Amanaz – Khala My Friend

This track comes from a vibrant rock scene in 1970s Zambia affectionately referred to by collectors/enthusiasts as Zamrock. According to this Guardian profile, the Zambian government issued a law mandating that 95% of music on Zambian radio must be from native Zambian artists, and many groups put their own spin on the psych sounds that were creeping into the country from the United States. While the scene was short lived because of an economic recession which hit the country in the late 1970s and the influx of more outside radio programming, it has left behind a wealth of fuzzed-out garage gems. Paul Ngozi, an alias which translates to Paul Danger, is credited with introducing the Zamrock sound through his solo work and releases under the name The Ngozi Family. Another group, W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend to Cause Havoc) released a number of albums throughout the 1970s and are closely associated with the Zamrock sound.

Amanaz released only one album, Africa, in 1975 on a label called Zambia Music Parlor that released a lot of the Zamrock material from the period. It has been reissued by Now-Again Records, who also put out a fantastic psych compilation called Forge Your Own Chains which I can’t recommend enough. Now-Again has been releasing a lot of material from this period in Zambia and if this album is any indication there is a lot of good music to (re)discover.

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