Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Africa!

In 1973 the border between Zambia and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was closed off due to a bloody conflict between the two neighboring countries. This created a myriad of trade problems for Zambia. To make matters worse, soon after the price of copper, Zambia's chief export, dropped drastically, sending the already poor Zambia even further down the shitter. These were particularly hard times for a people who who knew only hardship. Could this explain why every Zambian album I've heard from this time period is so mind-boggling, sincere and magically heart-breaking? I fell in love with Chrissy Zebby Tembo, went nutters over Witch and now we have Amanaz, and their 1975 album Africa. Amanaz were by far the most African sounding of the bunch, at times choosing to sing in their native tongue, hell, they even called their album Africa, ferchrissakes! All three bands have a very similar lo-fi, fuzzed out sound, but Amanaz are on the darker end of the scene, perhaps even more so than Witch. Again, a spartan production adds to the depth of the album. So if the Cosmic Hearse's previous forrays into the cryptic world of Zambian psych left you wanting more then this is for you.

20 comments:

Boim Lebon said...

hi blog hopping here from indonesia.....you have nice blog :D :D

vugelnox said...

that Witch album was very enjoyable, this is going right on ye olde ipod

Aesop said...

Vugelnox, you have been a very loyal supporter and frequent comment leaver (bloggers like that). Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see here on The Hearse and I'll try to make it so.

vugelnox said...

thanks a lot man, I appreciate it. Perhaps a forgotten gem of Australian black or death metal? One of my favorite countries for consistently great metal. That and for years now the mighty Destroyer 666 have been my favorite band.

Aesop said...

Alright, I got something in mind for you. I actually got to see D666, man, I was floored.

str8ev said...

really digging the african stuff you've posted (and the blog in general)...keep up the good work!

Devil Dick said...

this shit is right up my alley!
Cheers!
dd

chrisc said...

i love how you put the bands and the music in their historical,geographical and social context.it's nice to learn something new from time to time.anyway,great album,great work on your behalf(as usual).

Arend said...

Chrissy Zebby Tembo was my introduction to Cosmic Hearse, and this is probably my favorite thing that I've downloaded from this blog. Excellent music.

James said...

Ok, so I've been lurking and dowloading shit with no comments, but this, Chrissy Zebby and Langley schools are too good. I came for some old school h/c cause I can't be bothered converting my vinyl now I've got an mp3 player, but I'm staying for your brilliant taste and access to shit. Chur bro.

zeke said...

Thanks for posting these wonderful records, I had no idea Zambian psyche even existed.
Been listening to Amanaz loads, cheers!

Humane Completist said...

AW RIGHT I READ THIS BLOG NOW

Marko-V said...

Thanks. Extremely interesting african shit here. Go on...

Anonymous said...

Music can have personally negative connotations as well as positive ones, and one reason I like this right now is that it reminds me of nothing I don't want to reminded of. I've heard afropop, but aside from your blog (and maybe the ATFA blog) there is no other connotation.

And despite being the ragged fuzzy distortion freak I am, I think I like the clean guitar tracks even more— especially when the second voice comes in during the quiet and personal beauty of the chorus of "Sunday Morning".

Sometimes it's better to be exposed to someone else's heartbreak than wallow in your own.

JMD,
Royal Oak, MI

Neilantman said...

Thanks

Addison said...

too awesome man, thank you so much for this and the stuff you've uploaded. i also should take the time to say this is my favorite blog, i check it everyday. keep it up!

Aesop said...

You can always use the following feature of blogspot

Anonymous said...

Thanx!
Hallo

Jah Soldier said...

wow this is amazing. so soulful. love it.

Anonymous said...

So I was in SF for the Sleep reunion shows last month and found both Witch's "Lazy Bones" and Amanaz's "Africa" reissued on Cd at Amoeba. I guess the feller that runs Stones Throw Records released em through his other label Now Again, (awesome shit abounds on this label). Anyway, it seems that most folks have been listening to a slower version of this album than what was intended. The faster version is fucking amazing and really needs to be heard. I can upload it and send you a link if you wish.