Today my friend Gordon in Portland sent me the restorations of a series of vinyl 45s Shem Tube gave me to digitize in Kenya this summer. The records were beat, but thanks to the hard work of Mike Graves, these things sound beautiful. It brings me warmth and joy on this grey Athens Wednesday, the day after the whole neighborhood went up in clouds of teargas during the annual anarchist protests of the police.
We'll release these tracks soon. It will be a fundraiser with all proceeds going back to Shem in Kenya. The records these tracks come from were lost in the mail when we tried to return them to Kenya. A brutal and completely unlucky event for people who spend their lives shipping records in the mail (this never happens). We can never replace these records, but we hope to compensate Shem for the music.
For now, here are some pictures and captions from our recording and interview sessions with Shem, which took place over two days in May, 2016. Certainly one of the highlights of the year.
And below, a track I recorded by Shem, accompanied by his son and some friends, during the same sessions. This will be part of an omutibo compilation and film to be released in 2017.