Awesome Tapes From Africa
Since 2006, Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes From Africa blog has been shedding light on obscure and wonderful sounds from across the continent. As a DJ he brings the blog to life with 2-3 hour sets blending folkloric pop, left-field dancefloor gems and hip-hop bangers he’s collected on African marketplace finds. Traveling from club to festival to DIY space, Awesome Tapes From Africa DJ sets celebrate the music and musicians whose cassettes Shimkovitz has collected over the years. In 2011 AFTA developed into a critically acclaimed vinyl label.
The label plays an essential role in furthering Brian’s mission to build an international audience for African music through touring and re-issues. Drawing on his vast African cassette archive—which includes highlife, fuji, benga, tsonga disco, soukous, hip-hop, rhumba and ethio-soul, among countless other genres—his role now combines that of educator, promoter and selector, finding him DJ across the world. HIs DJ sets on twin tape decks explore deep, regional sounds using analog-anchored agility not heard/seen anywhere else.