In 2002, New York music-nerd Brian Shimkovitz bought a cassette tape in a street market in Ghana: the album, “Obaa Sima,” by an unknown musician named Ata Kak.
Shimkovitz was so fascinated by the strange afro-discorap sounds that he founded the (now world-famous) Awesome Tapes from Africa blog. After an eight-year search, Shimkovitz found the lost musician behind the tape in Kumasi, Ghana – Yaw Atta-Owusu, who had returned to his homeland after years of exile in Germany and Canada.
Ata Kak had released his self-produced solo tape “Obaa Sima” in Toronto and Ghana in 1994, and sold exactly three copies. Its re-release in 2015 on Shimkovitz’ label kindled a global hype, with people heralding it as a timeless and innovative piece of music history.
The DIY character of Ata Kak’s Atari Computer production references dub-pioneers like Lee “Scratch” Perry and early Chicago House; Ghanaian highlife, soul, funk and disco combine to form a specific sound with African origins. Ata Kak raps over it with a motor-like highpitched voice in the Ghanaian Twi-dialect.
Twenty-two years later, Ata Kak is now going on tour for the first time, and is opening the Summer Festival. This concert simultaneously plays out as the prologue for the In/Audible Sounds series, as an example for unknown and unheard music from Africa that is now finding its audience in the age of the internet. Joining us as German reference is Hallo Werner Clan, the Dada Rap Superstars from the future.
Friday, 21st April 2017 | 21:00 CET
HAU2 | Hallesches Ufer 32 | 10963 Berlin/Kreuzberg