Propelled by the remarkable drumming of a man known simply as Omar, Niger's Tal National introduce themselves to the international market with Kaani's trance-inducing, predominantly-12/8 tracks frenetically incorporating both the snaking scales of Tuareg desert blues as well as the griot guitar of the region's Songhai people.
"Tal National is a band from Niamey, the capital city of Niger, West Africa’s largest nation (and one of the world’s poorest)[...], centred around Hamadal Issoufou Moumine (a.k.a. Almeida), a judge in local courts and ambassador for the SOS orphan foundation who had a successful soccer career before becoming Niger’s best-loved guitarist.
Wanting the follow-up to 2006's Apokte to be a better quality recording and realising it was cheaper to fly an engineer with remote-recording capabilities to Niamey than for the band to travel to the nearest studio (in Nigeria or Ghana), Almeida recruited Chicago-based recording engineer Jamie Carter, whom he met during the Chicago Calling arts festival. The result was 2008's A-Na Waya, an album that became hugely successful in Niger. The record stood out in the domestic market, for both the quality of its sound (a big issue in a country where it's impossible to buy instruments, where there is no studio that can handle a live band, nor competent engineers), and also for the integration of traditional instruments like the talking drum. In January 2011, Almeida brought Carter back to Niamey record their third album, Kaani, captured over two weeks at the run-down Studio Maibianigarba." - Fat Cat