Zamrock is a genre of music which emerged in the 1970s as a movement coming from the country of Zambia. known for the ability to merge African traditional playing practices with psychedelic rock, Zamrock was an impressive display of mixing cultures for a new mass appeal. One of the records that fly off the shelf with its punk rock aesthetic and gracious delivery comes to the Day of Judgement (spelled correctly) by the Ngozi Family.
The group found a name coming from Paul Ngozi who was a major benefactor to the Zambian movement that ultimately led to one of the greatest underground gems of musical crate digging and dust ridden shelves. As the needle hits the vinyl, sparking the pieces of generational history to flood modern ears, Day of Judgement is something more than just a deep find. Ngozi Family strikes musical heaven for the eclectic and the voracious. As the record opens up with the self-titled track “Day of Judgement”, the buzz of instruments from the fuzz guitars to the stout percussion feels impactful and a substantial experiment behind sound.
“All the sinners will go to hell, some of the Christians will go to paradise” can be heard over the staccato punches of slaps across the face through guitar amps and drums. It is awakening for an album that seems to be performed live as the improvisation and direction adds to the overall adventure. Day of Judgement is a message of how times through changes and replications feel similar and adaptable, from music addicts that want a fill of African performance art, or to the scholars that focus on progression and audio quality; Day of Judgement has something for everyone to hold in their pockets.
With Paul Ngozi on the vocals and lead guitar, Billy Sithenge holds the bass lines down and performs as the master of rhythms. Alongside him is Peter Bwalya who balances the performance along with Sithenge to these garage rock feed in’s-and-out’s between tracks. On the percussion is Chrissy Zebby Tembo who invokes passion through the performance as if this was the last time he was going to touch a set.
From the high rising moments of utter rushed blasts to the gentle rocking of “Let Me Know” where the chords are melodic and easier to understand without the infrequent playing that is commonly found previously through Day of Judgement. Ngozi Family is surprisingly easy on the ears and delivers a persuasive performance that reigns on the confidential circuit.
This record is expected to be heard in your auntie’s house on a cool summer day. The kind of day that is surrounded by love, emotional attachment, and a whole lot of digging through gold to find that perfect sample of cultural otherworldliness.