On one of my visits to Niger, Mamman Sani gave me a box of cassette tapes. I digitized a few and promptly forgot about the rest. In the piles of media and recordings collected, they went from one archive to another. I recently had a chance to revisit them and found some sessions that we had thought were lost.
In 1981 Mamman’s recording session at the National Radio of Niger went on to become his first and only official release (and the content of “La Musique Electronique du Niger”). During this session, he also recorded material for a second album that was never released.
We’ve compiled some of these lost sessions into the new LP – Unreleased Tapes 1981-1984. Most of the songs feature Mamman playing on his Orla accompanied by a BOSS Dr. Rhythm. It also features one of Mamman’s first songs – Arman Doley, which talks about the dangers of arranged marriage. A unique track, it’s also one of the first recordings of Mamman singing. The track Mai Dawaya features a short-lived group with Mamman Sani and two guitarists (Salif, Babu) called Farin Wata, recorded for television. We’ve yet to find the VHS.