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Ata Kak - Obaa Sima

Awesome Tapes From Africa

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The story of hard-to-find cassettes, and the story of a travelling musician in the making -

This is a bit of a special record, for sure.
Served on vinyl, finally, after it's initial 50-or-so copies that were made in 1994, gathered dust and degraded in the ghanaian heat without much attention or success... The story of Ata Kak, a young Ghanaian who travelled to Germany and Canada, almost coincidentally progressing from being a music enthusiast to self-recording his album after finally acquiring the means and additional band members over the course of the late 80's.
'Obaa Sima' is a mad fruity, highly unique melting pot of Ghanaian hiplife music (without knowing what the term was at the time) and mid 80's inspired jams, with Ata Kak displaying pure inspiration and enthusiasm over the course of his wild, boogie, rap, funk, techno and highlife inspired home-studio creations.

Whilst being heavily inspired by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Michael Jackson and the likes - just check those amazing photos in the insert - Ata Kak decided to stick to his language, not adhering to english language trend (apart from a few lyrical nods to US pop tunes) that swamped the music world in the 80's. His fast-chat rapping and (very heartfelt, not always in tune) singing in Twi make this record extra odd, and somewhat increases the level of greatness.

Although certain elements may stand out as a bit amateur, there's so much love, energy and lifeforce in these tracks, it really doesn't matter - the vibe shines right through... That's not to say that this is to be seen as a laughing matter, or even belittled - The album is filled with highly addictive rhythms and melodies that would make some 'professional musicians' have to re-adjust their stance.

Another interesting fact about this record and it's original tape format -
According to the liner notes, in the years that it took to manifest this album, many tape copies had to be rejected for use of manufacturing the vinyl, as they had simply suffered too much deterioration in the ghanaian heat, until finally a useable copy was found - which turned out to be slightly faster than the original recordings that Ata Kak had made... Most probably due to pirating of the tapes back in the day.
So the record we have here, is actually the sped-up version, as heard via the ATFA blog - the original speed revealed too many difficulties in the remastering process, exposing too much of the damage of the cassette reels.
However, the DL code includes the original 'slow version' as well as the released version.
Take your pick.
Apart from this highly unique piece of music, the packaging on this one is absolutely superb - From the insert poster explaining the full story along some truly great colour photos - the presentation of this project makes it worth the investment alone.

The crate-digging gold that inspired the excellent 'Awesome Tapes From Africa' blog back in 2006, and took a further century to finally reissue on vinyl.
Here it is, welcome to the world of Ata Kak.

includes DL code with extra versions.
Includes full sized colour poster including photos and comprehensive liner notes.
Served in a fantastic looking printed sleeve.

Side 1:
Obaa Sima
Moma Yendodo
Side 2:
Daa Nyinaa
Yemmpa Aba
Bome Nnwom

Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

Clip 4