Oscillations // A "Zamrock!!" Story ft. Victor Kunda Kasoma

Zambian songwriter and guitarist Victor Kunda Kasoma was the founder and bandleader of the Zamrock group Oscillations during the 1970s. In this short documentary, he provides creative insights and personal anecdotes about the making of his 1977 album I Can See It Coming.

Directed by Calum MacNaughton
Filmed by Jacques Koudstaal
Edited by Khalid Shamis

Produced for Reissue by Jason Connoy and Calum MacNaughton
℗ 1978 © 2020 Sharp-Flat Records / Strawberry Rain Music

Teal Record Company Zambia 1979

"In 1974 we built the factory Musical Producers and Manufacturers Ltd. from scratch on the south side of the plot and attached it to the existing warehouse. New offices were also built along the Arusha Street frontage, and another warehouse on the north side to house Emerald Appliances, our appliance division. The attached picture was taken just before I left in 1979.

A new boiler was sourced from South Africa and installed in a new and separate safety housing on the east side. Tape duplication machines and splicing equipment for cassette tapes were also purchased.

4 Swedish Toolex Alpha semi-automatic presses were sourced together with extruders and two AB Europa plating baths from Sweden – all brand new. A second-hand Neumann cutting lathe plus electronic support gear was supplied in the UK – may have been from Abbey Road. As part of the conglomerate Lonrho, we were able to hire a Tradewinds DC-8 to pick up all of the Swedish equipment, call in at London for the lathe, and then fly straight into Ndola where we were waiting at the airport with a 40 ton truck to unload. The general manager of Teal South Africa, Andy Bailes, came up to oversee the installation, along with two colleagues - factory engineer Peter Homewood and electronics man, Maurice Halliwell. Four weeks later we were in full production."

- Geoff Paynter (formerly of Teal Record Company Zambia Ltd.)

ZMPL 70 // MULEMENA BOYS - A Tribute to the Late Emmanuel Mulemena

Named in honour of Zambia Music Parlour recording artist and honorary producer Emmanuel Mulemena, The Mulemena Boys was founded in the wake of their namesake's death in 1982 by members of his backing band. Dedicated to their former bandleader, the group's 1984 debut draws on the type of folk music that Mulemena popularised in the 1970s with influences from the kalindula sound that was shaking up the music scene in the 1980s and rumba imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo. With its signature use of the drum machine and timeless good vibes, A Tribute to the Late Emmanuel Mulemena was Zambia Music Parlour's best selling title.


Zambian folk maestro Emmanuel Mulemena, who died in February 1982, has not gone with the wind. Twenty two months after his death, the flame of his music has been rekindled by this album entitled A Tribute to the Late Emmanuel Mulemena, created by The Mulemena Boys under the Zambia Music Parlour label. The vocals on the album are not Mulemena's but the lyrics and music remain typical of him and most of the numbers are his. The main song on the album is "Navuluka," which is in Kaonde and comments on the fatherly advice the late singer gave to the band when he was still alive.

The Mulemena Boys is composed of Gift China on the bass guitar and backing vocals, Brian Chibangu on the rhythm guitar and lead vocals and Joseph Muemba on the lead guitar. When Mulemena was alive, the band performed as Mulemena and The Sound Inspectors. Gift China, who is the bandleader, said that the band changed their name after the death of the folk maestro. Chisa said the band was hit by a financial crisis after Mulemena's death. "When the late Mulemena lived, we were financially sound but now, despite recording ventures which can be profitable, we are really struggling," intoned a sullen looking Chisa.

The death of Mulemena brought a lot of hardships on the band, which is now desperately struggling. Before Mulemena got sick, the band was holding live shows at Kosapo Bar in Luanshya. When Mulemena was in hospital, during one of their shows, three amplifiers blew up for the lead guitar, bass guitar and one for the vocals. At the death of their leader, they only had one amplifier left! The band has recorded two singles so far, "Mukamfwila Afwa" and "Bana Mayo Bambi," which have done very well in the music market. In the meantime, the band performs at High Life Bar in Kitwe.

The "boys" give their thanks to the management of Kosapo Bar for the help rendered to them to repair their amplifiers. Thanks also go to Mr. R. Musompe, the uncle of the late singer, for the gererosity and cooperation he has always shown. Lastly, best wishes to Mr. Edward Khuzwayo, Peter Katongo and Mr. Billie Nyati for making this album a reality.

