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Here's Five: Awesome Tapes From Africa

Here's Five: Awesome Tapes From Africa

Friday 27th February, 2015 1:31PM

Beginning life as a blog in 2006, Awesome Tapes From Africa is the brainchild of Brian Shimkovitz. The New Yorker simply set about sharing his love of West African music that he had discovered on multiple trips to Ghana since 2002, at which time he was picking up bunches of cassette tapes for $1 a pop. Since those days his scope has expanded to include quirky and oft-unheard music from all across the continent, amassing thousands upon thousands of tapes. On top of that, Awesome Tapes From Africa has evolved from a blog to a record label, helping promote and distribute music that for various reasons struggles to find an audience beyond the region it is made in. With Shimkovitz returning to these shores to play a couple of shows across Wellington and Auckland this weekend, UnderTheRadar asked him to share five of his favourite artists as featured on Awesome Tapes, and here's what he came up with....

1. Prince Konjo

I don’t know anything about this gentleman but his tape is just bonkers and full of hip-hop rhythms and chant-y vocals. From Kenya but that’s about all I know.

2. Dur Dur Band
Somali pop music from one of my favourite bands, they play everything with soul and vibes.

3. Mesfin Abebe
I came across some of his tapes in Ethiopia and I am hooked on his guitar style and vocal style.

4. Os Vagabandas
There are so many good Angolan kuduro artists, I’ve been spending some time on Youtube lately going through just a few of them, like Os Vagabandas. Some tracks people are making the last couple years get pretty rugged while a lot are more pop-oriented, all pretty fun. Lisbon’s scene sounds really dope as well.

5. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister
When I am chilling I am often listening to Nigerian Fuji music lately. Entire tapes by legends like Sikiru Barrister are up on YouTube left and right. Who the fuck needs ATFA anyway?

Awesome Tapes From Africa is performing tonight 27th February at San Fran in Wellington, and tomorrow at Silo Park in Auckland as part of World Together. See below for more details.


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