Sunday, May 31, 2009



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Wow, thank you random Bay Ridge video store...The friendly shopkeeper told me Shadia is one of the classic singers from Egypt. Haunting melodies and songs of possible heartbreak and disappointment by an old film actress? I adore this whole scenario (along with the design of the cassette cover).

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Assane Ndiaye et le Raam Daan—Nguisstaal

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Come check out Awesome Tapes from Africa live DJ set at 92Y Tribeca in New York City on Friday May 29.

Monday, May 18, 2009


What is this Ethiopian compilation?

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This mix of jams Ethiopia has raised the bar for me. Quite an awesome array of stuff in here, I am happy to remain ignorant of what all is going on with this tape for now...listen and enjoy. This tape courtesy of my homie Shawn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ramata Diakite—Na

Face A
Aye Yafama
Sina Musso

Face B
Sonte Samarala
Moko Balou

A guy named Phil from UK offers this guest post, an incredible cassette from Wassoulou music hero Ramata Diakite...

I was in Mali with Oxfam, visiting development projects in the north and south on which I've been doing communications work this year.

The driver we traveled with had this tape. And a Bob Marley greatest hits. We literally had them on repeat for about 2 days driving through the Sahara desert - it brings it all back! Later when I was back in Bamako before leaving for home, I found the tape in the market.

The song "Nana" kills me! All the different rhythmic and melodic lines. Man!

Man, indeed.—Ed.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


What's the name of this band/album?...

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...I have no idea but this tape from Guelmim, a town in southern Morocco, is INSANE. commanding vocal repetitions, lyrical guitar space-outs and infinite hand-clapping vs. spectacular use of auto-tune vocals and mod wheel synth embellishments. If all music sounded like this (and everyone listened to this tape exclusively each day) there would be no reason to blog, no war, no corruption, we'd all just be chilling blissed-out lying on pillows in sunny living rooms for eternity. This is beautifully smart and modern music.

Chris, who is traveling in the region right now, sent this to me explaining it's Hassaniya (the Arabic dialect spoken in most of Mauritania, Western Sahara and elsewhere) music. I'd be curious to know more about these artists and this cassette if anyone has additional info...

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Mapenda et le Takander Group—Loubess

Face A
Lila War
Boul ma Dieuye

Face B
Mame Ruba

Senegalese cinema genius Ousmane Sembene made a film toward the end of his career called Faat Kine (2000). It's about a successful single mother who owns a gas station in Dakar, portrayed as this sort of challenge to male-dominated Senegal. Her son Djip is a hip and savvy young smart-ass who refuses to call his father (who had earlier abandoned the family) "father." In my imagination Djip and his homies cruise around Dakar on Sundays visiting friends, listening to mbalax tapes like this.

Speaking of Sembene, if there's one Senegalese film not to miss it's Black Girl (La Noire De...) (1966). Brutal, beautiful and haunting.

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