AFRICAN music has come a long way since it wormed its way into western ears via Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Yet despite overcoming its problematic world music categorisation, it still often requires a white middle man to repackage before achieving meaningful exposure.

That’s arguably the case with Awesome Tapes from Africa label boss Brian Shimkovitz – though any issues over cultural appropriation are outweighed by the vast exposure he has given obscure West African sounds.

The American collector got hooked on cassette culture during a visit to Ghana and has made a career and label out of bringing those buried gems to hip audiences ever since.

Last night’s Patterns show was more of a label showcase with Shimkovitz playing support DJ and merch man to two acts – live band Ata Kak and DJ Katapila.

Katapila got things with rolling with some curious Nineties’ dance selections before shifting gear into moodier, skittering township house and early Chicago house.

Ata Kak was the star of the show, a Ghanaian who would have been lost to the dusty annals of tape history were it not for Shimkovitz stumbling across his music via a street hawker and eventually tracking him down years later.

His band combine indie highlife and early synth explorations as frontman Yaw Atta-Owusu raps Nineties’ style in his native Twi, having absorbed classic hip-hop living in Canada. It makes for a glorious fusion that is totally of its time and unique.

With their energetic, DIY aesthetic it’s obvious what makes Ata Kak Awesome Tapes’ best discovery, a vibrant antidote to today’s slick overproduced pop music.