Raw and gutsy Afro Blues from Robert Plant and Tinariwen collaborator Justin Adams and West African Master Musician Juldeh Camara. JuJu shows the contemporary UK music scene as it is- no borders, plenty of attitude.
Not long ago, on a night lit up by a fat golden moon, Juju took a trip. Fuelled by rocking guitar and one-string swing, by backseat bass and Afro-jazz beats, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara travelled to the place where tradition meets psychedelia – and then teetered, out there, on the edge. Theirs was a journey of rhythmic circles and open spaces, a journey over age-old grooves and along futuristic highways: a journey where the destination - with its whirling spirals and other kaleidoscopic motifs - counted as much as, well, as the journey.
JuJu has been created by Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara. The band formed out of many months of intensive touring in support of their previous album 'Tell No Lies'. They became more excited by the ecstatic spirit created by their live performances and their new musical identity developed in clubs and festivals around the world. In Spring 2011 they took the new band and the new material into the studio at Real World - channelling trancey rhythms from traditional Africa, leftfield jazz and the wilder end of rock. Rather than conventional approaches to studio work they sought a looser and more improvised approach.
Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, backing vocals) is widely regarded as one of England's most innovative and original guitarists and a child of punk whose long and varied CV includes producing albums by Saharan desert bluesmen Tinariwen and collaborating with the iconic likes of Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel and Jah Wobble.
Juldeh Camara (lead vocals, ritti, talking drum) 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 djinn. 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 - the UK-based Camara is used to vibing in ways that draw people in then send them somewhere else - to a consciousness-expanding, often mind-blowing state.
Billy Fuller (bass) has collaborated with everyone from fellow Bristolians Massive Attack and out-there triphoppers Malachai to Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation (in which Adams plays lead guitar); he's a member of cult indie industrialists Beak (alongside Portishead's Geoff Barrow) and does a whole lot more besides.
Dave Smith (drums, percussion) is one of the finest and most versatile young drummers in Britain. Both influenced by and steeped in West African percussion and classic jazz drumming his explosive style and musical sensitivity has won him shed loads of respect, regardless of genre. As co-leader of Outhouse, a group founded under the aegis of London jazz cooperative Loop Collective, Smith has collaborated with numerous international experimentalists; his group Outhouse Ruhabi - which he developed in the Gambia with five sabar drummers - explore the parallels between jazz improvisation and traditional West African music.
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