Secretly Distributon

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2015-10-30
Ata Kak: Obaa Sima b/w Adagya

Here's 12" single #2 from Ata Kak's now-legendary 1993 solo cassette, Obaa Sima. Released to much acclaim earlier this year after an exhaustive search for the musician, the tape has reached left-field music fans worldwide via the Awesome Tapes From Africa LP and CD. With this limited edition 12" for DJ’s and other nerds, the songs "Obaa Sima" and "Adagya" jump off the wax, inviting deeper examination. The two Ghana-by-way-of-Toronto dance tracks whip themselves into an unabashed frenzy, and sound like nothing else. As well, they capture some of the beautiful mystery behind the elusive auteur who'd been living quietly back in Kumasi (Ghana) the last several years since leaving Canada, where the album was recorded.

In the past year since ATFA founder Brian Shimkovitz finally tracked down Ata Kak after an 8-year search, efforts have been made to learn more about what made this very particular music happen. The image we've seen revealed is of an iconoclastic bedroom producer making music his own way, with a sort of DIY spirit - Ata Kak put together his own studio using second-hand instruments and gear, teaching himself how to make a record. This 12" features the singer/producer's ode to the ideal woman, "Obaa Sima," which sets the stage for the entire one-of-a-kind cassette. The B-side, "Adagya," exemplifies Ata Kak's inimitable collision of new jack swing, rap and scatting, all held down by minimal keyboard harmony and a timeless sense of highlife soul. Ata Kak maybe have made this visionary work more than two decades ago but its joyful, unpretentious creative spirit was well ahead of its time.

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2015-03-03
Ata Kak: Obaa Sima

Ata Kak's cassette Obaa Sima fell on deaf ears when it was self-released in Ghana and Canada in 1994. The music on the recording - an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, funk and disco - is presented with the passion of a Prince record and the DIY-bedroom-recording lo-fi charm of early Chicago house music. The astute self-taught song craft and visionary blend of sounds and rhythms has made the album a left-field cult favorite among adventurous listeners worldwide. Awesome Tapes From Africa founder Brian Shimkovitz found the tape in 2002 in Cape Coast, Ghana - one of only a few ever pressed - and later made it the inaugural post on the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog. Hundreds of thousands of downloads, YouTube views, music video tributes and remixes, as well as years of mystery regarding Ata Kak's whereabouts, culminate in this remastered release featuring rare photos and the full back story of one of the internet age's most enigmatic musicians.