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Label head Brian Shimkovitz presents his guide to Awesome Tapes From Africa.
This is the last track on Hailu’s magical recording of Ethiopian accordion and keyboard dreamy instrumentals. The vibe is so deep and the bass so low, I play this a lot in DJ sets.
This music is heavy! Compelling approach to dance music using a local stringed instrument from northern Ghana.
Perhaps the best of Ata Kak’s Ghanaian highlife-house tape, this song something that never gets old for me. Celebrate love and life!
Absolute banger with angular melody and icy guitar rhythm that is super addictive. This LP was such a revelation for a lot of people it was a major thrill to be able to make it available for everyone via this reissue.
I love how soulful and in-the-pocket this late 80s Somali track feels. Sahra Dawo’s vocals are both haunting and lovely to me. The whole record is astounding in its breadth of styles, all flavored with funk and disco.
This track blew me away the first time I heard it several years ago and I just had to track down her family to organize a reissue. Unreal energy and surprising likeness to drum n’ bass and a possible NWA sample.
Ever since I posted this cassette on the ATFA blog years ago, I’ve been obsessed with the powerful simplicity of these tracks. Been DJing this one lately.
I love everything about this record but this track might be something to help introduce listeners to the distinct dancefloor mayhem of Ghana’s DJ Katapila.
The spare, woody sound of SK’s xylophone is a pretty special thing. Those who like traditional music or contemporary classical music like Steve Reich will find this fascinating.