Wired For Sound Mozambique - Various
If you're planning something as epic as a road trip through the remote northern region of Mozambique to seek out and record local musical talent, the devil is definitely in the details. Simon Attwell and guitarist, Julio Sigauque, both from South African worldbeaters, Freshly Ground, along with radio producer, Kim Winter were meticulous in planning their musical odyssey. The trio outfitted a 4X4 with solar panels, batteries and a clean power inverter. "The electricity, even at the local radio stations was full of clicks and buzzes.", explains Attwell. This way they could be assured of a low noise floor for their sessions, even in open air environments where there was no AC at all. AKG outfitted the audio explorers with some excellent microphones and the whole road trip was funded by The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSIA) with the goal of creating an album which, earned proceeds from would go into creating basic recording and production facilities for community radio stations; vital and essential voices in remote Africa. But, even with such a well-laid out plan, the journey faced a basic and formidable obstacle. "Language was our biggest challenge." admits Attwell. Julio Siguaque is fluent in Portuguese, but the problem was, the further north the intrepid team travelled, the less of that European colonial language was spoken in favour of indigenous tribal tongues. But, the talents were found, the recordings carefully executed and over the course of five months back in South Africa, the tracks were massaged, embellished and refined resulting in a treasure of previously unheard of, never before recorded contemporary sounds; music crossing genres from folk to rock to hip hop and choral, all from a remote and distant part of the world. And, that's not even the half of it. The musicians received their own copies of Wired For Sound Mozambique, many hearing their recorded selves for the very first time. Now they were empowered to promote their art through community radio and even soundcloud. One such trio, captured by a dry river bed in a national park, were former park rangers who had fashioned their guitars, PA and amps themselves. In the wake of this astounding album, the John Issa Band were invited to Denmark on a two week, all expenses paid, musical and cultural exchange. It would be their first time outside of Mozambique. As for our latter day Alan Lomaxes, they're just getting started. The next road trip will take them through Malawi where they hope to track down and track on their laptop, among others yet to be discovered, a group of aging accordion players whom the locals would love to be recorded for posterity before they pass on. The stories are fascinating, the 17 performances on Wired For Sound Mozambique are as inspiring as the project itself. This is epic, essential listening for globalistas.