Posted: Sep 26, 2008 11:36 am
When I was living over there, before the advent of digitisation (which is still not common in Africa), there were a lot of record/DJ "shops" wherein you could browse thru their collection of truly beat-up records and have the owner make you a custom mix tape.
the other interesting thing were all the "pirate dens" which had like 5-10 tape decks hooked up to one source, cranking out pirate dupes of dupes of dupes, which would then be dispatched via guys on bicycles and sold all over town. You could audition the tape and make sure it wasn't too bad.
My first trip to Togo, the biggest hit on the bike guys' bikes was Steve Van Zandt's "Sun City", believe it or not.
There was a Fela tape I heard ONCE that I'm still looking for --- "Greatest Hits" --- all the tunes were 2-3 minutes, very different from his later stuff.
Frank's observations about travelling down there are way more accurate and insightful than almost all the other "travel writers" I've read