‘We Purpose Destruction’ Review: Zambian Rock, Rediscovered

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“Zamrock” is the label applied to the music of many rock bands in Zambia dating from the early 1970s to the 80s. The country in South Africa, once known as Northern Rhodesia, gained its independence in 1964. Zambian rockers applied British Invasion psychedelic accents to infectious rhythms derived from both their continent’s musical traditions and James Brown.

“We Intend to Cause Havoc,” a new documentary directed by Gio Arlotta, takes its name from the acronym for the once popular Zambian combo, WITCH. Arlotta from Italy stumbled upon the band’s music by chance, after which she made a pilgrimage to find their producer. In the image here, she travels with several European musicians Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauskovic, who visit archives and studios and hang out with charismatic singer and songwriter Emmanuel Chanda, the only surviving member of the original band. Jagari (yes after Mick Jagger).

Chanda is now an ardent Christian, working in a private gem mine, hoping to provide not necessarily wealth but a livelihood for her family. The music business in the United States was never a picnic for artists, but in Zambia “distribution” was practically synonymous with being swindled by pirates. Chanda is not bitter; nor Victor Kasoma, once the guitarist of The Oscillators. Both men are eager to hang out with enthusiastic and somewhat lethargic people visiting Europeans.

The film begins with the narrative shifting from Arlotta’s to tag team Chanda and the knowledgeable Eothen Alapatt, the head of a record label that reprinted Zamrock. The music itself is exciting enough to take away some of the off-flavor of the film’s early “white people are discovering things” tone. And Chanda herself is incredibly earning, especially when she takes the stage.

We Aim To Create Destruction
Not rated. Working time: 1 hour 28 minutes. rent or buy apple tv and altavod.

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