Blog September 19, 2014
Afropop Premiere: "Lake Tana" by Hard Proof
Hard Proof, an Afro-funk outfit from Austin, Texas, is about to put out a cassette tape single a.k.a "cassingle" (see The Onion) in honor of Cassette Store Day on Sept. 27. You may be asking, "Wait...what? There are stores exclusively devoted to tapes? And bands are putting out music exclusively on tape in 2014?" The answer is Yes! There are music labels, stores and fans devoted to this analog format, despite mainstream culture's increasingly digital approach. Sure, it's a niche community but they are certainly "die-hard" (perhaps you should again refer to that *satirical* Onion article) Interested? Click here for more on Cassette Store Day. Embracing the concept of analog degeneration and hiss, Hard Proof has prepared two creative Afro-funk tracks containing maximum freshness, that would be perfect for playing in the tape deck of your Chevy Camaro (or perhaps Ford Taurus station wagon) very loud, on endless repeat, while you drive the interstates of America, smoking cigarettes and drinking bad gas-station coffee. [Editor's note: Afropop Worldwide does not condone smoking of any kind, and especially reviles bad coffee, unless it's the stuff we drink in the office. But we are fans of tapes.] According to the band's drummer Stephen Bidwell, “Most of us grew up before file sharing or burnable CDs, so tapes were a huge part of our musical upbringing and discovery. Mixtapes sure had more of a personal touch than a Spotify playlist. Also putting it out as a cassingle reminds me of the golden age of hip-hop when we consumed singles on tape and had to flip sides to hear more. You had to work harder to discover new music.” Well, we'll continue to help out all you non-tape-player owners: Afropop Worldwide is premiering, in digital, side B: "Lake Tana," an adventurous Ethio-funk inspired jaunt. But if you're cool, you'll buy that cassingle on 9/27. Also, Hard Proof is on tour in the Northeast, check 'em out if you can: 09.19.14 @ Holy Mountain – Austin, TX [Link] 09.24.14 @ 529 – Atlanta, GA [Link] 09.25.14 @ The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall – Asheville, NC [Link / Tickets] 09.26.14 @ Tropicalia – Washington, DC [Link] 09.27.14 @ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) – New York, NY [Link] 09.28.14 @ WV Wine & Jazz Festival @ Camp Muffly – Morgantown, WV [Link] 09.28.14 @ Thunderbird Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA [Link] 10.02.14 @ Exploded Records [Cassingle Listening Party] – Austin, TX [Link] 10.03.14 @ The Continental Club – Austin, TX [Link] 10.05.14 @ Austin City Limits Festival – Austin, TX [Link]