Awesome Tapes from Africa

Jan 5, 2016

Shimkovitz live at Honolulu's Bevy bar.
Credit Nick Yee
Credit Nick Yee

Brian Shimkovitz was on a Fulbright scholarship in Ghana when he got hooked on the cassette culture of the region.

There street vendors hawk West African recordings in a variety of genres, from highlife to African disco, old left-field soul to curious local pop.  As he explored the region- he found an Africa much richer and more diverse than the version usually presented in American media.

Returning to the United States and setting up camp in Los Angles-  Shimkovitz started a blog entitled "Awesome Tapes from Africa." Later he turned that blog into a record label to share his passion for this music, much of which is unheard outside of West Africa.

He’s also DJ’s with the cassettes, seamlessly mixing between songs on two decks- something that's very rare these days.  He stopped by HPR studios to discuss the discovery of African music and culture.

You can find Brian’s blog at 

The music is also available for purchase on BANDCAMP.

Watch Awesome Tapes live at Field Day