Monday, October 4, 2010

Awesome Tapes From Africa

It’s a well-known story to many: You’re on a holiday in a far, exotic land, you walk on a street and suddenly a car stops next to you from which the greatest music you ever heard blasts throught the windows. After 30 seconds the car leaves and you know you’ll never hear that music ever again.

This is usually where the story stops, but it’s only the beginning for Brian Shimkovitz. Shimkovitz is the owner of a huge collection of cassettes from Africa, that he all bought at local markets. He digitalises one every week and puts it online on his amazing blog awesometapesfromafrica.blogspot.com.

“I wanted to do something with music from Africa that virtually ignored my formal schooling and subsequent fieldwork in ethnomusicology, so that regular old music fans could get something out of my blog without being intimidated,” he says. He operates on a simple premise: “I rip the tapes from a cassette deck to my laptop using Audacity, and hardly touch the EQ. I want people to hear every song on a tape, as I experience them.”

He quickly realized that most people outside of Africa have little to no idea of what life there is actually like, even when it comes to music. Although a small handful of African artists gain exposure outside the continent, much of the music that everyday people listen to at home, work, parties, and in the club remains unreleased in the west.

On Le Guess Who? Brian Shimkovitz will do a DJ-set, without LP’s, CD’s or iPod, but with a suitcase full of amazing cassettes.

No comments:

Post a Comment