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Awesome Tapes From Africa

  • Aby Ngana Diop 'Liital' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Aby Ngana Diop 'Liital'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Aby Ngana Diop 'Liital'

    £16.99

    Senegalese griot Aby Ngana Diop was famous for her taasu, a form of oral poetry spoken to the rhythmic accompaniment of sabar and tama drums. Taasu is typically created and performed by griot women (a class of poets, storytellers and/or musicians), with a lead taasukat (practitioner of taasu) performing her distinct style of heightened, rhythmically declaimed speech in call-and-response with a small chorus of female vocalists. (Taasu is seen by some to be a predecessor to rap.) Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Diop developed a reputation for being one of the most sought-after taasukats in Dakar, performing with her backup singers, dancers and drummers at parties, weddings and baptisms of the Dakar elite, including government officials and dignitaries. Aby Ngana Diop was undisputedly the best taasukat of her generation.! In 1994, the Dakar diva released her one and only studio cassette recording, Liital, to the Senegalese market.

    Liital was groundbreaking in the history of Senegalese music because it was the first commercial recording to feature a traditional female taasukat performing to the modern accompaniment of mbalax, Senegal’s quintessential pop genre. The combination of Diop and her backup vocalists with their powerful taasu, along with the driving, complex rhythms of the sabar and tama drums, mixed with key elements of mbalax (such as the syncopated, polyphonic marimba sounds played on the Yamaha DX7 keyboard) was something the Senegalese public had never heard before. But it wasn’t only because of the fusion of taasu with mbalax; unlike in other mbalax tunes, the musical arrangements on this cassette are instead peculiarly minimalist and almost trance-like, with static harmonies and melodic figures playing more of an atmospheric role.

    The cassette became a huge hit, propelling Diop to a new level of superstardom. It could be heard blasting from taxis and from loudspeakers at house parties, weddings and baptisms for years to come. Liital bridged the gap between the more traditional taasu and  the modern mbalax sound, thus appealing to all generations of the Senegalese public – and they simply couldn’t get enough of it. ! When Aby Ngana Diop died unexpectedly on July 4, 1997, the country mourned her passing, but continued to celebrate her music.

    Other artists such as Cheikh Lô, Thio Mbaye and Lamine Touré released recordings based on some of Diop’s taasu and accompanying drum phrases, paying further tribute to her musical legacy. Although this cassette has caught the attention of some African music aficianados who have stumbled upon it in recent years, it remains largely unknown to the wider world. Hopefully this re-release from Awesome Tapes From Africa will change that.!

    Tracklisting:
    1. Dieuleul-Dieuleul
    2. Ndame
    3. Yaye Penda Mbaye
    4. Liital
    5. Sapaly
    6. Ndadje
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  • Ata Kak 'Obaa Sima' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Ata Kak 'Obaa Sima'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Ata Kak 'Obaa Sima'

    £11.99

    Ata Kak's cassette Obaa Sima fell on deaf ears when it was self-released in Ghana and Canada in 1994.

    The music on the recording - an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk and disco - is presented with the passion of a Prince record and the DIY-bedroom-recording lo-fi charm of early Chicago house music.

    The astute self-taught song craft and visionary blend of sounds and rhythms has made the album a left-field cult favorite among adventurous listeners worldwide.

    Awesome Tapes From Africa founder Brian Shimkovitz found the tape in 2002 in Cape Coast, Ghana - one of only a few ever pressed - and later made it the inaugural post on the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog.

    Hundreds of thousands of downloads, YouTube views, music video tributes and remixes, as well as years of mystery regarding Ata Kak's whereabouts, culminate in this remastered release featuring rare photos and the full back story of one of the internet age's most enigmatic musicians.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Obaa Sima
    2. Moma Yendodo
    3. Adagya
    4. Medofo
    5. Daa Nyinaa
    6. Yemmpa Aba
    7. Bome Nnwom
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  • Awalom Gebremariam 'Desdes' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Awalom Gebremariam 'Desdes'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Awalom Gebremariam 'Desdes'

    £18.99

    At the age of 28, Awalom Gebremariam arrived in the United States, following a years-long journey from Eritrea. He'd made it to a refugee camp in Ethiopia several years ago and eventually attained asylum status for passage to America. But before he left his hometown, Eritrea's capital Asmara, he made his first and only recording so far, Desdes. 


