Awesome Tapes from Africa is exactly as it proclaims. Ethnomusicologist and DJ Brian Shimkovitz curates this collection of hundreds of cassette tape recordings from various regions of Africa dating back to the 70s. Shimkovitz recently contributed a mix-tape of popular 50s Egyptian music for New Directions Books in celebration of the US release of Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim, Egyptian activist and novelist.
Motion collage artist and poet Nathaniel Whitcomb had already created a mini-animated trailer to celebrate the book: “Inspired by vintage View Masters, Whitcomb flips through photos taken by Don Church of 1950s Cairo to let the viewer ‘peek in with care’ to Ibrahim’s childhood world. Accompanying the animation is music by the great 20th century Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.”
New Directions also interviewed Shimovitz about his work with Awesome Tapes from Africa, his creation of a mix tape ins
pired by Stealth, and the future new label created for ATFA.