As music streaming services such as Spotify have created an open archive of zillions of musical styles from around the universe, it seems there are few new sonic discoveries to be made. Crate-digging DJs scour L.A.'s record stores, depleting our city's precious supply of vinyl. If you want to experience mostly unheard jams, take a turn to the pre-digital days of Africa, where cassettes reflected the delightfully diverse music made across the continent. To find some gems in L.A., head to Little Ethiopia and peruse the buckets of cassettes by the checkout counters at the various thrift stores and corner markets. There you'll find seldom-heard tapes of emotive Ethiopian crooner Mahmoud Ahmed, Saharan bluesmen Tinariwen or jazzman Mulatu Astatke, bringing African musical flavors to the SoCal palate.
Credit: Maral Tavitian