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Wednesday, May 16 2012 | 14:10 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

WitchWitch’s five albums and rare 7″ tracks presented as a 4 CD (5 3/4″ X 10″) box set, restored and remastered from the original tapes. Contains a 24 page booklet with never before seen photos and ephemera; extensive liner notes and annotation; an interview with bandleader “Jagari” Chanda.

By the mid 1970s, the Southern African nation known as the Republic of Zambia had fallen on hard times: self-imposed, single party rule; a decline in prices for the country’s largest natural resource, copper; conflict in other countries on Zambia’s borders. This is the environment in which the Zamrock scene that flourished throughout that decade emerged. As we showed in this label’s previous investigation into the genre (Rikki Ililonga and Musi-O-Tunya’s Dark Sunrise – NA 5067) fuzz guitars were commonplace, driving rhythms as influenced by James Brown’s funk as Jimi Hendrix’s rock predominated, musical themes were often bleak and bands largely sang in the country’s constitutional language, English.

Although Witch is the best known Zamrock ensemble – and although they succeeded in releasing five albums in Zamrock’s golden years – they never made an impact on the global scale in, say, the way afro-beat maestro Fela Kuti did. Travel to – and within – Zambia is expensive, and the markers for the Zamrock scene are now few. Only a small number of the original Zamrock godfathers survived the AIDS epidemic that decimated this country.

Witch’s musical arc is contained to a five year span: The band’s first two, self-produced albums – released in unison with the birth of the commercial Zambian recording industry – are exuberant experiments in garage rock, and are as influenced by the Rolling Stones as they are James Brown; their third albun, Lazy Bones!!, is the band’s masterpiece – a dark, brooding psychedelic opus that makes equal use of wah-wah and fuzz guitars, that relies as heavily on the stomping feel of hard rock as it does the syncopation of funk; the band’s last two albums – recorded after the band toured with Osibisa – make use of traditional Zambian rhythms and folk melodies and are the most “afro-rock” of Witch’s oeuvre.

We’ve grouped together Witch’s albums stylistically. Thus, the band’s first two, self-produced albums appear on Disc One; Lazy Bones!! and its related 7″ single tracks appear on Disc Two, Lukombo Vibes and its 7″ single tracks appear on Disc Three and Including Janet (Hit Single) appears on Disc Four.


CD1 (“Introduction/In The Past”)

01. Introduction
02. Hometown
03. You Better Now
04. Feeling High
05. Like A Chicken
06. See You Mama
07. That’s What I Want
08. Try Me
09. No Time
10. Living in The Past
11. Young Lady
12. Chance
13. It’s Alright
14. I’ve Been Away
15. I Like The Way I Am
16. The Only Way
17. Smiling Face
18. She Is Mine
19. Mashed Potato

CD2 (“Lazy Bones!!”)

01. Black Tears
02. Motherless Child
03. Tooth Factory
04. Strange Dream
05. Look Out
06. Havoc
07. Ocotber Night
08. Off My Boots
09. Lazy Bones
10. Little Clown
11. Talking Universe
12. Evil Woman
13. Sweet Sixteen
14. Toloka
15. 81st Crowd Confusion
16. Up The Sky

CD3 (“Lukombo Vibes”)

01. Thou Shalt Not Cry
02. Bleeding Thunder
03. Devil’s Flight
04. Blood Donor
05. Nasauka
06. Evening Of My Life
07. Kangalaitoito
08. See – Saw
09. Chifundo
10. Fool’s Ride

CD4 (“Including Janet (Hit Single)”)

01. Janet
02. As Days Go By
03. Ntedelakumbi
04. In Flight
05. Nazingwa
06. Silver Lady
07. Anyinamwana
08. Mama Feel Good
09. The Way I Feel

The album WitchWe Intend To Cause Havoc!” (Now-Again) is going to be released May 25, 2012.

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