Wednesday, April 16, 2014

REVIEW: Musi-O-Tunya - Give Love To Your Children

Give Love to Your Children is an amazing record, a medley of sweet soul, Afrobeat, funk and pure psychedelia (with some amazing, truly breathtaking fuzzy lead electric guitar). Musi-O-Tunya was a groundbreaking band at the forefront of a thriving mid-70's rock scene in Zambia, featuring artists who would go on to have very successful solo careers. Rikki Ililonga is a Zamrock superstar, as were fellow group members drummer Brian Chengala and guitarist Wayne Barnes.

Give Love To Your Children was their last album (and this package also features a few out-of-print singles to complete the story). In this fantastic record, you can hear the influences of Fela, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Cream - a host of soul and psychedelic rock influences, and on tracks like "When I'm Gone" and "Njala" they are particularly well-synthesized. The guitar work on "Sunkha" is sprawling, and along with a great horn section, makes an unforgettable noise. "Starving Child" features another great horn section, gentle rhythms, slightly more understated guitar and a suitably mournful vocal - it's impeccable, really.

Now-Again is known for the quality of its reissues, and this set from 1976 is certainly emblematic. As a taste, here is a free download of "When I'm Gone".

You can learn more and buy at Now-Again Records. The initial pressing is sold out, but the music is still available, as are other Zamrock reissues... and I'll try to be more timely in the future.

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