Lead Guitarist – Joseph Mutemba
Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar – Brian Bruno Chibangu
Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals – Gift Simon Chisa

A Music Parlour Production
Produced by Edward Godfrey Khuzwayo and Billie David Nyati
Cat. No. ZMPL 70
℗ 1984 © 2023 Zambia Music Parlour Legacy

ZTZ 4 // THE BROADWAY QUINTET - Amalume (1976)

Sharp-Flat Records presents the long-awaited restoration of The Broadway Quintet's cult classic Amalume (Lekani Mowa)  a hypnotic concoction of traditional Zambian sounds and jazz-rock grooves with a twist of 1970s African psychedelia.

Emerging to serve the entertainment needs of Zambia's United National Independence Party (UNIP) in the early 1960s, The Broadway Quintet gathered seasoned talent from Lusaka's best hotel bands to fashion its esteemed lineup. Starting as a quartet and later evolving into a quintet, the group's career spanned over twenty years as favourites on the cabaret circuit and boasted a myriad of prestigious collaborations.

The Broadway Quintet's jazz sensibilities set them apart from the rock sound that dominated the music landscape of the 1970s. Yet the formula behind Zamrock, fusing indigenous Zambian sounds with Western pop, shaped their one and only 1976 long-player. Featuring modern arrangements of traditional songs, Amalume blended congas with sax sounds, folk lyrics with electric keyboard shenanigans and show business staples with jazz guitar noodling. With its psychedelic fever dream illustrated cover*, it was an explosive package of "originality and electrifying beauty" as the album's liner notes rightly attested.

Released on the Zambezi label, Amalume joined an exceptional run of mid-1970s offerings alongside WITCH, Ricky Banda and Crossbones. Officially licensed, carefully restored and beautifully reproduced, Zambia's most requested reissue has finally returned for everybody to enjoy.

* Trevor Ford's harrowing artwork references the album's didactic title track with its warning against the perils of drinking alcohol.

Tony Maonde – Keyboards
Zacks Gwaze – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Simanga Tutani – Bass Guitar, Sax, Vocals
Timothy Sikova – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Jonah Marumahoko – Congas, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Peter Bwalya – Trumpet on "Matteo" and "Nifyo Fine"

Produced and Arranged by The Broadway Quintet for Teal Record Company
Recorded at d.B Studios, Lusaka in 1976
Engineers: Graham Skinner, Nikki Ashley and Peter Musungilo
Cover Design by Trevor Ford and Gibson Tembo
Pictures by B. Nkunika

Audio Restoration & Remastering by Colin Young at See Why Audio
Restoration copy sourced courtesy Sudeep Menon
Artwork Restoration by Ash Pederick
Produced for Reissue by Calum MacNaughton

Original Cat. No. ZTZ 4
Reissue Cat. No. SF14
℗ 1976 © 2023 Sharp-Flat Records

Original Liner Notes:

They hail from such old-time groups as The Rhokana Melodies, The Crooners, De Black Evening Follies and The City Quads. It was the UNIP National Band of 1962 that brought the boys together. And they’re still together 14 years later!

Tony Maonde, Zacks Gwaze, Timothy Sikova, Jonah Marumahoko, Simanga Tutani – individually, musicians of rare talent; together, The Broadway Quintet, polished night-club performers of Lusaka’s Hotel Intercontinental.

But, beneath their public image there runs, like the mighty Zambezi, a creative force that explodes with originality and electrifying beauty.

From vocal compositions like “Mr. Music” and “Change Your Mind” through the more traditional “Jiye Manguwe” and title-track “Amalume”, The Broadway Quintet move into instrumentals of the brilliance and vitality of “Matteo” and “Nifyo Fine”.

To The Broadway Quintet we say, “Thanks for a fantastic LP”.

ZMPL 100 // MULEMENA BOYS - Pakyalo

While the works of many great artists from the 1970s and 80s was handled by Zambia Music Parlour, there are a handful of groups that had a special relationship with the label, benefitting not only from the production, manufacturing and distribution of albums but also from band management, promotion and bookings. The Tinkles was one of these groups, providing ZMP with their debut release. Barely out of school, Blackfoot were another, taken under the wing of A&R Billie David Nyati to help shape their career. But perhaps the group most strongly associated with the label in the collective consciousness of Zambian popular music is the Mulemena Boys.

Named in honour of Zambia Music Parlour recording artist and honorary producer Emmanuel Mulemena, the Mulemena Boys was founded in the wake of their namesake's death in 1982 by members of his backing band. The group burst on the scene in 1984 with a debut dedicated to their former bandleader that drew partly on the type of folk music that Mulemena had popularised in the 1970s, partly on the kalindula sound that was shaking up the music scene in the 1980s, and partly on rumba imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo. With its signature use of the drum machine and timeless good vibes, A Tribute to the Late Emmanuel Mulemena was Zambia Music Parlour's best selling title of all time. After a sophomore release, the Mulemena Boys were succeeded by the Junior Mulemena Boys under the leadership of guitarist Fred Bwalya. The group continued to release albums on Zambia Music Parlour until the 1990s, when vinyl production in Zambia was discontinued. Despite a long hiatus from recording, the Mulemena Boys have remained a well-loved institution on the live music scene in Zambia.

In 2015, the band finally returned to the studio to record again. Pakyalo (meaning "the world") captures the Mulemena Boys delivering their rock-solid formula and holding the torch for the old ways. They also haven't forgetten their forebear, revisiting "Imbote" from Emmanuel Mulemena's Shuka Shuka album in 1974 - the second LP ever released by Zambia Music Parlour. With Pakyalo, the Mulemena Boys return to their record label partner to deliver ZMP's first release since the 1990s, a landmark comeback with catalogue number ZMPL 100.

Guitar & Vocals – Fred Bwalya
Guitar & Vocals – John Kameya
Vocals – Shadrick Muhono
Keyboard – Jakie Lombe
Bass – Iven Musomali
Drums – Francis Katongo

Recorded at G&D Studios in Lusaka, Zambia
Recording Engineer: Jimmy Judge
Produced by Osward Mulenga & Mulemena Boys

Cat. No. ZMPL 100
℗ 2015 © 2022 Mulemena Boys
Marketed and Distributed by Zambia Music Parlour

ZMPL 15 // TEDDY CHISI - Limbikani (1975)

The debut album from Kitwe-based singing accountant Teddy Chisi, Limbikani translates as “be strong” and the title track encouraged Zambians to work hard to develop the country despite trying economic times in the mid-70s. Chisi would go on to leave a notable mark on the Zamrock scene via three albums and multiple singles in his distinctive soul-funk crooner style. Releasing material on Zambia Music Parlour, Teal, Motaxis, Mac Bullet and Chris Editions, Chisi appears on all the important Zamrock imprints. His lo-fi albums were accompanied by the Fireballs, who would eventually morph into his backing band as the Mo Solid Sounds.

ZMPL 1 // THE TINKLES - Chalo Kuwama (1974)

WITCH’s “private press” edition of Introduction in 1972 and a clutch of singles from Musi-O-Tunya in 1973 are rightly heralded as the first Zamrock recordings issued on vinyl. But given that these projects were produced and pressed in Kenya, the Tinkles lay claim to a more significant Zambian music title. Issued in 1974 as the inaugural long-player on the fledgling Zambia Music Parlour label, the Tinkles debut Chalo Kuwama was the first Zamrock album recorded, manufactured and commercially released in Zambia. It was a game changer.

“The whole project was an experiment,” recalled founding member and keyboardist Isaac Makunta, reflecting on the recording session at Malachite Studios in the Copperbelt, a facility that was set up to produce promotional films for the mining industry. And yet, with modest resources, an exquisite and enduring slab of garage-era Zamrock was created. The Tinkles would go on to record several singles and the sophomore release Muchacho in 1975 before disbanding.

WITCH Disco Singles 1980-1984

By the end of the 1970s, WITCH was a Zambian music institution. Active since 1972, they had survived the Zamrock years and left an impressive garage, psych and prog discography in their wake. But at the outset of the 1980s, the band was ready to embrace the modern sounds of a new era. Undertaking personnel changes and relocating to Zimbabwe, they were primed by the independence celebrations of their neighbouring country to undertake their mythical transformation into an African disco powerhouse.

With access to a state of the art recording studio in Harare, WITCH produced two exquisite albums in the early 1980s. Appearing in 1980, Movin’ On was preceded by the single “My Desire,” which featured new member Christine Jackson on lead vocals. With an upfront funky bass-line, falsetto backing vocals, swirling synths and tight horns, it was a searing hot disco offering that made no bones about the fact that the WITCH was ready to get down. Composer/vocalist Stanford Tembo’s mid-tempo burner “You Are My Sunshine” was the perfect fit for the flip.

