World Traveller (Sheer Sound SSCD 117, 2005)
Guitarist Louis Mhlanga is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2006. The Zimbabwean has recorded an extraordinary with an dream team line-up of African musicians. Mhlanga grew up listening to rock, but he quickly chose to explore the guitar styles of West Africa and Southern Africa. He also added Shona mbira techniques to his guitar playing, developing a unique mode.
Louis Mhlanga spent some time in Lagos (Nigeria), where he collaborated with King Sunny Ade. Eventually, Mhlanga moved to South Africa. there, his talent as a guitarist attracted many of the biggest names in South African music. He also worked as producer for Vusi Mahlasela.
All these experiences are illustrated in World Traveler, an album that covers a wide variety of African musical styles and guitar techniques, ranging from South Africa to Congolese and West African.
To enrich his music, Mhlanga invited world music heavy weights such as Orchestra Baobab (Senegal), Ernest Ranglin (Jamaica), fellow Zimbabwean and guitarist Oliver Mtukudzi, Malian guitar star Habib Koité, Busi Mhlongo and Chiwoniso Maraire.
Highly recommended for guitar lovers.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.