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Mop Mop

Isle of Magic

(Agogo; US: 4 Mar 2013; UK: 4 Mar 2013)

A Sonic Magic Carpet Ride

Mop Mop is world music in the truest sense. Based in Italy, the multinational collective recorded tracks for fourth album Isle of Magic both in Italy and Germany, using a roster of musicians that includes natives of Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. The result is a tasty stew of polyrhythmic percussion, chanted vocals, and compulsively booty-shaking tunes. The standout is probably “Loa Chant”, which features the sultry vocals of Finnish-Egyptian Sara Sayed, or perhaps the sax-inflected funk of “Damballah”, but few tracks here are duds. By the time you hit the shuffling snares and steel drums of “Kamakumba”, you’re well on your way to wherever it is the band is taking you. With this crew, that could be anywhere.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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