Audio

Exclusive: 1970s Zamrock 'Introduction' LP from WITCH

Zamrock emerged in 1970s Zambia and Lusaka-based ensemble WITCH were one of the young scene's most popular groups.


Zamrock emerged in 1970s Zambia out of the dual influence of Jimi Hendrix‘s acid guitar and James Brown‘s funk. Lusaka-based ensemble WITCH were one of the young scene's most popular groups coupling experimental tendencies, fuzz guitars and psychedlics grooves with traditional Zambian rhythms.

Introduction/In The Past (1972) are WITCH's self-produced initial albums which happened to be released in tandem with the birth of the commercial Zambian recording industry. The garage rock-leaning tracks coupled with singer Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda's English croons marked the beginning of the group's five-year span as Zamrock's driving force.

Now-Again Records has released the complete works of WITCH — five albums and rare 7” tracks presented as a 4CD box set and 6 LP box-set coupled with extensive liner notes detailing the unknown musical history of his Zambian ensemble. Grab the excellent Zamrock release and stream Introduction/In The past in their entirety below.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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