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Awesome Tapes from Africa

Nick Yee
Nick Yee
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-  Shimkovitzstarted 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 atAwesometapes.com

The music is also available for purchase on BANDCAMP.

Watch Awesome Tapes live at Field Day

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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