Wouter Kellerman – Mzansi

Wouter Kellerman Mzansi

Wouter Kellerman
Mzansi
Kellerman Music (56 mins)

**
Flute salad 

For his latest release, South African flautist Wouter Kellerman offers up a blend of music from around the world – featuring everything from Celtic hornpipes and beatboxing to traditional Senegalese songs and jazz. Does Mzansi then manage to keep itself away from the depths of New Age, wishy-washy ‘world fusion’?

Not really, but there are a few good tracks that stand out among the otherwise generic babel. ‘Khokho’ uses some percussive flute sounds and beatboxing to create a Bobby McFerrin-esque tune. The opener, ‘African Hornpipes’, works surprisingly well as a blend of deep African voices and tinny fife, and the final track, ‘Miniamba’, is a lovely homage to West African music. However, the rest of the album loses itself in the attempt to check off a shopping list of influences. The reggae of ‘Mama Tembu’ sounds far too tempered to shine by the addition of fife, and the ballad ‘Cape Flats’ is straight-up muzak, more suited to a waiting room than a decent fusion album. Overall, this is a pleasant album that would interest any flute lovers out there. The rest may care to look for their African fusion elsewhere.  

TRACK TO TRY Khokho

This review originally appeared in Songlines #97 (Jan/Feb 2014) p66.

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