Mike Nyoni and Born Free’s Story – Welcome To Zamrock!

Now-Again | Jun. 27, 2017 | News |

On sale at our webstore at Rappcats: Welcome To Zamrock! Vols. 1 and 2.

LP/Book/Bundle ships immediately from our store.

Born Free was founded in 1972 by bandleader, drummer and vocalist Nicky Mwanza, but the band never recorded until a complete personnel change. Star-in-the-making Mike Nyoni joined as vocalist and lead guitarist; Zimbabwean-born Peter Lungu replaced Mwanza on drums; Joseph Musonda alternated between rhythm and bass guitar. Mwanza went on to form Cross Town Traffic, and Nyoni’s Born Free signed to ZMPL, recording the album Mukaziwa Chingoi (Promotion) LP in 1975.

The album showcases Nyoni’s talents first and foremost, and betrays a study of funk: this is not a fuzz guitar showcase, but a wah-wah guitar dominated album – the instrumental “Mad Man” sounds like it could have been cut in Detroit, Michigan in the early ’70s.
 
After Born Free, Nyoni went solo, signing to Christopher Ndhlovu’s Chris Editions for two albums: Kawalala (c. 1977) and his most straight forward funk/soul release I Can’t Understand You (c. 1978). This last album was released in Kenya and France with different cover art as an AIT/Reprise album, and it set up Nyoni for a string of kalindula releases in the 1980s. He gigged on his own and with Sounds Unlimited and Broadway Quintet before his death in the ’90s.

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Out Now: Welcome To Zamrock! Vols. 1 & 2

Now-Again | May. 30, 2017 | News |

On sale now at our webstore at Rappcats: BOTH Welcome to Zamrock! Vol. 1 AND Welcome To Zamrock! Vol. 2

How Zambia’s Liberation Led To A Rock Revolution. 1972-1977. An overview of the Zamrock scene, from its ascension to its fall to its resurgence, presented as two volumes, both as 2LPs and hardcover book/CDs.

Both volumes are out WW and we’re offering the individual formats and a special bundle of each volume at our Rappcats webstore.

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 as he supported rebel movements in neighboring countries Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and stood up against apartheid South Africa.

This is the environment in which the 70s rock revolution that has come to be known as Zamrock flourished. It’s no wonder that the Zambian musicians taken by American and European influences gravitated to the dark side of the rock and funk spectrum. Fuzz guitars were commonplace, as were driving rhythms influenced by James Brown’s funk and Jimi Hendrix’s rock. Musical themes, mainly sung in the country’s constitutional language, English, were often bleak.


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Dr. Footswitch’s Story – Welcome To Zamrock!

Now-Again | May. 11, 2017 | News |

On sale at our webstore at Rappcats: Welcome To Zamrock! Vol. 1

LP/Book/Bundle ships immediately from our store. Vol. 1 worldwide release date: June 9th.

Teddy Khuluzwa, better known as Dr. Footswitch, had dual careers in his native Zimbabwe – Southern Rhodesia as it was known in the Zamrock days – and in his adopted homeland Zambia. He was, according to WITCH’s Jagari Chanda, the first African he’d met who had actually cut a vinyl record, which must have happened in Southern Rhodesia, some time prior to 1974. But in the ’60s and early ’70s Khuluzwa was found playing guitar alongside future Zamrock greats like Rikki Ililonga, Dereck Mbao, Keith Mlevhu and Ricky Banda in bands like the Rave Five and Lusaka Beatles. While Ililonga recalls starting the band Dr. Footswitch at the time Khuluzwa was known as “Teddy Jagger,” the alternate version of the story has Khuluzwa himself picking up the nickname and founding the band based on his abilities with the wah–wah pedal.

He released two albums in Zambia, Liquid Iron and Everyday Has Got A New Dream – amongst the rarest and best of the Zamrock scene – and a handful of singles in Southern Rhodesia, all in the mid- to late-’70s. But, though he was prolific and his sound unified, he found success fleeting. By the mid-’80s he left Zambia and Zimbabwe for South Africa, where it is assumed he died.

“Everyday Has Got A New Dream” is from Dr. Footswitch’s album of the same title and reflects the mid-‘60s garage rock influence that he carried with him throughout his career. It appears on Welcome to Zambia, Vol. 1

Below: Dr. Footswitch (second from right) as a member of The Rave Five in 1969; three photos of Dr. Footswitch in the 1970s.

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Out Now – Function Underground, the Black and Brown American Rock Sound.

Now-Again | Apr. 22, 2017 | News |

On sale now at our web store at Rappcats: Function Underground – the Black and Brown American Rock Sound.

14 tracks by Jimi Macon, Black Maffia, Blacklites and more, many reissued for the first time. LP and CD with extensive booklet, filled with notes notes on an overlooked and important portion of rock n’ roll’s history. LP contains download card with WAV files.

Nearly everyone in the world can rattle off the great African-American musical forms. Jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop, house, gospel. One influential genre is always left off of the list: a folk music known as rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was a term originally coined to market the white-friendly version of a genre that already existed; prior to 1965, the line between rock n’ roll and R&B was thin: Ike Turner recorded and released “Rocket ‘88’ ” in 1951 and, while its Chess Records release reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, it is regarded by many as the first rock n’ roll record.

The Great Divide between R&B and rock n’ roll came after the Beatles and the British Invasion decimated the Top 40 chart in 1964. Simultaneously, R&B entered a new phase, soon to be labeled “soul,” which upped the music’s gospel quotient and turned its frantic twang. So somewhere in the mid to late-1960s, rock n’ roll became perceived as something for the Caucasian kids. When Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee made the scene, they were said to be black musicians entering into a white world. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, that false dichotomy has existed in America’s popular conscious ever since, to the point where the idea of a black rock musician is on the level with the idea of a black cowboy. (more…)

Mysterious, apocalyptic Krautrock – German Oak, the definitive reissue, LP #6 in Now-Again Reserve

Now-Again | Apr. 10, 2017 | News |

Now-Again presents the definitive reissue of a lauded and misunderstood Krautrock album – the first band-sanctioned reissue as well – in NOW-AGAIN RESERVE, scheduled to ship to subscribers in August 2017.

SUBSCRIBE: NOW-AGAIN RESERVE – there are a limited amount of “Catch Me Up” subscriptions still available to get you the entire run of NOW-AGAIN RESERVE releases.

The most mysterious Krautrock album, German Oak’s Down in the Bunker has been fetishized and demonized, lauded and misunderstood for nearly four decades. In this definitive Reserve edition of the album, the German Oak trio – together again after 30 years apart – have approved the remastering of their 70s music; finally tell the story behind the creation of their dark, brooding album – and the occult-obsessed record collector behind the original album’s release and its myth – and they share previously unreleased music and photos. 2 LP with bonus 3rd LP available only to subscribers; 3 CD – included with the subscription – contains even more music.

This reissue is produced with the direct participation of its creators. See all release details.