A set of new recordings from the Ghanaian gyil player, titled Songs Of Paapieye, will arrive on October 2nd.
Songs Of Paapieye marks the first time Brian Shimkovitz's label has released new material—until now it has been devoted to dusting off obscure, forgotten tapes and giving them a fresh release. Kakraba is regarded as a master of gyil, a xylophone-like instrument that's central to Ghanaian music and culture. "The buzzy rattle emitted with each note comes from the silk walls of spiders' egg sacs stretched across holes in the gourds," the label says. Kakraba recorded the album in the San Francisco studio run by his close friend Brian Hogan.
"When I moved to Accra in 1997, I was around 20, I had to make money for myself so I strapped on my xylophone and carried it around Central Accra or the zongos (Muslim ghettoes) and markets and people would throw money on the instrument," Kakraba says of his musical history. "This helped me get my daily chop."
Songs Of Paapieye features solo recordings of Kakraba's "favourite song cycles, funeral dirges, improvised interpretations on traditional songs and original compositions." It'll be available on vinyl, CD, digital and cassette formats with detailed track-by-track notes and biographical information.
Listen to album track "Guun" below.
You can also watch Shimkovitz performing on the Resident Advisor stage at this year's Field Day festival in London below.
01. Lubile Prai
02. Banyere Yo
04. Darikpon Variations
Awesome Tapes From Africa will release Songs Of Paapieye on October 2nd, 2015.