The next release on Brian Shimkovitz's Awesome Tapes From Africa is a reissue of Ghanaian DJ, producer and rapper DJ Katapila's Trotro album. A DJ since the '80s, DJ Katapila (birth name: Ishmael Abbey) didn't start producing music until the age of 39 in the late '90s. At the time, his sets progressed to include live rapping over instrumental breaks, Yamaha electronic drum pads and samplers. After receiving a copy of Fruity Loops (now FL Studio), he started to make music that blended the influence of Ga (a traditional Accra dance music) and Western house anthems like Inner City's 'Big Fun' and Crystal Waters' 'Gypsy Woman'. After its release in 2009, Trotro grew in popularity through the mobile DJ scene and bootlegging, leading to its association with gbe ohe, a national dance craze at the time. He still remains active as a DJ and a producer.

More closely related to the Roland TR-808 heavy sounds of '90s Detroit Techno and Chicago Acid House than the contemporary hiplife records often heard on Ghanaian radio, Trotro is a unique and compelling record. While DJ Katapila raps in Ga and Twi, his message and energy is for everyone. You don't have to understand the language to dance to these grooves.

Trotro is due for reissue via Awesome Tapes From Africa the 19th of February. For now, we can listen to DJ Katapila's street vendor homage 'Cocoawra' via SoundCloud: