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.

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