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Archive for the tag “Zamrock”

Welcome To Zamrock Vol 1 & 2

Now Again records are at it again. Yes we have not one, but two new excellent compilations of the best vintage Zamrock music out there.
By the mid-1970s, the Southern African nation known as the Republic of Zambia had fallen on hard times. Though the country’s first president Kenneth Kaunda had thrown off the yoke of British colonialism, the new federation found itself under his self-imposed, autocratic rule. Conflict loomed on all sides of this landlocked nation. Kaunda protected Zambia from war, but his country descended into isolation and poverty.
This is the environment in which the ’70s rock revolution that has come to be known as Zamrock flourished. Fuzz guitars were commonplace, as were driving rhythms as influenced by James Brown’s funk as
Jimi Hendrix’s rock predominated. Musical themes, mainly sung in the country’s constitutional language, English, were often bleak.
In present day Zambia, Zamrock markers were few. Only a small number of the original Zamrock godfathers that remained in the country survived through the late ’90s. AIDS decimated this country, and uncontrollable inflation forced the Zambian rockers that could afford to flee into something resembling exile. This was not a likely scene to survive – but it did.
‘Welcome To Zamrock!’, presented in two volumes, is an overview of its most beloved ensembles, and a trace of its arc from its ascension, to its fall, to its resurgence.
Out now on LP, digital and 103-page hard cover book with CD from Now Again.

Christophe Lemaire Presents – Can’t You Hear Me?

Globetrotter of parchristopheallel subcontinents and digger of rare, forgotten records, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt tracks sounds from the dawn of time to the four corners of the world. On the other side of the globe, French designer Christophe Lemaire stays forward thinking and audacious in his choices: far from our deified present, he cultivates a love of timeless designs and mixed influences; a passion for iconoclastic music hidden in the dark corners of a global cultural industry.
This extraordinary openness has been at the heart of their friendship since 2007. Their exceedingly eclectic, fierce rock discoveries gave birth to a first anthology, Where Are You From?  (Now-Again, 2010), the fruit of Lemaire’s excavating Alapatt’s archives. That was a postgeographic exploration in psych, rock and funk territories from 1968 to now; this second anthology celebrates their impressionist vision and explores garage rock from the 1970s, voicing the struggles of independence in Zambia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
“Can’t You Hear Me” comes from a track by charismatic Zamrock icon Paul Ngozi, a Lemaire favorite. Ngozi’s title track sets the tone for a drastic selection of seventeen songs with rebellious undertones, riddled by an infectious groove, the forsaken writing about a forgotten chapter in the history of music. Ngozi,WITCH, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Wells Fargo, Eye Q and the Funkees represent a generation fighting for their freedom, armed with fuzz guitars, symbolic objects of a new movement. They played in Fela’s kingly shadow, were influenced by Hendrix’s psychedelic solos, Jefferson Airplane’s penetrating chords and Cream’s repetitive melodies. The music of their colonial oppressors they reassembled and reinterpreted with pure energy, without nod to hymn or flag.
A halo of cosmic design and pure lines, the cover for the anthology by Sanghon Kim transports us in this whirling odyssey in space and time while composer/producer Pilooski concludes the album with an edit of WITCH’s “No Time,” an  xpression of the critical need to open up to new perspectives, new imaginations and to keep unearthing riches of our universal heritage.
“Through these tracks we can feel the communicative energy, this pure vitality, not only of Africa , but of youth and hope,” Lemaire states. “And I find it quite universal and timeless. It is not about music as an industry , or as product , but music as a craft . And one can immediately recognized when music is created with heart and soul.”
Released April 15th on Now Again Records take a listen below.

 

 

Amanaz – Africa

FirstAfrica Artwork released in 1975, Amanaz ‘Africa’ is a classic piece of Zambian psychedelic, beat heavy, acid rock or Zamrock as it has come to be known. Originally there were two versions of the album, one was dry, with loud vocals and drums, the second was covered with heavy reverb loosing the vocals and drums somewhere in the haze.
Now-Again records have resurrected this excellent album, taking both versions and cleaning them up as much they possibly can, the mastered are long lost,to give the listeners the cleanest copies of this rare album.
Here you have the laid back ‘Sunday Morning’ and ‘Khala My Friend’ along with the raucous, bugged out sounds of ‘Making The Scene’. Whatever mood the band are in the fuzz is always present, fuzzed out guitars, heavy on the distortion giving even the most mellow moments a harder and more exciting edge.
Out now on all formats from Now-Again do not miss out on this forgotten classic. Buy HERE check out a taster below.

 

 

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