Welcome to African Cassettes

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African Cassettes is an online cassettography dedicated to documenting African music released on cassettes. Currently the project is in an early development stage. A list of all cassettes included until now can be seen here. New cassettes are being added on a daily base. The project is based at and supported by the African Music Archives (AMA) at the University of Mainz.

Introduction

Over a period of more than 40 years cassette albums were the predominant media for publishing popular music in most African countries, i.e. the majority of commercially produced music was released on cassettes. Thus, music produced and released on cassettes represent an immense treasure of cultural heritage. Despite the relevance and importance of this heritage few information about the sheer quantity and the content of cassette albums is available. Although projects on specific genres or with a regional focus by highly engaged and knowledgeable enthusiasts fill these gaps partly, there is no compendium or catalogue which contains information on all cassette albums produced in African countries in a standardized way. Thus, there is a need for a register or a catalogue of cassette albums produced in African countries.

This project is the attempt to fill this gap with the creation of a cassettography of African Music Albums. Although I had followed the idea to start this kind of catalogue for a couple of years this project just started two months ago, thanks to the support of the African Music Archives and the Ernst-Wilhelm-Müller-Stiftung at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Currently the cassettography is in a test phase where ideas and implementation are being tested. The cassette albums used in the project are found in a private collection or in the AMA at Mainz.

At this stage the cassettography contains entries on cassette albums from 30 countries, biographical entries on the artists and bands who appear on the cassettes, entries on authors and composers of songs, as well as entries on the companies which produced and released the cassettes (such as music labels, music shops, etc.). The data in the entries is based on information provided on the cover of or on the cassettes themselves as well as from publications in the internet (online magazines, newspapers, etc.) and printed books.

The project is using open sources software (MediaWiki) in order to be sustainable in the long term. Albums are continuously added to the cassettography, more or less on a daily base and descriptive and documentation texts will be continuously revised and amended as well.

Please note that this is an academic non-profit project. Comments that contribute to the improvement and enrichment of this project are very welcome. You find our email address below.

Recent additions

A note about the naming of the albums

Many cassette albums don't have a title. Therefore for all albums without title we use the title of the first song on Side A as pro forma title for the cassette.

The 36 newest albums

Please note that the pictures are linked to the covers only. The cassette is linked to via the title below the picture.

Cassettes arranged by country

A

Flag of Algeria.jpg
Cassettes from Algeria
Angola.jpg
Cassettes from Angola

B

Burundi.jpg
Cassettes from Burundi


C

Cameroon sm.jpg
Cassettes from Cameroon
Kongorepublik.jpg
Cassettes from Congo


D

Djibouti Flag.jpg
Cassettes from Djibouti
Kongo DRC.jpg
Cassettes from DRC/Zaïre

E

Aethiopien.jpg
Cassettes from Ethiopia
Eritrea.jpg
Cassettes from Eritrea

G

Gabun.jpg
Cassettes from Gabon
Gambia.jpg
Cassettes from Gambia
Ghana.jpg
Cassettes from Ghana
Guinea.jpg
Cassettes from Guinea

I

Cotedivoire.jpg
Cassettes from Ivory Coast


K

Kenya Flag.jpg
Cassettes from Kenya

L

Liberia.jpg
Cassettes from Liberia

M

Madagascar.jpg
Cassettes from Madagascar
Mali.jpg
Cassettes from Mali
Flag of Morocco.jpg
Cassettes from Morocco

N

Nigeriaflag.jpg
Cassettes from Nigeria

S

Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.jpg
Cassettes from São Tomé and Príncipe
Senegal.jpg
Cassettes from Senegal
Flag of Somalia.jpg
Cassettes from Somalia
Suedafrika.jpg
Cassettes from South Africa
Flag of Sudan.jpg
Cassettes from Sudan

T

Tansania.jpg
Cassettes from Tanzania
Togo.jpg
Cassettes from Togo
Flag of Tunisia.jpg
Cassettes from Tunisia

U

Uganda.jpg
Cassettes from Uganda


Z

Simbabwe.jpg
Cassettes from Zimbabwe




AMA - African Music Archive

AMA-Logo-Platte.jpg

The African Music Archive at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is collecting modern African music and makes it available to science and research. It hosts music on all kinds of media: shellac and vinyl records, as well as audio and video cassettes, CDs and DVDs. It currently hosts a unique collection of 15,000 sound recordings from the 1940s until the present. Beyond academic work, AMA seeks to make knowledge about African music accessible to a broader public.


'African Cassettes' is maintained by Andreas Wetter.

Contact

You can write an email to the project.