Documenting the band’s drift from disco into boogie, WITCH’s final album Kuomboka was released in 1984 without an accompanying single. New lead vocalist Patrick Chisembele injected youthful energy and a modern soul edge, most notably on “Erotic Delight” with its crisp drums, slinky keys and intoxicating bass groove. Pop reggae was also within the album’s stylistic purview by way of the closer “Jah Let the Sunshine” as well as “Change of a Feeling,” the flip side of a recently discovered single that wasn’t originally released.


The Story of // WITCH - Introduction (Private Press Version)

The WITCH occupy a vaulted position in the history of Zamrock owing to a discography that maps the decade-long trajectory of the genre itself from garage beginnings through psychedelic experimentation to progressive heights and even later into disco and boogie. While none of their albums are weak links, Lazy Bones!! in 1976 is often cited as the band's magnus opus and was certainly a high-water mark in terms of lyrical songwriting. As a historic document of Zambian popular music, however, nothing beats the group's debut Introduction. The privately pressed edition of the album was heralded as the first Zamrock recording ever to be carved into wax. From a cover depicting parachutes dropping out of a UFO in the sky to the  "here it comes" chant of the title track album opener, Introduction boldly announced the arrival of Zamrock as a sonic artform with the vinyl record as its medium.

Taking as their name the abbreviation of the phrase "We Intend To Cause Havoc," the original lineup of the WITCH included Chris Mbewe of the Twangs on lead guitar, Boyd Sinkala of the Black Souls on drums as well as John Muma (rhythm guitar) and Gedeon Mwamulenga (bass) from the Boyfriends. Fronting the ambitious ensemble on vocals was the band's youngest member Jagari Chanda, who had cut his teeth in Kingston Market as a schoolboy. Under the management of Phillip Musonda, WITCH recorded Introduction and its follow-up In the Past independently at Malachite Studios and took the master tapes to Kenya to be pressed. It is estimated that around 200 or 300 copies of these private pressings were manufactured for distribution at live shows.

Parting ways with Musonda, WITCH approached executive producer Edward Khuzwayo in Ndola, who financed a re-recording and re-branding of the albums for release in the wake of LPs by the Tinkles and Edward Mulemena on his fledgeling Zambia Music Parlour label. Gone were the cute illustrations of the private pressings as the new editions displayed slick photos of the band instead. And while the production values of the Zambia Music Parlour editions were an improvement, Introduction was no longer the spontaneous garage snapshot of the genesis of Zambia’s most beloved rockers.

The Story of // AMANAZ - Africa


In the mid-70s, vocalist Keith Kabwe received a call from disbanded Mabeth bassist Jerry Mausala, who pitched the idea of starting a new band. Former Wrong Number guitarist Isaac Mpofu was enlisted and rhythm guitarist John Kanyepa was so impressed by the trio's early take on Wishbone Ash that he left the Black Souls to join as well. Watts Lungu filled the drummer's seat and the band moved to Mfwila to hone their chops at the local country club before joining the competitive live circuit in Ndola. Mpofu's guitar antics made him one of the band's big draws but vocalist Kabwe was not easily outdone, taking on a creative approach to costumes and stage gimmicks. Having seen Alice Cooper perform with a python wrapped around his body and taken by David Bowie's glam persona, Kabwe came up with unannounced and often shocking stage outfits. His pièce de résistance was a coffin on stage from which pounced to open the show in a skeleton costume.

Taking a queue from WITCH, the band name Amanaz (pronounced Amanazee) stands for “Ask Me About Nice Artists in Zambia.” The group's solitary release Africa in 1975 carries a good dose of concept album gravitas, challenging hegemonic narrative with “History of Man” and lamenting slavery and colonialism with its title track as well as the album closer “Kale.” The tone of the record was set by a cover displaying a photo session of the group in hippie regalia (including bell-bottoms, platform shoes, puffy scarves and floppy hats) while posing in front of the thatched houses of a traditional African village.

The story of the making of the album bolsters its mythological status as vocalist Keith Kabwe confesses that only three days were dedicated to the writing and preparation of the material that was recorded. Moreover, the band as well as Zambia Music Parlour A&R Billie David Nyati who oversaw the sessions were unconvinced by its unusual sound and lathered an alternate edition of the master in reverb to try and improve it. Little did they know that both versions of Africa would go on to be equally admired and that the album would be rightfully identified as an African rock masterpiece when the first wave of Zamrock reissues was introduced to the rest of the world in the 2000s. Amanaz reshuffled after the release of Africa, bringing Ricky Banda on board and recording a pair of singles as the Kabwe-led outfit Drive Unit while Mpofu went on to launch and record as the Heathen.

