The complete works of Zambia's legendary garage-, psych-, prog-, funk-, afro-rock ensemble. 1972-1977. WITCH's five albums and rare 7" tracks presented as a 6 LP box set, restored and remastered from the original tapes. Contains a 16 page booklet with never before seen photos and ephemera, extensive liner notes and annotation, an interview with bandleader "Jagari" Chanda. Tip!!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 album, 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 presented each album as it was originally issued and have grouped together all 7" single tracks - regardless of the era in which they were recorded and issued - on a sixth disc.