Getting into the Afro-psych groove: Witch

Pub date April 3, 2010

The juicy goodness of excellent psych is worth revisiting no matter how far back it was released — hence this darting glance at Witch, the Zambian ‘70s rock fivesome, and its 1975 full-length, Lazy Bones!!,  released a few months back by QDK Media. Licensed from vocalist Emanyeo Jagari Chanda (the last surviving member of the group is now a foreman at a uranium mining operation in a remote Zambian village) , this gem from the so-called Zam Rock scene rumbles as fiercely as any combo off an early Nuggets comps (see badass rump-shaker “Off Ma Boots”). There are  plenty of wah-wah-wonderful super-fuzz guitar rave-ups (“Tooth Factory”) here, mixed in a blood-pumping dose of James Brown-style funk (“Little Clown”) and some Mahavishnu-touched jams (the levitating “October Night”). Worth comparing to the recently reissued work by Death, the lost black rockers of Detroit? Perhaps, though Witch turns out to be in a fabulous league of its own — spurring me to search out other ‘70s African rock obscuros like Blo and Ofege.