England - Full Moon 156 - 06/07/09
Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara
Tell No Lies
Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara are respectively an American guitarist that earlier have worked with names as Robert Plant, Natacha Atlas and Tinariwen, and a Gambian griot and master musician, that is one of the leading ritti players in the world. They have played together over the last two years, following their award winning 2007 colaboration Soul Sience.
The touring has brought them distinctivly musicaly closer, and they have developed the pretty amasing sound on Soul Science remarkably further. "Tell No Lies" is not just the West-African meets the American, it is letting the gnawa spirits of West-Africa trancendent the Western grooves of rock'n'roll, and you don't know either where the one ends and the other begins.
The album opens with the powerfull electric "Sahara", that sounds as raw as the desert. The entranced ritti, the driving guitar and the chanting Fulani vocal, bringing forward images of waves of decicivingly smiling hot red sand. Images, and feelings that last through-out the album, as the warmth in the songs never actually leaves. This warmth and vividity is btw not only brought through by the musical heritage it lingers on, but is also provided by the fact that the whole album is close to live-recorded.
From the raw opening the album turns slightly calmer and calmer, without ever going soft. The less rough touch then gives more room for the trance-like possibilities in the repetitive rhymes. And it is when this surfaces that Tell No Lies gets enchantingly good. Like on the mezmerising "Gainako", the energic
bluesy "Fulani Coochie Man" or, even if it is the purest west-african ballad on the album; "Futa Jalo".
The weakest track on the album, "Kela Kela" is typically the one to provide the almost cliché labeling of the music; with the line "no passport no, no visa", also pretty much the only lyrics in english. And even if I don't mean that music has got borders, it's easy to say that "Tell No Lies" delivers truly borderless rock, playfully taking the rock back to it roots and looping back again. Doing so in a most jubilant way.
Copyright © 2009 Aslaug O Klausen