January 23, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Muchanza Akapelwa otherwise known as Dr. Mooch was born in Lusaka, Zambia on July 8th, 1967. This DNA stems from a mom who sang, and a dad who wrote, yet both parents were Teachers and Civil Servants. It is from this backdrop that Dr. Mooch has been performing on and off while pursuing other endeavors. From the early days in the 80's singing alto in Kafue Boys Choir, doing drama, being an amateur chess champion, then going on to be one of Zambia's top Break dancers with his crew “The Breakfreeze”.|
Since Bob Marley and the Wailers, perfomed at Zimbabwe's independence day in 1980, Zambia as a nation was watching and celebrating too. Jimmy Cliff, Gregory Issac, Musical Youth, Yellowman, Mutabaruka, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, and Burning Spear to mention a few, all spear headed Dr. Mooch's musical influence and outlook. Growing up in Zambia, naturally brings that African touch of Rhumba, Kalindula, and other cultural influences. The genesis really stemmed from the outskirts of Lusaka West where the artist lived in a community filled with many of Zambia's top performing artists. The likes of Anna Mwale, Ian Nyerenda, Ricky Illilonga, Paul Ngozi, Amayenge, Patrick Chisembele but to mention a few, all played a role in Dr. Mooch's musical growth.
Through the 90's, Dr. Mooch kept busy in the underground staging one man shows, local gigs, organizing and performing in Peace Galas calling for world peace and international understanding. Upon following his bliss to Alaska, Dr. Mooch took a break from music to concentrate on studies, writing and exploring. In 2003 he published "Crossroads: The Collected Works of Dr. Mooch". Here's part of a review written by a reader : "Rarely does a book like this come about, a book on any topic for readers from all walks of life. Refreshing, indulging and inspirational. Its thought provoking stories and craftmanship will open dialogue and critical thinking on any topic. The structure and depth of this book is refined and quite astonishing. It's a book for any season, mood, and mindset."
In 2006 he released his first album, "Eazzy Duzzit", a collection of some 12 fine tunes, all written and executive produced by Dr. Mooch. He worked with three producers on this album. Roger Bashew of RGB Music in Los Angeles recorded the tunes: Mini Mini, Rockers, and Why Worry Yourself. Jimmy Blankeship of Ridenour Productions in Oakland , Florida co-produced the songs My Number One and Easy Rider. The rest of the album was recorded and co-produced by Miami based Jamiaican maestro Zemroy Lewis of Zimma Entertainment with music being played by members of the Code Red band. The album has been a labor of love, dedicated to Mom/Bo Sitwala, and the open minded.
The album opens with two tunes across the same riddim. First there's the instrumental version of We Feel Irie, called Natty Dread Rock, which is followed by the vocal cut We Feel Irie, a sureshot floor filler that will get you dancing, whether you're in the mood or not! After that comes a lovesong called Virginia, telling us about his search for Virginia. Easy Rider is a mid-tempo song featuring a nice guitar lick. Then comes another fine tune, Take It Easy, one we have spinned several times... a mellow intro... and then the song grabs you as Dr. Mooch tells us about his feelings about life and how we should handle our problems. We feel the same about the song Practice What You Preach, a catchy tune with a message!
Next comes the lovers rock tune My Number One. Dr. Mooch knows how to handle both themes, he is at ease at the romantic themes as well as the more rootical and social issues. Liberty is a good example of how he handles the social issues. The songs is kind of a ballad, and features a sample of M.L. Kings speech "I have a dream...". A very solid song!
Superbly arranged is Why Worry Yourself, a song with non-reggae influences... you should check this one out for sure! The album closes with the title song Eazzy Duzzit, a soulful one-drop tune, very relaxed, musically it reminds us of some Sugar Minott tunes.
Good job Dr. Mooch!
Note: "Eazzy Duzzit" won AMMA 2007 "Album of the Year".
For more info visit Dr. Mooch's website: www.drmooch.com