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Ata Kak and the Crate Diggers

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:43 am
by Rob Hall
This is an excellent 30-minute documentary by Mark Coles, looking at the world of Analog Africa, Soundways, and other crate-digging revival labels. It looks like this was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, but it was repeated this morning on the World Service and is available again via iPlayer Radio. Unfortunately, you'll have to find it for yourselves as I can't provide a direct link - this is the programme info from the R4 broadcast:

Re: Ata Kak and the Crate Diggers

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:25 pm
by Adam Blake
Wonderful programme. Thanks, Rob.

Re: Ata Kak and the Crate Diggers

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:25 pm
by Alan
this is the link

thanks Rob

Ata Kak and the Crate Diggers

Duration: 28 minutes, First broadcast: Wednesday 03 September 2014

In 2002, Brian Shimkovitz, a young American ethnomusicologist, buys a cassette tape from a makeshift stall in Cape Coast, Ghana. The bright yellow cover features a picture of the artist clutching a microphone and sporting a denim jacket, black cap worn backwards and dark sunglasses. He is called Ata Kak.

The tape is packed away and forgotten, but re-discovered a few years later in New York. It is the start of an obsession.

Brian is one of a handful of bloggers, DJs and record label bosses who are digging up musical gems from across Africa, previously unheard in the West, and giving them a new lease of life. They are the crate diggers; enthusiasts of new sounds and exotic rhythms found in piles of dusty LPs lying forgotten across the African continent and beyond. Brian Shimkovitz has a blog called Awesome Tapes From Africa. Inspired by his fellow American and European crate diggers, he has also turned it into a fledgling record label.

Mark Coles follows Brian as he searches for Ata Kak, a hunt that takes him around the world at great personal expense. Who is the man behind this bizarre blend of excited shrieks, raps and '90s beats who, unknowingly, now has a fanbase of cool kids, online music geeks and world music devotees?

Mark also meets Andy Morgan, music writer and former manager of world music superstars Tinariwen and Miles Cleret from Soundway Records. Plus he talks to Ebo Taylor, a Ghanaian highlife legend, now 78 years old and pursuing an international career after appearing on Soundway's first compilation. In a financially compromised music industry, what can Brian hope to offer an obscure Ghanaian rapper?

But first, he has to find Ata Kak...