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Unwired

When music is labeled acoustic, unplugged, or unwired, the assumption seems to be that other types of music are "cluttered" by technology and overproduction and therefore aren't as "pure." This absurd assumption is the driving force behind Unwired: Acoustic Music From Around the World. However ridiculous and ignorant the motive, the album succeeds as an excellent collection of diverse sounds from all over the globe. The disc kicks off with a collaboration between Cuban ensemble Cuarteto Patria and Cameroonian saxaphone legend Manu Dibango -- an interesting combination of African and jazz roots with Latin rhythms. Then we have the acoustic guitar and soulful voice of one of Africa's best-loved vocalists, Zimbabwean Oliver Mutukudzi, who creates his own raw rhythm by marrying the rural mystic rhythms of thumb piano with speedy Zulu-influenced urban sounds. Other tracks feature the Spanish flamenco of Duquende, the Argentinean tango of Adriana Varela, the accordian-led vallenato of Colombian Maximo Jimines and the Jewish klezmer of The Klezmatics. European music is highlighted with the pioneering female group Niekku playing traditional Finnish instruments and by Scotland's small harp maestro, Savourna Stevenson. Other world musicians include India's Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma playing the flute and box zither, and Senegalese guitarists and vocalists Baaba Maal and Mansour Seck. For a fresh introduction to global musical diversity, look no further than Unwired.

Various Artists
Unwired: Acoustic Music From Around the World
World Music Network
CD

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Review by Craig Conley

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