Adjágas, the Sami duo that have rethought their musical heritage and transformed it into the most genuinely stunning and haunting pop music around, will go on a tour of the British Isles in May and June.
Their debut record, the eponymous Adjágas which means the state between sleep and being awake- was recently released in The UK to superlative reception. The whole panoply of British papers and music media recognized the hushed but intensely probing songs as something quite out of the ordinary. Adjectives like hypnotic, spellbinding and otherworldly have recurred across the line, and not least a sense of something truly different. In our day it is extremely seldom that those who indulge in music are really surprised, but this was fully the case regarding Adjágas.
Their music is based on the Sami traditional chant called the Joik. But whereas this expression is almost always based upon interpretations and re-presentations of a set of Joiks -a corpus of chants adaptable to situation, purpose and singer- Adjágas have set about creating new ones from scratch and allowing modern sonics and musical influences into the tunes. ‘The contemporary sound of a timeless expression’ has been one description in Norway, and this is not just a cliché: Adjágas do something unprecedented, they unearth and share the innermost nature of a musically contained enigma by stepping out of the traditional edifice and into the realm of independent music, yet with the essence of their tradition and indeed the mysterious property of the expression intact. As Lawra Somby, the male part of the young duo, has related: ‘Creating a Joik is not about conscious composition and musical creativity; a Joik is not a creation, it is a matter of rendering musically, and vocally, a vibration of a different kind; a more elusive and self-less kind of experience. Joik is not an expression of something in the conscious way, often it is only afterwards and at a distance that I realize how my songs relate to experiences.’
Already Adjágas have blown away listeners and audiences at home and abroad -not by force but by tranquil otherworldliness- and soon they embark on their first tour of the British Isles. One of the stops will be the mammoth Glastonbury festival, to which they were booked also last year but missed due to torrential rains. For the sake of the audience let‘s hope for clear skies (Aurora borealis, which would be the most appropriate backdrop, is perhaps too tall an order for an English June evening).
Listen to Adjágas tracks on their MySpace site.