Monday, 11 July 2016

Ngozi Family "45,000 Volts" Zambia, 1977 Psych Rock,Afro Funk


Ngozi Family  "45,000 Volts"  1977 Zambia,  Psych Rock 

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Originally released in 1977, 45,000 Volts is an excellent fuzzed out psychedelic grail by the pioneers of Zamrock music....

They were the most prolific band when it came to churning out records. Between 1976 and 1989, Ngozi Family released more than fourteen albums and over 50 singles. On 45,ooo Volts, the band posed at an electricity sub-station being struck on their heads by electricity sparks....Leonard Koloko.......
Early 70s Funk and Hard rock having a few drinks and going home together? Funky 70s Hard rock?! It does exist! 

Ngozi Family (led by Zambian music legend Paul Ngozi - 'Ngozi' meaning 'Danger') were one of the most distinctive and appealing bands to come out of the 70s Zam-rock scene. These guys carved out their own crude version of 70s hard rock with classic riffs, a dollop of wah and phase, a heavy saucing of fuzz, rich bass flavourings, brisk drumming and some funky treats thrown in. 

The band's zest and the frequent group vocals add a lot of vivacity to the tracks. These songs feature more purpose and more mature structures than some of the other Zam-rock I have heard. Ngozi Family were tight and punchy where Amanaz were loose and stoned. Great stuff. Unfortunately, the mixing is terrible and occasionally makes for quite jarring listening. 

Nevertheless, Africa just keeps offering up charismatic nuggets of gold and my appetite just keeps growing....by....foxtrot_stowaway ..... 





Leonard Koloko (Zambian Music Legends):
They were the most prolific band when it came to churning out records. Between 1976 and 1989, Ngozi Family released more than fourteen albums and over 50 singles. On 45,ooo Volts, the band posed at an electricity sub-station being struck on their heads by electricity sparks.
Strawberry Rain Music:
The Nosmoke reissue used the Kenyan Sungura pressing for the cover. I wasn’t aware of this pressing until recently. There is also the Zambian pressing on Chris Editions that has a white cover with the band on the front getting shocked by cartoon lightening bolts.
Bootleg Alert:
The tracklisting of the Nosmoke Records bootleg (NS006, 2009) differs from the tracklisting of the original Chris Editions release shown below. Tracks one and two are switched and the single “Chisoni Kwanzatu A Zimbabwe,” which appears on 99% Confusion, is inserted as the penultimate track. The track “House of Fear” is erroneously listed as “Night of Fear.”
 Paul Dobson Nyirongo (Paul Ngozi) was born in 1949. The first band he helped form was called the Scorpions. When that band called it quits, he joined Mosi Oa Tunya who were residing in Nairobi, Kenya. After he quit Mosi oa Tunya after only three months, Paul came back to Zambia to form the Ngozi Family Band. By this time (1975) he had earned the name ‘Ngozi’ meaning danger for his spectacular stage antics, that included playing the guitar with his teeth & because each time he took to the stage, people went crazy & there was chaos.
He immediately signaled his presence on the local scene with the siren filled hit single, “I Have Been Looking for You” b/w “We Were not Told”. The band was Paul on lead guitar, Billy Sithenge on bass (later replaced by Tommy Mwale), & Chrissy Zebby Tembo on drums). They took the Zambian music scene by storm. Ngozi Family followed up their single with the album, Day of Judgement under the Zambia Music Palour label.
Then came 45,000 Volts recorded at Nairobi’s Sapra Studios in 1977. These albums earned Paul recognition as a insightful social commentator. The themes of his music recounted society’s own ups & downs. The lyrics are witty & poignant, they perfectly reflect the life of 1970s Zambians.The guitar is razor-sharp here. They have an almost Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy sort of compression which sounds great next to the harder rhythms of the bass & drums. The album is a mix of English & Zambian lyrics.
There have been already a few reissues of Ngozi Family albums. This reissue is to say the least, of the same quality as the other ones, if not, at least in a very direct way, like an acid garage concept with an effective rawness, with simple direct energy songs that mostly are about directions, judgments and experiences of girls. The energy is expressive and emotionally direct. The drumming is a great variation of Afro-rock, while there are several fuzz solos, sometimes combined with bass that are worthy of note, making the group balance between a directing-to-the-public song-driven rock band and a power trio.


Guitar & Vocals: Paul Ngozi 
Bass & Background Vocals: Tommy Mwale 
Drums & Background Vocals: Chrissy Zebby Tembo 
Congas on “Timwenge” & “Tichenjele”: Alex Kunda 

A1. Nizakupanga Ngozi 
A2. Everything Is Over 
A3. I'll Be With U 
A4. Atate 
A5. U Don't Love Me 

B1. House Of Fear 
B2. Timwenge 
B3. Hold On 
B4. Tichenjele 

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