Various Artists

Unwired: Africa (Rough Guide)

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You can usually count on World Music Network's Rough Guide series to provide reliably comprehensive overviews of any given world music genre, and although this release isn't officially part of that series, its look and approach are virtually the same. Here, a bevy of acoustic artists representing all of Africa's major regions churn out consistently excellent,

stripped-down tunes that showcase the more traditional sound of African musical culture. International stars like Mali's Toumani Diabate, Madagascar's Tarika and South Africa's Abdullah Ibrahim help provide name recognition, but tracks from lesser-known artists like Mozambique's Eyophuro and Cape Verde's Simentera prove no less stimulating. A beautiful compilation for those interested in the lighter side of African music.

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