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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Heavy, Heavy, Heavy...Afro Rock, Afro Punk

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Heavy African rock, psych and punk on Sound Travels today; just a mood I found myself in after Tarik Moody linked me to the band I played in the Noon hour. A fascinating band called the Wake Of The Nation, an afro-punk band from Soweto, South Africa. I'll get to that in a bit...

...because we started the day with a hot Afro-rock cut with a nice beat and even nicer breaks from an amazing Soundway comp called The World Ends: Afro Rock and Psych. There are more than few goodies on this one, if you wanted a starting point, as I did at 10am, you could do worse. In fact, that Comrades cut, "Bullwalk" is a live wire of afro-grooving rock. Even heavier, the leave-you-wanting-for-more-ness of Stoneface and Life Everlasting's heavy heavy hitter "Agawalam Mba"

The Comrades "Bullwalk" Soundway Presents: The World Ends - Afro Rock and Psych

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Stoneface and Life Everlasting "Agawalam Mba"

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South African punk at Noon today with Wake Of The Nation, an afro-punk band that was in some ways a intersection of race and politics as much as music. With members from the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg and others, en-ghetto-ized by the South African governments creation of the reservation-like townships like Soweto. It was the friendship between the band's members that endured the stress and tension of the era with some scathing, political critiques of the times.

Wake Of The Nation "Wake of the Nation" National Wake

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Really, I've been fascinated with all things South African lately and their story is a portrait of a crew who spent their youth in this seminal punk outfit during the heyday of apartheid. Their story and music are excellent and captured eloquently by Mirissa Neff of PRI's The World:

 

I happened to play their song "Wake of the Nation," however there is also an excellent video collage of the band, presumeably put together by Ivan Kadey, the last surviving member of a band that echoed the youth-felt alienation of the era, South Africa's turbulent apartheid era.

Zam Rock? Check. Hit that in the 11 o'clock hour with a extended jam from Zambian rocker Rikki Ililonga and Musi-O-Tunya. They were a band that hit its peak in the early 70's with a sound that is darker and heavier than almost anything I've ever heard form Africa. Musi-O-Tunya is apparently the pre-colonial name for Victoria Falls and aptly translates to "the smoke that thunders." If you can find the double disc release Dark Sunrise released by Now Again Records a few years back, you'll be as happy as you are lucky to own a surprising slice of heavy African rock. 

Rikki Ililonga and Musi-O-Tunya "Tsegulani" Dark Sunrise

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