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Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014

Various Artists: Wired for Sound—Mozambique (Freeground Records)

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This new compilation bears some similarities to Paul Simon’s landmark album Graceland, where sessions began on location in South Africa with local musicians and then those tapes were brought back to New York for polishing by studio pros. This time, producer Simon Attwell brought his mobile recording studio to northern Mozambique, and like an African Alan Lomax, spent several months recording local musicians on location who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to a city with studio facilities. Attwell recorded traditional instrumentalists, contemporary singer-songwriters, MCs, choirs and bands. He then brought the tapes to South Africa, where local musicians added their unique contributions to the tracks. The resulting 17-track banquet is an audio travelogue of the musical fabric of this country. No wonder Bob Dylan always wanted to go to Mozambique.