Awesome Tapes From Africa has been releasing digital reissues on its website since 2006, we took note recently when the site ventured into record label status — partnering up with SC distributing to release a 1982 album by Malian singer Nâ Hawa Doumbia and Ghana’s Bola — with a vow to direct 50% of sales profits to the artists themselves.
ATFA is readying its third release with a cassette-sourced reissue from across the continent.: an 1987 recording made by the Somali Dur Dur Band. This recording, Volume 5, was released during the group’s peak in popularity in the thriving Mogadishu scene that preceded the Somalian civil war in 1991. The band sports an international sensibility in its combination with more traditional Somali roots and singing.
“Garsoore Waa Illah,” the first single from the album, plays like a well-plucked gem, with the bassline and syncopated guitar strumming driving the beat outright. The band is cohesive throughout and the singer, Sahra Dowo in this case, trades lead voice on-and-off with the riffing guitar. Volume 5 will be available as a CD, LP and limited edition cassette on February 5.