Thursday, July 28, 2011



After more than five years of doing Awesome Tapes From Africa and DJing these cassettes all over it feels like a natural progression to find a way to bring these artists further recognition and perhaps a bit of money in the long run. So beginning in October, Awesome Tapes From Africa will be making available for sale some of the wonderful and obscure recordings that have been so fun to share over the years. In collaboration with the artists, who will receive 50% of all proceeds after expenses, you will soon find at your local music shop vinyl LPs, CDs and mp3s of select sublime albums, the kind which have made doing this blog so easy.

The first release is by Mali's Nâ Hawa Doumbia, a recording the singer made in 1982, La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3. It comes out October 18 and will be distributed by SC Distribution. More info soon. Feel free to join the mailing list (at left) if you'd like occasional electronic whispers in your digital ear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



Face A

Face B

This is something wonderful I didn't know about. Douada Filany Sangare is joined by Toumani Diabate, Ramata Diakite, and a chorus of ninja-like instrumentalists brandishing ngoni, kamale-ngoni, balafon, flute and djembe. Full ensemble Mande music from Mali with a Fulani feel.

Buy this record on iTunes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Haruna Ishola & His Apala Group—Mba B'Ejire Mba Yo

Side One
Mba B'Ejire Mba Yo
Ishola Olugbuyi Kuseju
Bi Taku Oba Ja
Saliu Ma Ya Bikan

Side Two
Bi Mo Duro Bi Mo Ba Bere Lo Orin Nso Simi Lokan
Olorire Legbewa
Ishola De Elenipe Od'Osupa Ti Nmole Kari Aiye
Won Nse Kobaje Didan Lo Ndan

Nigeria's o.g. Yoruba apala master Alhaji Haruna Ishola makes a powerful impression on me here. This particular cassette-shaped drop in the bucket of his immense discography is downright effervescent compared to many zzzz-inducing examples.

Talking drums of 1975 talking to me til I take this tape out.

Buy this record, or at least part of it, here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Arwiha and Ouled Sherif

Side 1
A'yiti Ma Tkhebbi
Ezzine El-Fassi

Side 2
Waili Lalla
Iyak A Sid

Although I don't know the artist/title associated with this tape—"Sawt El Jamal" is printed on the cassette label—I would classify this tape as "interesting slash pretty fucking amazing." If anyone can translate the info on the cover for us you'd be doing a good deed. Meantime I am still will be chilling in the AC to these wind-swept sounds.

Awesome Tapes From Africa was included in New York Magazine's recent article on analog-obsessed nerds.

Thanks to Tim Abdellah for the artist/track title transliteration from the Arabic.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Francis Bebey—Awkwaaba

Side 1
Binta Madiallo
Ngoma Likembe

Side 2
Tumu Pakara
Di Sengi

My buddy Shawn let me know about Francis Bebey a whiiile back but I didn't find a tape until recently. This deep and minimal orgy of sanza (a type of thumb-piano) is alternately back-beat almost-dancey and ketamine heady. I posted the link in one zipped file above, you're gonna want the whole thing.

Awesome Tapes from Africa DJ sets at Central Park SummerStage on Sunday, July 31 (FREE) followed by a show with Brooklyn homeboys The Sway Machinery on Tuesday, August 2 at 92Y Tribeca.

Also, I will be lugging my tapes around Europe in August, sharing sounds from island to village to city to harbour:

05.08 DK Sejerø Festival
07.08 PL Katowice Off Festival
08.08 UK London Cafe Oto
11.08 CH Geneva Ecoutes au Vert
12.08 NL Venlo Zomerparkfeest
13.08 DE Hamburg MS Dockville

BTW--ATFA is no longer fronting on Facebook. Show some like.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Agele Hot—Yinga Na Nabu

Side A
Kilo Ngazi Atiba
Yinga na Nabu
Baba Lo Sunyundro
Kilo Ngazi Atiba
Yinga na Nabu
Baba Lo Sunyundro

Side B
Yinga na Nabu
Baba Lo Sunyundro
Lale Liolo
Yinga na Nabu
Baba Lo Sunyundro

On the occasion of Southern Sudan's independence, which officially begins July 9, we're presenting this guest post from a gentleman working in the region. Here's to newfound freedom and self-determination in Southern Sudan, best wishes. This is light-hearted-sounding danceable jams, things we love on the eve of a historical political victory.

N.B.: The tracklisting on the tape has nothing to do with the actual number of songs on the tape, nor with the order in which they appear. Hence the repeated tracks, etc. Not uncommon among tapes found in Africa.

All Tomorrow's Parties America event curated by Portishead and ATP was recently announced, I will be DJing Awesome Tapes there on September 30. It's in New Jersey!

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