Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir clearest influences are anything on the Sun and Chess labels, Led Zeppelin, a little Lee Perry...[and] a measure of Hendrix-style firepower."
Uncut (magazine) (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[E]ven slower pieces like 'Deep Sahara' take off into spiraling improvisations, hypnotic and powerful."
Personnel: Juldeh Camara (vocals, talking drum); Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, background vocals); Dave Smith (drums, percussion); Martyn Barker (drums); Billy Fuller (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Tim Oliver.
Recording information: Real World Studios (02/18/2011); Real World Studios (11/09/2009).
Photographer: York Tillyer.
Translator: Matt Robin.
Juju is the more psychedelic variant on the raw African groove Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara have explored on their duo albums. Very electric, and with bass and drums -- kit, more than percussion -- this is the hard-edged cousin to what's made the pair renowned in world music circles. With time to stretch out (the shortest track is six and a half minutes long), they can really explore sound and take it all on a trip. Camara's ritti fiddle and Adams' guitar are the basis of the sound, and they rock together like tomorrow might be just over the horizon. The basic sound is still very African, with its grounding in the blues, but this sets out to wail and moan as if Muddy Waters and his band had taken a trip to Mali. From the first moments of "Nightwalk" there's real, visceral excitement that's barely contained, and is fully unleashed on "Djanfa Moja." The long tracks never flag or bore, but keep spiraling higher and higher, creating tension before giving release. For all its West African base, it's a very Western rock album, fusing the two forms into a glorious, wild hybrid that sweats out every note with the energy of punk (where Adams started his career) and Chicago blues squeezed tightly into a little silver disc. The essence of the music might be simple but the band squeezes remarkable emotions from it. The new world order of psychedelia is here. ~ Chris Nickson
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