David Nesselhauf

A Guide To Afrokraut III

Légère Recordings • 2023

The invented word »Afrokraut« is actually self-explanatory when you look at its components: African music cannot be reduced to one or two characteristics, even if the cliché, nourished by countless reissues of Fela Kuti and his epigones, is alive and well. But it’s precisely the funkiness of Fela Kuti’s legendary drummer Tony Allen that works so well with extended, driving tracks that constantly seek out non-European influences.  

The idea of developing this fusion, originally pioneered by the band Can, has now sustained the project from Hamburg multi-instrumentalist David Nesselhauf over three precisely numbered albums. Sometimes the classic polyrhythms of Afrobeat form the basis, sometimes Nesselhauf throws in African guitars to a Kraut beat, always with an eye on both the cosmos and the dancefloor, without trivialising the delicate ingredients. Even if the credentials are venerable, the result sounds, if not groundbreaking, at least fresh and, above all, extremely independent. The fact that the musical concept is all about the idea of crossing borders turns »Afrokraut III«, which also contains a nice version of the Visage hit »Fade To Grey«, into a statement that goes beyond the music.