Audio

Awesome Tapes From Africa Releases Ata Kak's 'Obaa Sima' LP

Awesome Tapes From Africa releases and shares a full stream of Ghanaian artist Ata Kak's obscure dance album 'Obaa Sima.'


Awesome Tapes From Africa shares a full stream of Obaa Sima, the widely celebrated dance album by Ghanaian musician Ata Kak. With elements of techno, rap, and highlife reminiscent of DIY versions of Michael Jackson hits and Public Enemy's early cuts, Obaa Sima, originally released in 1994, carries a forceful and sheer energy. Something of a passion project, ATFA founder Brian Shimkovitz came across a cassette copy of Obaa Sima at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana back in 2002. The release went on to be ATFA's very first blog post a few years later. Although readers loved the music, no one really knew who its maker was. Shimkovitz began an obsessive search and eventually discovered that Ata Kak's real name was Yaw Atta-Owusu. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, Ata Kak eventually settled in Toronto where he recorded Obaa Sima with mostly second-hand gear (including a synth with built-in drum effects) in his own living room and bathroom. After a long and difficult restoration process, Awesome Tapes From Africa finally releases Ata Kak's energetic Obaa Sima on LP, CD, MP3, and limited-edition tape. Grab your copy here and hear a full stream of the 7-track album below.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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