers in Britain. He’s influenced by West African percussion and classic jazz drumming.

The whole album evolved in a very fast and spontaneous manner,” says Adams. “We just went into the studio and did five live takes without headphones or overdubbing. We set out to make swing music dance music trance music; we got all those things.”

Discography:

Soul Science (World Village 2007)

Tell No Lies (Real World Records 2009)

In Trance (Real World Records 2011)

Share

Artist Profiles: Justin Adams

Justin Adams – Photography by York Tillyer 2009 Real World Records

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 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.

Discography

* Desert Road (World Village, 2002)
* Soul Science (2007)
* Tell No Lies (2009)
* In Trance (Real World Records, 2011)

Share