Touring the US for The First Time Behind His Iconic 1994 Tape Obaa Sima That Kicked Off Awesome Tapes From Africa Label, Ghanian Artist Ata Kak Hits the Cedar in Minneapolis Thursday
Ghanaian artist Ata Kak’s genre-bending Obaa Sima is one those albums that, when it was found decades after it’s original 1994 release and introduced to a larger audience than it received upon initial release, it wasn’t totally surprising that it had been lost in time. It’s an ambitious collection that confirms to few, if any rules, and feels timeless and almost overwhelming. Yaw Atta-Owusu (aka Ata Kak) had played in various bands as he lived on multiple continents, but this album was the culmination of his absorbing of a plethora of music styles. In addition to streaming/buying his music via the Bandcamp link below, you can also dive deeper into his story on his BC page.
Obaa Sima is a righteous, funky collection of highlife, sinewy funk synths, house drums and lo-fi, early-era rapping. It was the first album posted on the now-label, then blog Awesome Tapes from Africa, a great resource that has dug up and exposed some amazing music over the last decade-plus. (Note: Check out all the great stuff they’ve released if you’re unfamiliar with the label.)
In one of those cool twists, Ata Kak is still around and has been able to soak up the (delayed) acclaim for this music, including a first ever tour of the US that followed COVID-related delays. He will be performing Thursday at the Cedar in Minneapolis for what should be an amazing show. The music has the kind of grooves that I’m guessing will reverberate even more deeply in person than on tape/digital.
You can watch a short documentary about him HERE if you’re interested in a little bit more of the back story.
Thursday’s concert will see local artist Fanaka Nation opening. Doors are at 7pm and tickets are $25 at the door, Get all the info you need about the show from the Cedar website.
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