    In 2006, Awalom began to teach himself two of Eritrea’s most recognizable and important folk instruments, the wata and the krar. Although they have roots in traditional music, they are heard in most Eritrean folk and pop recordings.

    Awalom completed Desdes in 2007, not long before he departed Eritrea. Because Awalom left after the recording he never received any money for cassette and CD sales. But he also didn't get to find out how much of an impact the songs have had locally.

    His songs appear to focus on love, but Awalom isn't speaking about romantic love per se. Much of the music Awalom heard growing up was intertwined with Eritrea's difficult and contentious split from Ethiopia. In 2012, during a trip to Switzerland to help promote a film about biking in Eritrea, ATFA was given a copy of Desdes by fixed-gear bicycle athlete Patrick Seabase, the documentary’s protagonist. Seabase gave a copy to ATFA founder Brian Shimkovitz as a gift and it later appeared on the ATFA blog. !

    A few years later Shimkovitz was contacted by some agencies in North Carolina, where Awalom had settled. Through a translator very one decided to work together on a reissue of his recording. It took many months to source a clean master but now the album is ready and Awalom’s goals are clear.

    He spent years waiting for the chance to escape economic and political turmoil at home. Now 29 and living in North Carolina, he works in a restaurant and plans to bring his music to Eritrean communities across North America as well as newer listeners with whom his powerful sounds and remarkable journey will deeply resonate.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Desdes
    2. Tehhelo
    3. Teumat Chena
    4. Aadu
    5. Eritrea
    6. Salel
    7. Segamaye
    8. Malegaanya
    9. Gwaal Haagaraye
    10. Showite Sigem

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  • Bola 'Volume 7' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Bola 'Volume 7' Vinyl 2XLP

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Bola 'Volume 7' Vinyl 2XLP

    £19.99

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    Bola s music melds sheer force of spirit with a sound not often heard by ears outside the remote Upper East Region of Ghana. This man who grew up herding livestock in the savannah, far away from the tropical coast and cosmopolitan cities of Accra and Kumasi, has aligned himself with national and international means of expression to transform his hometown sound into something downright avant-garde.

    His bold fury stems from the kologo—a two-stringed lute with a calabash gourd resonator— and Frafra language vocals, emitted in raspy bursts. Traditionally, kologo performances occur at pito (local beer made from fermented millet or sorghum) bars, weddings, funerals, festivals or spontaneous jams on the street, which are the environments where Bola honed his craft as a solo musician. In recent years, he came into contact with people like his mentor Guy One who helped him get into the studio to document what is some of the most dynamic music to come out of Ghana since the emergence of hiplife in the mid-'90s.

    Volume 7, which came out in 2009, is just one entry in a brilliant series of recordings Bola has released on CD and cassette. Although he employs a traditional instrument and the age-old mode of griot story-telling, Bola embraces elements of up-tothe- minute mainstream Ghanaian music—drum machines, synths, bone-shaking bass. Inspired by pioneering kologo greats like King Ayisoba, Bola has taken a dynamic instrument used by traditional healers and herbalists to sing to god in search of advice and taken it to futuristic heights.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Burilbunbol Suma
    2. Makamiba
    3. Yine Ntaripaga
    4. Tivona Vonbubo
    5. Yine Mmema
    6. Tigantabame
    7. Hoyenbesa Nini
    8. Abayetidu Ma
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  • DJ Katapila 'Trotro' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    DJ Katapila 'Trotro'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    DJ Katapila 'Trotro'

    £18.99

    DJ Katapila makes Ga traditional music using electronic sounds instead of live percussion to create his own kind of what he calls house music. In the context of Ghana's pop music landscape, Katapila's music is singular.

    The uptempo, bass-heavy, Roland 808-rooted sounds echo early 1990's Detroit techno and Chicago acid house more than the contemporary hiplife productions blasting across Ghanaian airwaves currently. However, the structure of Katapila's sound directly descends from Ga musical lineage found around Accra. Neo-traditional dance music forms gome, kpanlogo and gyama are there.

    DJ Katapila didn't start producing music until he was 39 years old. Around 1998, began chanting and rapping in Twi and Ga during instrumental breaks of songs he was DJing. He added Yamaha DD11 electronic drum pads and sampler and invented new creations on the fly. Katapila then began experimenting with program beats using Fruity Loops on his laptop.

    His music reflects his love for the international dance pop that filtered into Accra's radio waves in the '90s: Inner City's "Big Fun"; C&C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat"; Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman"; even Rick Astley hits, among many others. Katapila mixed international tunes with highlife - J.A. City Boys and AB Crentsil - as well as hiplife, Ghanaian gospel, Jamaican dancehall, soca and regional Francophone hits.

    This blend helped set the stage for Trotro and the inspired yet minimalist dance music Katapila now creates.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Sakawa
    2. Trotro
    3. Cocoawra
    4. Nkran Dokunu
    5. Lalokat
    6. Ice-Inc
    7. Zoomlion
    8. Trotro (Instrumental)
    9. Cocoawra (Angel)
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  • Dur-Dur Band 'Volume 5' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Dur-Dur Band 'Volume 5'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Dur-Dur Band 'Volume 5'

    £11.99

    From the late 1960s until the early 1990s, a vibrant music scene in Somaliaʼs capital Mogadishu was teeming with pop and folk musicians exploring the boundaries of regional sensibilities. With influences spanning several genres of Somali traditional music, often meshed with Western pop, jazz and Middle-Eastern elements, a swirling diversity of sounds were being created, consumed, supported and encouraged.

    Dur-Dur Band emerged during a time when Somaliaʼs distinctive contribution to the creative culture in the Horn of Africa was visible and abundant. Thousands of recordings made at the Somali National Theatre, Radio Mogadishu and other studios, were complemented by the nightclubs at Hotel Juba, Jazeera Hotel and Hotel al-Curuuba, creating a flourishing music scene. Bands like Dur-Dur, Iftin, Shareero, on one hand, were inspired by everyone from Michael Jackson and Phil Collins to Bob Marley and Santana, as well as James Brown and American soul music.

    Equally active were groups performing regional folk musics and promoting the traditional side of Somali music. These groups helped develop a continuity with historical musical practices and oral literature that persist in popularity to this day. Seminal outfits like Waaberi and Horseed, in addition to a litany of celebrated qaraami musicians, generated a legacy of masterworks. These seasoned musiciansʼ efforts rippled through the music scene and spread to countries beyond as many artists began to emigrate when the country destabilized.

    This recording, which was remastered from a cassette copy source, is a document of Dur-Dur Band after establishing itself as one of the most popular bands in Mogadishu. The challenge of locating a complete long-player from this era is evidenced by the fidelity of this recording. However, the complex, soulful music penetrates the hiss. By 1987 Dur-Dur Band's line-up featured singers Sahra Abukar Dawo, Abdinur Adan Daljir, Mohamed Ahmed Qomal and Abdukadir Mayow Buunis, backed by Abukar Dahir Qasim (guitar), Yusuf Abdi Haji Aleevi (guitar), Ali Dhere (trumpet), Muse Mohamed Araci (saxophone), Abdul Dhegey (saxophone), Eise Dahir Qasim (keyboard), Mohamed Ali Mohamed (bass), Adan Mohamed Ali Handal (drums), Ooyaaye Eise and Ali Bisha (congas) and Mohamed Karma, Dahir Yaree and Murjaan Ramandan (backing vocals). Dur-Dur Band managed to release almost a dozen recordings before emigrating to Ethiopia, Djibouti and America.

    Dur-Dur Band was considered a “private band,” not beholden to government pressure to sing about political topics. They practiced a love- and culture-oriented lyricism. Government-sponsored bands like those of the military and the police forces, as well as many of the well-known folk musicians, made songs that were chiefly political or patriotic in nature. In a country that has been disrupted by civil war, heated clan divisions and security concerns, music and the arts has suffered from stagnation in recent years. Many of the best-known musicians left the country. Music became nearly outlawed in Mogadishu in 2010.

    Incidentally, more than ten years after Volume 5 (1987) was recorded at Radio Mogadishu, the state-run broadcaster was the only station in Somalia to resist the ban on music briefly enacted by Al-Shabab. Dur-Dur Band is a powerful and illustrative lens through which to appreciate a facet of the incredible sounds in Somalia before the country's stability took a turn. But Somali music of all kinds continues to thrive thanks in part to the diaspora living in cities worldwide.

    An extensive network of news, music and video websites, along with dozens of voluminous YouTube channels, makes clear an exciting relentlessness among artists. Reports of musicians returning to Mogadishu from years abroad bodes well for the immediate future of music and expression in Somalia.


    Tracks:
    1. Dur-Dur Band Introduction
    2. Hayeelin
    3. Halelo
    4. Fagfagley
    5. Ilawad Cashaqa
    6. Garsore Waa Ilaah
    7. Aada Fududey Iga Ahow
    8. Tajir Waa Ilaah
    9. Dholey
    10. Amiina Awdaay
    11. Dooyo
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  • Hailu Mergia & The Walias 'Tche Belew' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Hailu Mergia & The Walias 'Tche Belew'

    £11.99

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    Hailu Mergia & The Walias 'Tche Belew'

    £11.99

    The acclaimed and highly sought-after LP by Hailu Mergia and the Walias, Tche Belew, an album of instrumentals released in 1977, is perhaps the most seminal recording released in the aftermath of the 1974 revolution.

    The story of the Walias band is a critical chapter in Ethiopian popular music, taking place during a period of music industry flux and political complexity in the country. Hailu Mergia, a keyboardist and arranger diligently working the nightclub scene in Addis Ababa, formed the Walias in the early 1970's with a core group of musicians assembled from prior working bands.

    They played Mergia's funk- and soul-informed tunes, while cutting 45rpm singles with various vocalists. While the Walias performed at top hotels and played the presidential palace twice, their relationship with the Derg regime was complex, evidenced by the removal of one song from the record by government censors.

    Decades later, Hailu Mergia was surprised to see the album fetching more than $4,000 at online auctions (it helped that the most popular of all Ethiopian tunes "Musicawi Silt" appeared on the record).

    Now everyone has the chance to listen again - or for the first time - to this timeless pillar of Ethiopian popular music.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Tche Belew
    2. Yemiasleks Fikir
    3. Yikirta Lemminalehu
    4. Musicawi Silt
    5. Lomi Tera-tera
    6. Woghenei
    7. Ibakish Tarekigne
    8. Birtukane
    9. Eti Gual Blenai
    10. Yenuro Tesfa Alegne
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  • Hailu Mergia 'Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Hailu Mergia 'Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye'

    £11.99

    Hailu Mergia is a one-man band. In 1985 master accordionist and veteran Walias Band leader/arranger/keyboardist released the Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument / Shemonmuanaye cassette. The tape is a nostalgic effort to bring back the vintage accordion sound of his youth. Hailu was already celebrated for his work with the industryshifting Addis Ababa ethiojazz and funk outfit the Walias Band, and he pressed forward using new tools to reshape the popular sounds of the past. Adding a Moog synthesizer, Rhodes electric piano and rhythm machine to the harmonic layering of his accordion, he creates hauntingly psychedelic instrumentals.

    These songs draw from famous traditional and modern Ethiopian songs, as Hailu matches Amhara, Tigrinya and Oromo melodies to otherworldly flavors soaked in jazz and blues. The result is a lush, futuristic landscape, balancing Ethiopian music's signature pentatonic modes and melodic shape with beautiful analog synth flair. Hailu Mergia was born in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia in 1946. He went to school in Addis Ababa and then joined the army music department. He was later singing in small bars as a freelance musician when he joined a casual band, touring across the Ethiopian provinces as a singer and accordion player for almost a year. After the group broke up, he started performing in nightclubs across the city. He and his mates formed Walias Band and did something no other band in Ethiopian nightclub history had done: they started buying their own musical instruments.

    Until then the club owners were supplying the instruments and had the power to fire musicians at will. Following eight years playing at the Hilton Hotel, Hailu and Walias Band went to the United States and toured widely in 1982-1983. Despite breaking ground as the first private band to tour the States and play state dinners at the Derg government palace, some of the band stayed in America while others went back to Addis. After settling in America, Hailu made a one-man band recording with accordion for the first time, mixing in Rhodes electric piano, Moog synthesizer and a rhythm machine. That was 1985. This recording was inspired by the early memories of his first instrument, the accordion.

    Nowadays he's making his living as a self-employed taxi driver at Dulles International Airport while continuing to record and practice his music as often as possible. The reissue of this recording brings back a moment when Ethiopian music was shifting from acoustic-based performances to recordings using more and more synthesized elements. While the resulting sound of that shift has its critics Hailu Mergia's initial experiments with "switched-on" solo instrumentals based on Ethiopian folk and popular music captures a singular feeling dripping in ambiance and a very human emotional energy.

    Tracklist:
    1. Shemonmuanaye
    2. Sewnetuwa
    3. Laloye
    4. Wegene
    5. Hari Meru Meru
    6. Amrew Demkew
    7. Anchin Alay Alegn
    8. Ambasel
    9. Hebo Lale
    10. Belew Beduby
    11. Shilela
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  • Hailu Mergia 'Lala Belu' - Cargo Records UK

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    Hailu Mergia 'Lala Belu'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Hailu Mergia 'Lala Belu'

    £20.49

    First new LP in over 15 years. Builds on 3 successful ATFA reissues of Mergia’s music. Legendary artist still active after decades of historic work. Modern Ethiopian jazz built on ancient scales and standards. Capping several successful years traveling the world performing to audiences big and small, Hailu Mergia’s Lala Belu has been a long time coming.

    It builds on Mergia’s remarkable career resurgence over the past few years. Beginning in 2013 with the reissue of his dreamy Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument followed by the enormous success of his seminal Ethio-jazz masterpiece Tche Belew and continuing with last year’s widely acclaimed Wede Harer Guzo, Mergia has received considerable accolades from listeners and press globally, including The New York Times, Pitchfork and The Wire.

    His old recordings are cherished revelations for Ethiopian music fans; however, Mergia’s return to the stage has been just as inspiring and electrifying. Mergia’s vintage recordings are known for an inherently mysterious and worn-in quality, while his new recordings echo his band’s 21st century live show with modern instrumental interpretations of crucial Ethiopian standards and Mergia’s own original compositions. Tony Buck (drums) and Mike Majkowski (bass), who have backed Mergia on tour throughout Europe and Australia, form the bass-drums trio on the recording.

    Having played venues from Radio City Music Hall and the Kennedy Center to jazz festivals, rock clubs and DIY spaces all over North America, Europe and Australia, Mergia and Awesome Tapes From Africa want to document this moment in his landmark career with a snapshot of Mergia’s current sound.

    Since he emigrated from Ethiopia and built a life in Washington, D.C. around 1981—where he remains working as an airport taxi driver when he is not on tour—Mergia’s career has followed a humble trajectory. He made a few recordings in America but they didn’t easily reach fans back home. He kept making music on his own and with friends but after the early 80’s his gigs in the U.S. mostly dried up.

    It wasn’t until he began working with Awesome Tapes From Africa and putting together bands with the help of booking agents and musicians in Europe and the U.S., that he was able to chart a new path. With a broad audience of young listeners in diverse venues and distant locales, at age 71, Mergia is enjoying his comeback and is not slowing down.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Tizita
    2. Addis Nat
    3. Gum Gum
    4. Anchihoye Lene
    5. Lala Belu
    6. Yefikir Engurguro
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  • Jess Sah Bi & Peter One 'Our Garden Needs Its Flowers' PRE-ORDER

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Jess Sah Bi & Peter One 'Our Garden Needs Its Flowers' PRE-ORDER

    £11.99

    Release Date: 17/08/2018

    Remastered to original quality.

    In the 1980s, Abidjan's Jess Sah Bi & Peter One became one of the most popular musical acts in not just the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), but broader West Africa, eventually performing with a full band to stadium-sized audiences at home and throughout Benin, Guinea, Mali and Togo.

    Although they'd been popular radio and television performers for several years prior, the catalyst for Jess and Peter achieving this new level of stardom was their debut album, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers, recorded and released in 1985. In contrast with the heaving funk, disco and reggae sounds of the day, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers was a lush fusion of traditional Ivorian village songs and American and English country and folk-rock music.

    Jess and Peter sang in French, English and Gouro, delivering beautifully harmonized meditations on social injustice and inequality, calls for unity across the African continent, an end to apartheid in South Africa and the odd song for the ladies, all set against lush guitar riffs, rustic harmonica and rollicking feel-good rhythms. Surprisingly, it's the first time the album has been re-released in a high-fidelity, legally licensed form.

    Jess and Peter had shared experiences of loving and drawing inspiration from the traditional and ceremonial songs they remembered their mothers singing in their respective hometowns of Barata and Ono. In addition, hearing imported country and folk-rock music over the radio in the early ‘70s was a lightbulb moment for both of them.

    Jess recalls DJs playing Kenny Rogers, Don Williams and Dolly Parton on the radio in the morning, while Peter notes the significant presence Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Creedence Clearwater Revival had in his listening life.

    Country music and folk-rock weren’t very popular with the general public. But interest was bubbling up within the growing student population, who connected with the protest sentiments expressed by many English and American artists of the era and loved the sound as well. “It’s very nice music, with very nice harmonies, and it’s different from what you hear every day,” Peter says.

    “The language was a big barrier though. You had to learn English to understand the songs, and the students were the ones learning English.” Having access to education along with their awareness of growing social and political inequality and injustice made students the perfect audience for folk music in Ivory Coast.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Clipo Clipo
    2. Katin
    3. Kango
    4. Minmanle?
    5. Our Garden Needs Its Flowers
    6. Apartheid
    7. African Chant
    8. Solution
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  • Nâ Hawa Doumbia 'La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Nâ Hawa Doumbia 'La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Nâ Hawa Doumbia 'La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3'

    £15.99

    Nâ Hawa Doumbia's La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 marks the first release for new label Awesome Tapes From Africa, a blog and DJ project known worldwide for shedding light on obscure and wonderful musical treasures from the African continent. This early recording—made in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1982—captures the dualities inherent in Doumbia's music from early on: a stripped-down, raw backdrop supported by warm sonics; feminist expressions of social issues imparted through stark refrains.

    Doumbia's urgent, distinctive vocals and hypnotic didadi rhythm from her native Bougouni have made her a respected voice in Mali for more than three decades. Today she is best known for her contributions to Wassoulou music. The singer was raised by her grandmother—her mother died shortly after giving birth. But before passing away she predicted Doumbia would be a singer—something surprising, since she didn't come from the jeli (or griot) caste of hereditary singers. Her grandparents resorted to the magical powers of blacksmiths to fight it, but ultimately the prediction proved correct.

    Doumbia's music is more powerful than magic. Long out-of-print seminal album. First release for well-known blog/DJ Awesome Tapes From Africa. Nâ Hawa Doumbia has seen decades of success in Mali and is poised for wider recognition. Fair trade music--artists receive 50/50 split of all proceeds.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Korô Dia (à Mamaye Dramé L'inoubliable)
    2. Kungo Sogoni
    3. Danaya (à Sidi Konaté Pour Toujours)
    4. Dan Té Dinyé La

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  • Om Alec Khaoli 'Say You Love Me' - Cargo Records UK

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    Om Alec Khaoli 'Say You Love Me'

    £8.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Om Alec Khaoli 'Say You Love Me'

    £13.99

    Say You Love Me wasn't "Om" Alec Khaoli's first solo recording but the 1985 EP solidified the bass player and songwriter's standing as one of South Africa's most consistently innovative pop auteurs.

    He built a career on ubiquitous rock, pop and soul hits with groundbreaking bands like the Beaters, Harari and Umoja. But Khaoli's seemingly endless fountain of music continued outside these ensembles, where he usually played bass and contributed songwriting and vocals.

    Khaoli released several successful solo works while he made records with Umoja and worked on other productions with friends. This creativity was aided by Khaoli's own recording studio. He was the first South African to have a privately-owned studio.

    As black artists were forced to record during lunch breaks and didn't get sufficient access and time in the white-owned studios, having his studio allowed Khaoli to develop in his own way. Hence his productive output during the 80's and early 90's, releasing 5 LPs with Umoja and 5 solo LPs, along with numerous singles and EPs.

    There's something broad and dynamic about the almost epic pop sound Khaoli creates on Say You Love Me. Being the first South African to take control his recording process and thereby free himself from one of apartheid's many strictures, he took his vision of music to new realms and made timeless music for the dance floor in the process.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Say You Love Me
    2. Make Me Your Lover
    3. Crosslines
    4. Enjoy It
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  • Penny Penny 'Shaka Bundu' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Penny Penny 'Shaka Bundu'

    £11.99

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    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Penny Penny 'Shaka Bundu'

    £11.99

    The story of South African singer and dancer Penny Penny is fit for Hollywood. A nearly homeless janitor with no education gets a record deal, becomes a multi-platinum-selling pop star, plays stadiums across Africa, then builds a career as a politician for Mandela's African National Congress party. Penny Penny's debut recording Shaka Bundu, recorded in 1994, is the album that took a 34-year-old Giyani Kulani Kobane from the streets of Johannesburg to the chambers of power.  

    After a chance meeting with Tsonga disco producer Joe Shirimani, just six months after apartheid was lifted, Penny Penny's Shaka Bundu was released and entered the consciousness of the entire country. Penny Penny became an immediate sensation, against the expectations of everyone involved. The album went on to sell more than 250,000 copies in South Africa and Penny Penny has played to thousands on stadium stages from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Namibia and Mozambique.

    The music was something new for Tsonga disco. Slow house music rhythms became the foundation for Penny's anthemic exultations. Using Atari computers, Korg M1 synthesizer and reel-to-reel tape for vocals, Penny and Shirimani cut the entire record in just seven days. Their signature bass sound combined richness and sharpness with the root tones of an organ. Penny's rap-like delivery became his calling card: a husky, playful vocal performance heavy on vibes.

    Nearly 20 years since Shaka Bundu blasted from speakers across a newly free South Africa, the music still sounds big and worldly. And, despite shifting his energies from stadium shows to municipal matters, Penny Penny still sports his signature top-bun hairstyle.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Shichangani
    2. Shibandza
    3. Ndzihere Bhi
    4. Dance Khomela
    5. Shaka Bundu
    6. Zirimini
    7. Milandu Bhe
    8. Shichangani (Remix)

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  • Professor Rhythm 'Bafana Bafana' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Professor Rhythm 'Bafana Bafana'

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    Professor Rhythm 'Bafana Bafana'

    £20.49

    Professor Rhythm is the production moniker of South African music man Thami Mdluli. Throughout the 1980's, Mdluli was member of chart-topping groups Taboo and CJB, playing bubblegum pop to stadiums. Mdluli became an in-demand producer for influential artists (like Sox and Sensations, among many others) and in-house producer for important record companies like Eric Frisch and Tusk.

    During the early '80s, Mdluli projects usually featured an instrumental dance track. These hot instrumentals became rather popular. Fans demanded to hear more of these backing tracks without vocals, he says, so Mdluli began to make solo instrumental albums in 1985 as Professor Rhythm.

    He got the name before the recordings began, from fans, and positive momentum from audiences and other musicians drove him to invest himself in a full-on solo project. It was the era just before the end of apartheid and house music hadn't taken over yet. There wasn't instrumental electronic music yet in South Africa. As the '80s came to a close, that was about to change.

    Professor Rhythm productions mirror the evolution of dance music in South Africa. They grew out of the bubblegum mold - which itself stems from band's channelling influences like Kool & the Gang and the Commodores - into something based on music for the club. His early instrumental recordings First Time Around and Professor 3 mostly distilled R&B, mbaqanga and bubblegum grooves into vocal-less pieces for the dance floor. Musically, these were a success and commercially the albums all went gold.

    There were countless bubblegum albums flooding the marketplace, with nearly disposable vocalists backed by mostly similar-sounding rhythm tracks. Most of the lyrical content was light and apolitical. But the keyboards used formed the musical basis for what would come next. By the time Professor 4 and this recording Bafana Bafana - the name references South Africa's national soccer team - were released in the mid-1990s, k waito had fully emerged. Access to instruments and freedom of expression helped its rise in influence among youth.

    According to Mdluli, "Once Mandela was released from prison and people felt more free to express themselves and move around town, kwaito was becoming the thing." Lyrically, kwaito championed the local township lingo while adapting "international music," house music, into the local context. "International Music," as house music and early kwaito were interchangeably known, in many ways reflects the sounds coming from America. But South Africans made it their own. Today, the largest part of the music industry is occupied by house music and its relatives.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Bafana Bafana
    2. Isidakwa
    3. Via Botswana
    4. Leave Me Alone
    5. Kancane Kancane
    6. Release Me
    7. Zama Zama
    8. Don’t Say You Love Me
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  • Umoja '707' - Cargo Records UK

    Awesome Tapes From Africa

    Umoja '707'

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    Umoja '707'

    £13.99

    A monumental career in pop music isn't easy when the system is built against you. But South African songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist "Om" Alec Khaoli managed to do just that with his band Umoja. As apartheid reached its violent peak, Khaoli pursued an escapist form of dance music that resonated across his complicated country, influencing countless legends and releasing recordings across the world.

    Umoja, which means oneness or unity in Swahili, was clear in its message to the public. "Oriented towards society, advocating uniting of people. Race was the big thing," Khaoli says. "We wanted people to come together and unite and just form a oneness." Indeed the band's fanbase was mixed among black, colored and white fans. However, their lyrics were not overtly political. "If you wrote songs about apartheid, we would disguise them.

    If we used language as it was, we would get arrested." The band helped refine a commercially powerful emergent style, bubblegum, with the album 707 in 1988. "Bubblegum music was about escape," according to Khaoli. "If you had grown up in South Africa at the time, there was nothing more in your life than oppression. It was even in your dreams. Anything that was a way out was welcome... When this music was playing everyone just wanted to dance, just have a good time."

    Tracklisting:
    1. Money Money (Bananas)
    2. 707
    3. Take Me High
    4. Special Night
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