Shaluza Max


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South African Shaluza Max has a good facility for crossing between genres. While a lot of Impilo is in the kwaito vein (kwaito is a South African variant on hip-hop that also draws on R&B and house music for a unique hybrid), there are also touches of mbaqanga, one of the most familiar South African styles. That said, some tracks definitely work better than others. "Uzolalaphi?" is a percolating little joy, while the title track gets a soft, soulful groove going. However, the three remixes here (two of which don't appear to be from tracks on the album) aren't quite as successful, with a bit too much overkill involved, although "Amaginsa" strikes a fair balance, melding mbaqanga guitar and gospel organ into a kwaito beat. "The Spirit of Moses Molelekwa" has an interesting, original rhythm pattern, which makes up for a not-especially strong song. All in all, it's a perfectly listenable album; there's simply nothing especially outstanding on it.

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