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Dark Sunrise

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Dark Sunrise album cover
Disc 1 of 2
01
Tsegulani
6:20
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02
Mpondolo
7:56
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03
Walk and Fight
7:52
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04
The Sun
5:08
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05
Dark Sunrise
8:19
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06
One Reply
5:41
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07
The Wings Of Africa
7:00
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08
Jekete Yamankowa Part 1
3:36
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09
Jekete Yamankowa Part 2
2:49
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10
Chalo Chawama
3:51
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11
Ng'ombe Shala
3:53
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12
Mpulula
3:43
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13
Smoke
4:26
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Disc 2 of 2
01
Sansa Kuwa
4:35
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02
Sheebeen Queen
4:56
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03
Stop Dreaming Mr. D
3:31
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04
The Hole
4:44
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05
Hot Fingers
4:13
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06
Se Keel Me Queek
4:56
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07
The Nature Of Man
3:53
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08
Musamuseka
2:59
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09
Zambia
3:19
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10
The Queen Blues
4:48
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11
Love Is The Way
4:15
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12
Lovely Woman
4:00
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13
Munzi Wa Kangwana
2:36
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14
Working On The Wrong Thing
3:44
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15
Ulemu
1:50
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16
Sunshine Love
3:14
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17
Take It Light
4:13
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18
Angel Black
3:24
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 31   Total Length: 139:44

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They Say All Music Guide

This two-CD set gathers three albums and several singles by the Zambian rock band Musi-O-Tunya and their charismatic multi-instrumentalist frontman, Rikki Ililonga. The band’s sole full-length release, 1975′s Wings of Africa (recorded in a single day), adds some surprising elements to the funk and rock that were sweeping the continent at that time, including almost klezmer-ish clarinet on “Mpondolo” and horns that seem to be working in deliberate opposition to the rhythm section on “Walk and Fight.” Ililonga’s version of Afro-funk was decidedly more aggressive and less devoted to hypnotic rhythms than the Afro-beat of Fela Kuti, which was developing in Nigeria at more or less the same time; Musi-O-Tunya tracks frequently featured long and harsh acid rock guitar solos. “Dark Sunrise” opens with a guitar riff so fuzzed-out that it sounds more like a Steppenwolf album cut than anything one expects to hear from Africa. The recording quality, particularly on some pre-album singles recorded in 1973, isn’t the greatest, but the band’s garage rock fury comes through loud and clear. The set’s second disc features two Ililonga solo albums –1975′s Zambia, on which he plays every instrument save the trumpets, and 1976′s Sunshine Love, where he delegates bass and drum duties but otherwise plays everything again. Naturally, 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. Ililonga is a unique figure in African music history, and this compilation gives him his due, which makes it an essential listen for fans of Afro-funk-rock. – Phil Freeman

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