Abdou Salam et les Tendistes – Bayun Maata

The CIA’s World Factbook describes the geography of Niger as “landlocked; one of the hottest countries in the world; northern four-fifths is desert, southern one-fifth is savanna, suitable for livestock and limited agriculture.” Sounds like an intense place. I’m just kind of obsessed with music from this desert-y region. Sadly, Abdou Salam et les Tendistes is one of the only tapes I have from Niger.

According to the Voice of America’s African music blog (which I can’t help but note looks a lot like mine at times), Abdou Salam is quite popular over there. Glad to know since this tape does everything right: nimble vocals, insistent Toureg drums, steadfast repetitions. Recipe for happiness.

I know the bass on side two wasn’t recorded to sound that crunchy and distorted, but I happen to like it.


Side One
Dunia Labari
David Ko
Mu Maza


Side Two
Kukan Gobro
Bayun Maata


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

March 1, 2008 at 8:04 pm

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March 9, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I accidentally nuked my earlier comment, so I’ll re-iterate here (I feel that strongly):

This is a top-notch post. I used to live in Northern Nigeria and this tape sounds like the inside of God’s Own Bush-Taxi, making a Kaduna -> Katsina run or some shit. This set is BERSERK.

Thank you sincerely for this, and keep it up.

March 9, 2008 at 9:53 pm

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March 9, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Cool stuff as always! Really feeling this.

Abdou Salam’s a pan-Hausa “music star”, you’d most likely hear his purely traditional stuff playing through boomboxes, hi-fis and Bush Taxis in urban Hausa communities and Zongos all over Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and even all the way through to Sudan and Somalia (apparently there are sizable urban Hausa communities present there too).

(For reference) the only three instruments the group uses are the gurumi (trad lute) kalangu (talking-drum) and a simple bass.

There are a few other places on the net that have traditional Hausa music. The one that firsts comes to mind is Mawakanhausa.com, which has a large traditional Hausa music section, but the only thing is that the website’s in Hausa language. Look for the Wakoki (Music) section first, and then the Saurari Wakoki (Music Audio) listing :)

Mun gode sosai (Thanks very much) for sharing!

October 14, 2008 at 7:13 pm

this music is just incredible…

June 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I would REALLY like to collect some more music from Abdou Salam in specific, and Niger in general.

How did you find this tape?
Wish I knew somebody from Niger.

June 25, 2009 at 3:40 am

First of all THANKS for this music.
The Bass line on Mu Maza is fresh.
I love the accidental distortion. Makes the track really gritty.

June 26, 2010 at 3:47 am

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 14, 2014 at 6:35 am

I’ve been looking for this CD version of it. But, he’s so hard to be found on the Internet. Do you have any idea how I can get his music?

October 14, 2014 at 6:37 am

Whoops. Wrong email address

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