Photo by MITCH IKEDA
Rare, high-energy cuts from across the African continent
Bless Brian Shimkovitz, for lugging a chunk of his African cassette tape collection out to Naeba. The founder of Awesome Tapes From Africa, initially a free-to-download MP3 blog that eventually became its own label and event, took to the decks in the Crystal Palace Sunday night to play rare songs hailing from all across the continent. Across an hour, he played jaunty highlife from decades ago to more modern cuts featuring electronic touches and hip-hop delivery. It was a constantly upbeat set that had the whole floor moving, and since the bulk of folks there weren’t deep experts on obscure African music, each new song was also a thrilling discovery…and one they may never hear again, making the moment all the more special.