Review: DJ Katapila is something of a rising star in his native Ghana. His fame is based on the phenomenal success of Trotro, his 2009 debut album. The set has since gone on to be one of the most bootlegged CDs in Ghanaian history, and here gets a wider release for the first time thanks to dusty-fingered Afro-diggers Awesome Tapes From Africa. Musically, it's arguably unlike anything you'll have heard before, fusing as it does traditional Ga music with the clattering drum machine percussion of vintage Chicago house, and the far-sighted throb of Detroit techno. The resultant tracks are rarely less than thrilling, with the producer delivering a swathe of sweaty, floor-friendly jams in his own unique style.
Review: The fantastically named Awesome Tapes From Africa have released a fair bit of material from veteran South African pop artist "Om" Alec Khaoli, usually stuff by his band, Umoja. This record, Say You Love Me, was a solo release from the mid 80s. This was unfortunately the height of the apartheid era, however it was also the time of bonkers digital synths, dry ice and neon, so it wasn't all bad. The four tracks here are a riot of Linn drums, DX7's and electronic bass. Highlights include the anthemic power-soul of the title track and the insane vocoder afro-funk of "Crosslines". Just great.
Review: Awesome Tapes From Africa collaborate here with legendary South African pop artist "Om"Alec Khaoli, whose band Umoja recorded several records in the 1980s. Known for his prior work with Harari and the Beaters before, "Om" Alec created music across the genres of funk, rock, folk and disco during the course of his decades long reign as one of the most influential artists in the highly challenging (to put it mildly) apartheid-era music scene. The 707 EP was originally released in 1988 and features the addictive Afro synth-pop of "Money Money", while the lo-slung groove on the title track is particularly addictive and the vocoder is a nice touch!