Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rikki Ililonga - 1975 - Zambia

Rikki Ililonga 

01. The Hole   
02. Shebeen Queen   
03. Zambia   
04. Hot Fingers   
05. Musamuseke   
06. The Nature Of Man   
07. Sansa Kuwa   
08. Stop Dreaming Mr. D.   
09. The Queen Blues   
10. Se-Keel-Me-Kweek

The realm of Western-influenced African music is consistently dominated by such powerhouse names as Fela Kuti, Victor Uwaifo and other West African legends whose 60s and 70s recordings have been reissued by companies like Soundway, Strut and Analog Africa. One can't possibly hope even to scratch the surface of the continent, however, without giving mention to Zambia's Zamrock scene which, alongside the music that arose in Ethiopia in the late 60s and early 70s, is leagues deep and largely misunderstood.

In the same vein,the genius of multi-instrumentalist Rikki Ililonga, and the famed Musi-O-Tunya band he helped found, have been afforded little international light. Ililonga's charismatic presence and unparrelled musicality - coupled with his ability to pen deeper lyrics than most in the genre - and Musi-O-Tunya's transcendent ability to deal in difficult traditional Zambian rhythms, deep funk and unrestrained fuzz rock in equal measure, have made for some amazing albums.

Rikki Ililonga started playing the guitar at the age of 18. Has played with almost every band in Zambia. Travelled extesively in Africa and abroad in search of musical knowledge. Founder member of Musi-O-Tunya who are know based in Nairobi – Kenya. In this, his first album, Rikki composed and arranged all the numbers. He switches from electric guitar to acoustic and slide guitars, bass, drums, congas and harmonicas with ease. He played all the instruments and does all the vocals himself. If you want to listen to African sound with a difference, this is the one. The sound of Rikki Ililonga of Zambia.
- Choko M’hango

I would like to thank the following people for giving me encouragement and confidence thru’out the years of my musical career. Thanks to Ernest Mando for helping me see thru mice’elf. To Mannasseh Phiri and Charles Mando for tolerating my filthy habits and bad manners. And loving thanks to Sandi, who lived through it all to become my best friend, lover and wife – May the spirits bless her fanny. My special thanks to Brother Njenga and Charlie Sekano for blowing their horns along. Not to forget Bonnie Wanda, George Monte and Jimi Mawi. Lastly, I’d like to thanks George Kaemba to whom this ambum is dedicated with love and respect, for living thru’ the noise and joysticks without complaining. And thanks to U, whoever U’re, for reading this B.S.
- Rikki

iTunes Review:

There’s a little more polish to this stuff (and a lot of acoustic guitar-based singer/songwriter stuff), as opposed to the wildass in-studio jams of the Musi-O-Tunya album, but Ililonga doesn’t restrain himself that much — he takes one of his scorching guitar solos through the entirety of “Sansa Kuwa,” and the funk groove of “The Hole” is unstoppable. Ililonga’s English-language lyrics are frequently dark, dealing with depression and social problems in Zambia, as opposed to the party anthems many other African groups were recording at the time, and his voice is weirdly compelling, more reminiscent of Damo Suzuki than peers like Fela or Sir Victor Uwaifo.

1 comment: