V/A - Welcome To Zamrock Vol. 1
Much like Krautrock, the term Zamrock does not do justice to the quality of the music being generated by the musicians of said country. Coming out of Zambia in the mid 70s, the bands innovated a hybrid of psych rock, funk and garage that in its crudeness, came to represent the strife the musicians overcame as Zambia struggled to achieve independence from colonial rule. With a country in heavy strife and poverty while their president supported rebels elsewhere, bands such as Witch, Rikki Ililonga, Amanaz, Paul Ngozi and Peace made some great records that hit high marks within rock and funk but also veered towards darker sounds. Thankfully, Now-Again is doing us all a tremendous solid. Welcome To Zamrock! is a 2 volume set that deeply examines the Zambian Rock movement with a slew of tracks and bands that have never been reissued.
The 1st volume of Welcome To Zamrock!features songs by Blackfoot, Teddy Chisi, Crossbones, Born Free, Five Revolutions and Machine Gunners. Another one is Dr. Footswitch, aka Teddy Khuluzwa. In the early days of Zamrock, he was known as one of the earliest musicians to cut a record and was playing in bands like Rave Five and the awesomely named Lusaka Beatles. He was sometimes referred to as “Teddy Jagger” thanks to his onstage presence and use of the wah-wah pedal. With his band Dr. Footswitch he released 2 LPs (both impossibly rare) in Zambia and a bunch of singles in Rhodesia. However that would be the last things heard from Khuluzwa and Dr. Footswitch as he disappeared in the 80s after relocating to South Africa. This is just one of the many stories you’ll find within the music and rich culture that is Zamrock.
If there was ever a time to invest and explore the rock music of Zambia, this is it. These records and songs have slowly been reissued but only a fraction, and you will simply never see (or be able to afford) any original copies of these records. And even if you secure one, I hope you like surface noise! Therefore, this compilation (and many of the previous album reissues) are a no-brainer and you can always count on Now-Again for excellent sound sourcing, background notes and clean pressings. Yes, you need this. And Volume 2 will be in-stock by the end of June! (Dom)
Check out a track here.