In more ways than one Mdou Moctar has come along way since 2008, when his raw emotional guitar music first began to spread beyond Niger across west Africa via the DIY network of traded cellphone memory cards.
Picked up by Chris Kirkley of Sahel Sounds who sent Mdou a much needed left handed Strat, then released his first four albums and cast him as lead in a film homage to Prince’s ‘Purple Reign’, the Tuareg musician has shown perseverance and patience are deep down in his roots.
That resilience is now deservedly gathering even more momentum. The ‘Ilana,The Creator’ album released last year, showed a tighter focus on a rock driven sound, honed through relentless live work with his band. Merging the characteristic desert blues throb with surging guitar lines, pounding bass and chant based vocals,’ Ilana’ whipped up a haunting psychedelic whirlwind.
So news of the follow up on the hefty Matador label coming early next year makes you want to see the back of 2020 even quicker. In the meantime the first preview from the new LP, ‘Chismiten’ will more than help to kill the time. A searing .ripped Moctar guitar intro releases the song into its up tempo double clap shuffle. Sung with deceptive sweetness by Mdou this story of jealousy and envy gets tense around the cutting lead lines and booming riffs that see the track hurtling on its way out. It’s urgent, energetic and adrenaline filled- Mdou Moctar, movin’ on up….