The Story of // NGOZI FAMILY - 45,000 Volts

Paul Ngozi was the wild man of the Zamrock scene, an artist who embraced the accoutrements and antics of rock and brandished the electric guitar with a signature primitive style and brutal sonic intensity. Drenched in fuzz, phaser and wah-wah, Ngozi's tone and face-melting guitar solos are instantly recognisable in his capacity as bandleader of the Ngozi Family, supporting drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo's outings or recording as a solo artist. "Ngozi" means danger, making the substation electrocution cover of his 1977 album 45,000 Volts particularly appropriate. The album's stylised sleeve was designed by bassist Norman Muntemba of the group Salty Dog, a man who played an important role in cultivating the aesthetics of Zamrock and tellingly went on to establish a successful advertising business in his later years. The LP was also released in Kenya with alternate artwork depicting an illustrated fist holding a bolt of lighting.

Paul Ngozi was born in the mean streets of Lusaka's Chibolya township on 10 January 1949 and cut his teeth with childhood friend Chrissy Zebby Tembo in the bands Scorpions followed by Three Years Before, a witty nod to British blues-rock giants Ten Years After. Filling the boots of departed co-founder and guitarist Rikki llilonga, Ngozi joined Kenya-based Zamrock pioneers Musi-O-Tunya for a brief stint and appeared on the non-album single "Tselugani." His debut album with Ngozi Family was the Zambia Music Parlour release Day of Judgement in 1976, an unschooled channelling of raw power that stretched Zamrock into the spectrum of proto-punk.

45,000 Volts on the Chris Editions label captures Ngozi Family at a creative peak in 1977 and the set provides a good balance of English and vernacular offerings set to some of Ngozi's most confident and accomplished fuzz riffing. The recording was beautifully captured by engineer Detef Degener at Sapra Studio in Nairobi with Chissy Zebby Tembo's drums and Tommy Mwale's bass prominently mixed to prop up Ngozi's guitar shenanigans. Noteworthy moments include the utterly obnoxious guitar intro/outro to "I’ll Be With U" and shades of Black Sabbath that creep into the ghost story "House of Fear."

The Story of // RICKY BANDA - Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo

One of the most esteemed and sought after bassists of the Zamrock era, Ricky Banda was involved in a broad array of collaborations and associations over the course of the 1970s. He started his career in a band called the Vendors with childhood friend Rikki Ililonga and both went on to support He-She Mambo (who later rose to fame as a Zambian soul, funk and disco figure). Alongside Keith Mlevhu in a band called The End, Banda toured the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegedly caught the attention of rumba legend Tabu Ley Rochereau. Banda also backed Teddy Khuluzwu of Dr. Footswitch fame and is prominently featured on the 1975 album Liquid Iron.

Providing almost half of the songwriting duties on the album, Liquid Iron was a pathway to Ricky Banda's first solo release entitled Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo in 1976. With both Rikki Ililonga and Keith Mlevhu inaugurating Zamrock's rise of the solo artist, Banda got in on the action with a sturdy offering of his own. Emulating his contemporaries, he performed all of the instruments on the album with the exception of the drums, for which he enlisted a handful of session musicians including Peter Lungu of Born Free. The result is a laid-back and well-balanced singer-songwriter outing that had the honour of following WITCH’s acclaimed Lazy Bones!! as the second release on Teal's Zambezi imprint. Like Amanaz, the album cover photo juxtaposes the modern and the traditional with Banda in hip garb waving a ceremonial African fly swatter in one hand while raising the other in a peace symbol.

The album opener is the standout track and a unique piece of songwriting in the Zamrock canon. Foreshadowing the eery perspective of "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, "Who’s That Guy?" casts Banda as a creepy voyeur obsessing over a wealthy man courting the woman of his affections. Responding to President Kaunda's call for Zambian music to explore nation-building themes, the album’s title track criticises alcoholism and its effect on families and community. Ricky Banda went on to record a second album for Teal, using a backing band this time and turning his moral radar to the vice of gambling. Decades later, Ricky's brother Rupiah Banda would serve as the President of the Republic of Zambia from 2008 and 2011.