Mammane Sani ‘Mammane Sani Et Son Orgue - La Musique Électronique Du Niger’
Mississippi Records / Sahel Sounds, 2013
MRP-034 / SS-011
This is joint reissue by Sahel Sounds and Mississippi Records of a 1978 cassette-only release, and the first and last album from Mammane Sani. Otherwise, his sounds and influence were (still are?) heard widely as soundtracks to television segues and instrumental backgrounds for radio broadcasts in West Africa. Mammane was a major presence in the avant garde scene in Niger, so this album was originally commissioned by the government to promote the country’s modern sounds.
Mammane’s Italian “Orlo” organ was the first electronic instrument in Niger, and it was acquired after a meeting during his time as a UNESCO functionary from a Rwandan delegate. These sounds are at the nexus of the past and the future. Almost immediately, Mammane began drawing from folkloric Nigerian music for his compositions, but he was also passionate about bringing his country’s music into the next generation.
Mammane's six pieces here are each minimal, hypnotic and almost sad. It's haunting music that conjures visions of lonesome desert landscapes. And it's one curious artifact in the history of early electronic music.