March 24 2011
It's been awhile since I've been this excited to share a hidden gem, but the music of Zam-rock legend Rikki Ililonga is soooooo good. So supremely funky at times and yet with a distinct, hard rockin edge. I listen to a lot of African music, but this stuff is darker and smokier than most of what you'll typically encounter; especially with vintage material from the 70's. That's exactly what I have for today's Sound Travels.
Ililonga is perhaps the best example of a sound called Zam-rock which was pretty big in the nascent music scene in Zambia during the late 60's and 70's. Zam-rock emerged as a distinctly psychedelic form of Afro-rock with artists and bands like The Witch, The Peace, Amanaz, Chrissy Zebby Tembo and Rikki Ililongo leading the way. Unfortunately, the record industry in Zambia back in the day was exceptionally poor, making it super rare to find good copies of some of this crucial music. Despite the difficulty, the folks at Now Again Records have done the world a solid by putting together this tremendous compilation of Rikki Ililonga's music.
Unique music that channels James Brown's raw funk as well as Jimi Hendrix's fuzzy psychedlia; music that flirts with Fela's Afro-Beat and Congolese rumbas and simultaneously brings his blues of Taj Mahal back to Africa. Experience this...
Rikki Ililonga "Stop Dreaming Mr. D"
Rikki Ililonga "Love Is The Way"
Rikki Ililonga "The Queen Blues"
Rikki Ililonga "Lovely Woman"
Rikki Ililonga "Take It Light"
Rikki Ililonga "Working On The Wrong Thing"