Wouter Kellerman – Mzansi

Wouter Kellerman Mzansi

Wouter Kellerman
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.  


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


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