[Music] Awesome Tapes From Africa: An Interview with Brian Shimkovitz

Awesome Tapes From Africa is lucky to have an owner who has a deep passion for the music he puts out. PopMatters.com lets Awesome head honcho Brian Shimkovitz hold court. It’s worth checking out Brian’s blog which started his interest in African music.

[Music] “Tax Scam Records”: Artist Discovers Albums Of His Songs Were Released By Shadowy Companies in 1977

Many thanks to my friend, Al Clark, for originally posting this article from Dangerous Minds.

Here’s a taster of what to expect from the article:

“Tax Scam Records” is a phrase that was coined by collectors to identify albums that are believed to have been manufactured for the sole purpose of—get this—losing money. From around 1976 until 1984, a number of record labels were established as tax shelters, with investors putting their money into albums. A financier would invest, say, $20,000 in an LP, and if it tanked, the backer could claim a loss on their taxes, based on the assessed value of the master recording. Technically, the practice was legal, but to maximize the write-off, the appraisal was often grossly inflated—as high as seven figures.

The I.R.S would come to question the legitimacy of some of these labels, and accuse those promoting shelters that focused on tax benefits—rather than the music being bankrolled—of perpetuating fraud.

Anything was seemingly fair game for a tax shelter album, including LPs previously issued as private press records, demo tapes by aspiring artists, and studio outtakes by name acts. Some labels were so brazen, they released albums using material by groups as big as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles.

Absolutely greasy, but this was, after all, the 1970s.

[Music] Hedningarna – Räven

Hedningarna are a Swedish folk band which also had Finnish members not too terribly long ago. I came across their music while looking at a pile of promos sitting on the desk of a World Music buyer at the shop I had worked at, which were delivered to us by a local Rykodisc distributor. The quality of the sub-label representing the band, Northside Records, was phenomenal. There will surely be more of these folk bands posted here in the future.

[Music] Ashberry ~ In Music We Are Still Together (Art Edition) — a closer listen

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F251073943&visual=true&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false

Atay Ilgun (Ashberry) calls this edition “the most precious collection of music ever released from Wounded Wolf Press,” and having seen the hard copy in person, we have to agree. In Music We Are Still Together is a generous offering that includes three discs, a handmade, hardbound case, a short book of poetry and a phial of […]

via Ashberry ~ In Music We Are Still Together (Art Edition) — a closer listen

[Music Sample] Cuneiform Turns 30: The Albums of 2014

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1493984546/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/

Washington D.C.-based Cuneiform Records has been publishing influential avant-prog rock music for three decades now. Steve Feigenbaum, the label’s owner, should be commended for bringing such groups like Univers Zero, Daniel Denis, Richard Pinhas and Happy Family to American consumers.

This compilation covers 30 years of great releases, and is available as a ‘name-your-price’ download, courtesy of Bandcamp.

[Music] Roger Damawuzan & Les As Du Benin – Wait For Me

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2282653302/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/

Many thanks to Hot Casa Records, who introduced the music of Roger Damawuzan, the ‘James Brown of Lomé‘, to the world. You can definitely see where he gets his inspiration from!