New Internationalist

Soul Science

January 2008

by Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara Trio

Once heard, a plucked ritti has a sound that is not easily forgotten – a low-frequency, one-note twang that, like the shuddering bass notes poured out by a dub sound system, go straight to the listener’s gut. Actually a one-stringed fiddle characteristic of West Africa, the ritti wielded by the Gambian griot Juldeh Camara on Soul Science does more than simply twang. Bowed, it sings wildly, sending out a melody that spirals into higher and higher tones.

Soul Science came about after Camara heard Desert Road, from British blues guitarist Justin Adams, the 2002 disc that put the fusion of West African proto-blues and Western electric guitar at its heart. Impressed by Adams’ feel for his material, Camara proposed that they develop their ideas in tandem and, here joined by percussionist Salah Dawson Miller and bassist Billy Fuller, is the vivacious result. As with Adams’ production on Tinariwen’s albums, Soul Science benefits from a deft underproduction. Acoustic and electric instruments assume a resonance that suggests the intimacy of a campfire performance. Opener ‘Yerro Mama’ is a hardcore ritti work, but after that the band go into sharing mode. Camara’s stratospheric vocals on ‘Nayo’, combining with raspy percussion and a cascade of electric overtones, are magnificent, while on ‘Ya Ta Kaaya’ Adams brings a shuffly punkishness into his blues equation with riffs reminiscent of The Clash. It’s no coincidence that the sleeve reproduces a stencilled photo of him looking like none other than Joe Strummer.

Louise Gray

This column was published in the January 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Soul Science

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Soul Science Fact File
Product information
Star rating4
Product link www.myspace.com/justinadamsproducer and www.myspace.com/juldehcamarauk
Product number Wayward 704 CD
Publisher Wayward

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv's globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Music

All Music

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 408

New Internationalist Magazine issue 408
Issue 408

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe