Awesome Tapes From Africa started exactly six years ago out of Brian Shimkovitz' bedroom. He'd recently returned from his second long period of living in Ghana and, a lover of both music and strange shit, came home with boxes and boxes of cassette tapes of the weirdest, best artists he could find. Cassettes were and possibly still are Africa's preferred mode of music duplication which made their reach in the computerized world fairly short, so Shimkovitz began digitizing some of his best finds. In the years since, ATFA has become something of a strange phenomenon, with people sending him their own tape finds and many copycat cassette culture sites cropping up. What we'd been missing on the tape deck suddenly demanded to be played. Heeding that necessity, Shimkovitz started Awesome Tapes From Africa the record label and his first release is by Nâ Hawa Doumbia, one of the strongest albums he's unearthed, recorded in the Ivory Coast in 1982. Doumbia's voice is extra powerful, recorded bright and clear above an interwoven string jam. "Kungo Sogoni" is a fist pumper as much as it is a heartbreaker. Doumbia's record La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 will be released October 18th on CD and LP—preorder it now and go see a live ATFA DJ set at ATP in New Jersey and at The Bell House in Brooklyn with another ATFA favorite, Boubacar Traore.
Download: Nâ Hawa Doumbia, "Kungo Sogoni"