The Dimi mint Abba Archives Volume 5: 1990s rarities

The recordings of Dimi mint Abba that I have featured in previous posts are among her more celebrated recordings in Mauritania: Aid Maouloud her 1986 duo with Seddoum ould Eide, for example, is her most famous recording.  This post, however, focuses on two recordings that are little known, even to Dimi's Mauritanian fans.

First up, a recording of Dimi with a Moroccan ensemble.  This track is from a cassette dub that I found in Nouakchott in the late 1990s.  For the first half of the 1990s Dimi spent more time in Morocco than she did in Mauritania (her mother was undergoing medical treatment in Morocco).  This recording was made during this period.  I don't have any information on the exact circumstances of this performance.  My best guess is that this recording was made with a radio or television orchestra, perhaps for a live program.  Another possibility is that this recording was intended for commercial release.  During her years in Morocco Dimi drew the attention of a Moroccan producer--who I have yet to identify.  This producer was convinced that Dimi could be a commercial success in the Arab world.  He worked on some material with Dimi but was discouraged by her work habits and limited interest in the music business: Dimi was famous for staying up all night and sleeping all day,  and she preferred the loose and intimate context of performances in Mauritania to formal concerts.

Download Dimi mint Abba - w. Moroccan Orchestra

The piece starts with a slow orchestral introduction before Dimi starts to play a slow rhythmic pattern on her ardin.  A few seconds later she starts to sing.  Her voice sounds terrific.  This is Dimi channeling Oum Kulthum.  I have tried to enhance the recording as best as I can.  It is not perfect but is nonetheless a delightful listen.  Dimi was one of those singers who owned everything she sang, like Papa Wemba or Mavis Staples.

This second recording is of an unusual performance from, I think, the late 1990s.  I, again, don't know the exact date of this musical evening.  This recording features Dimi accompanied by synthesizer, electric bass, ardin and percussion.  I have over a hundred hours of Dimi recordings and this is the only example I have of this lineup.  This recording was most probably made in Nouakchott and it is likely that the keyboard player was Mohammed ould Seymali.  It could be Ousmane Toure, who currently tours with Nora mint Seymali on bass.  Or perhaps it was Mohammed on bass and another keyboard player.  Dimi's daughter Veyrouze mint Seymali provides backing vocals and is probably playing the ardin.  There are some interesting performances on this cassette. In particular, at 9 minutes on side B Dimi sings what almost sounds like a pop song, a song with chord changes and an accompanying bass line.

Download Dimi mint Abba - Piano



  1. Wow - it's fascinating to hear Dimi in these different musical contexts!! What a versatile musician she was!

  2. gems can't wait to listen.

  3. I've always loved her music ever since my first exposure in the early 1990s through her very first CD. Her music is the only reason that still continue to inspire me to visit her country which I hope will be someday soon. Thank you very much for sharing these rare recordings !


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