Six weeks ago, the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup was released to much fanfare. Like all festivals, some hated the lineup while others loved it. For the more levelheaded, it appears to be a very balanced lineup with a deep undercard. From here on out we will be underscoring the lesser-known Sasquatch artists by highlighting a different artist each week. Beyond delving into each artist’s bio, sound, etc., we will attempt to give some insight into what will make their performance at Sasquatch so amazing.
The past several weeks we’ve covered Sasquatch artists who by and large only perform their own material. This week, we’re taking things in a drastically different direction. In 2005, Brian Shimkovitz, a recent graduate of Indiana University and an ethnomusicology major, spent a year in Ghana on a Fulbright Scholarship. While in Ghana, Shimkovitz acquired a number of cassette tapes of local artists. On his return to his home in Brooklyn, Shimvokitz launched a blog to share the tapes with his friends. That blog, Awesome Tapes From Africa, is now one of the premier sources for “world” music on the web. Along with the blog, Shimkovitz now takes his show on the road, Djing with cassette tapes, as well as running an Awesome Tapes From Africa label. Last week, we spoke with Brian about his live sets, the label, where to look for awesome cassettes in Los Angeles (Little Ethiopia), and most importantly, if he’s excited to play at Sasquatch. Brian was incredibly helpful in making this interview happen and provided us with articulate, well-thought out answers. Brian also recently moved to Berlin so let’s show him a little love stateside. Read the entire interview after the jump and be sure to bookmark Awesome Tapes From Africa.