Ata Kak (live)

Ata Kak (live)

Awesome Tapes blogger and label boss Brian Shimkowitz’s global search for the man behind the mysterious album he picked up in a street market in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2002. “You may never hear anything like this elsewhere,” he declared in his very first blog post. “No one I know in Ghana listens to this frenetic left-field rap madness.”

When Shimkovitz launched Awesome Tapes as a record label in 2011, he started tracking down the musicians and producers responsible for his favorite cassettes in view to give them a proper release – but Ata Kak had left no trace of his existence beyond this strange tape. After several years of searching, travelling from Los Angeles to Ghana, then to Germany and Canada, Shimkovitz finally got the tip-off he needed. The man behind Ata Kak was Yaw Atta-Owusu, a self-taught Ghanaian musician who’d got his start in reggae bands while living in Dusseldorf and Toronto, and had recorded his infectious hybrid of reggae and dancehall, Ghanaian highlife and American soul and hip-hop in his self-built studio in Ontario at the turn of the ‘90s.

Since Obaa Sima’s official reissue in March last 2015, the album has amassed enthusiastic reviews from all over and its has sold extraordinarily well for such a seemingly eccentric release, currently on its third vinyl pressing. Following the album’s reintroduction to the world some 20 years after its initial minuscule cassette run, Yaw Atta-Owusu is now doing something his new fans would ever have expected… performing and action packed live show!

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