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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Finally Out Now! Peace’s Zamrock Masterpiece “Black Power”

Now-Again | May. 4, 2016 | News | ,

ON SALE AT OUR WEBSTORE AT RAPPCATS: PEACE – BLACK POWER

After a year’s delay, we’re stoked to announce Black Power is shipping in all format at our webstore at Rappcats! This is the first official reissue of this essential Zamrock album.

Peace was one of of Zamrock’s best bands, kick-started by groups The Boyfriends and WITCH from Chamboli Mine Township, Kitwe, Zambia. Black Power was their sole release, recorded at Malachite Film Studio circa 1973-74 and issued circa 1975, sounds like nothing else in the Zamrock canon: a lost message drifting from the flower power era, imbued with a fiery Zambian voice.

Announcing: Amanaz “Africa” Record Store Day 2015 Release

Now-Again | Mar. 10, 2015 | News |

The Zamrock masterpiece’s definitive reissue. 2 LP, 2 CD set with both issued mixes of the album, extensive booklet. Official Record Store Day release – out now!

Buy at our webstore at rappcats.com.

Issued in 1975, this is the articulation of Zambia’s Zamrock ethos. While other albums – Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia, WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! – are competitors, it’s hard to best this album as it covers each major quadrant of the Zamrock whole: it came from the mines; its musicians were anti-colonial freedom fighters, it envelops Zambian folk music traditions, and it rocks – hard.

Africa was issued in two separate mixes and two separate presses in 1975: one version is dry, with the vocals and drums mixed loud, the other slathered in reverb, with the vocals and drums disappearing into the mix, and with the guitar solos mixed much louder. Africa’s master tapes are long lost, but we have restored both versions in new transfers from the absolute cleanest copies of this incredibly rare album and presented them both in a 2 LP/ 2 CD set. Also included in both formats: an extensive booklet containing an essay on the album and detailing the history of the Zamrock scene and this album, with notes from Amanaz’s Isaac Mpofu and Keith Kabwe and rare photos. Download card included with LP version.

Hear examples of both mixes of the album below, with Isaac Mpofu’s scorching “History of Man.”

Coming 08.26: Ngozi Family “Day of Judgement” – download a free MP3 now!

Now-Again | Jul. 21, 2014 | News | ,

Coming this summer – proto-punk and garage Zamrock! The celebrated guitarist Paul Ngozi’s essential debut album. Featuring Chrissy Zebby Tembo. Hardbound casebook CD; ltd. deluxe LP edition contains bonus disc with rare 7″ tracks. Out 08.26 – download a free mp3 now!

We’ve been talking about an anthology centered around Zambian guitarist/vocalist Paul Ngozi for a while now. And – while we’re not there just yet, we’re announcing the issue of his masterwork. His debut album – issued under the name Ngozi Family – is important record: not just in the Zamrock genre, but in the global rock canon. Day of Judgement is an introduction to the most intense, raw and inimitable golden era Zamrock recorded, as it paved the way for a dozen Paul Ngozi and Ngozi Family releases (the most famous being drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s My Ancestors) that straddled the line between funk and punk, of driving hard rock and Zambian folk melodies and rhythms.

Day of Judgement was released in 1976, the same year as other, now famous, Zamrock albums, from WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! to Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia to Musi-O-Tunya’s Give Love To Your Children, all reissued on Now-Again. But Day of Judgement sounds like none of its counterparts. Part of that stems from its frenzied primitivism, the Ngozi Family’s attempt to overcome a lack of musical acumen with sheer force of will.

That will allowed Paul Ngozi to overcome a humble upbringing to become the most unlikely combination: Zamrock’s most beloved star in its brief but now-well chronicled arc; the only musician to maintain his fame and recording prowess in the dark ages of the ’80s; an inspiration to not only aging but young Zambians — and now others, beyond Zambia’s borders.

But one cannot imagine Paul Ngozi without this album, a full-on aural assault that sounds as wild nearly forty years after its release as it must have sounded in the developing Zamrock landscape from which it emerged. We listen to this anachronistic yet prescient album now as a wholly original, completely unpredictable album in line with those from mavericks from across the world – from the Ramones to the Sex Pistols to Death. And, though it’s been over two decades since Paul Ngozi’s passing, his voice and vision still seem exciting, powerful, unique, unvarnished, new.

Day of Judgement will see release as a hardbound casebook CD and in LP form. A limited deluxe edition of the LP will contain a bonus disc which collects four songs from rare Ngozi Family 7″ singles, issued contemporaneously with Day of Judgement.

Day of Judgement will be available to our subscribers at Now-Again Deluxe two weeks prior to the album’s release date. Download a free MP3 from the album – the devastating “Hi Babe” – below.

Download: “Hi Babe”

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