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The MataBlog is edited by Matador Records’ co-moaner Gerard Cosloy and individual entries are the work of whoever’s name is next to them. If you enjoyed something in the MataBlog, thank you very much! If there was something you found particularly troubling, please be advised that a) maybe you should read it again and b) the contents of this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions of Matador Records, Beggars Group, the combined staff of either company, nor the Matador artist roster. Opinions are like friends — hardly anyone has one worth listening to.

Mdou Moctar - "Live in Niamey, Niger" + "Afrique Victime" (Live)



(Credit: WH Moustapha)

On Thursday, April 22nd, guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar will broadcast a live streamed concert, Mdou Moctar – Live in Niamey, Niger. Filmed late last year, the set features Moctar’s full band including Mikey Coltun (bass + production), Souleymane Ibrahim (drums), and Ahmoudou Madassane (guitar).

Purchase tickets for the live-stream HERE.



(Poster: David Coltun)

“In winter 2020, the Mdou Moctar band met up in Niamey, the capital of Niger, to record a few songs in anticipation of the release of, Afrique Victime,” explains Coltun. “We were staying on the outskirts of town at a friend's home. One day, we quietly set up in front of the house to film a few songs. Despite our relative isolation, the noise of the band attracted a crowd. What started as the four of us simply playing a few songs for a camera turned into a three-night run of rowdy concerts, bringing in hundreds of eager listeners. Each night, kids from all over the city would line up at our door, rushing over after their final evening prayer. These performances were completely spontaneous and wholly unplanned. Thanks to the audience in Niamey, we were able to capture the spectacular energy of a typical Niamey concert for you. We're thrilled about it and hope you will be, too. Enjoy!”

The concert will stream via Bandcamp Live and will launch at 8 PM EDT. Tickets are $10. A replay will remain available for 24 hours for global audiences to view. As a preview, the band have released a performance of new single and album title track “Afrique Victime.”



Footage shot by: Mamadou Halidou & WH Moustapha / Dynamique image
Audio Recorded by: Mikey Coltun
Mixed and Mastered by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets

Mdou Moctar online
Official site
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

 

Mdou Moctar - "Afrique Victime" video, 'Afrique Victime' Cell Phone Edition



"Afrique Victime"
Directed by: Cem Misirlioglu
Footage shot by: Mamadou Halidou & WH Moustapha (Dynamique Image) and Mikey Coltun in Niamey, Niger, winter 2020


(photo : WH Moustapha)

Mdou Moctar returns with the tour de force title track from his new album 'Afrique Victime', released May 21st on Matador Records.

“The wind born in Tunisia spread all over Arabia / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening?” sings Moctar on the heartfelt yet defiantly incandescent seven-and-a-half-minute rallying cry as it scales mournful chanting, hypnotically propulsive groove and an interstellar coda of Moctar’s sky-bound guitar work. The accompanying video for the radio edit of the track was filmed in Niamey, the capital of Niger, where the band briefly convened in November for a set of impromptu performances.

Says Moctar: "’Afrique Victime’ is a message to all of the countries with money and power who come into Africa and kill the leaders who try to empower the people and lead revolutions. This pushes the area into danger and instability and emboldens the terrorists, and it’s the people who suffer and have no justice. Africa is innocent. The French use our uranium, but 90% of the people here don't have electricity. Imagine."

Moctar recently made a special guest appearance on Off White’s Imaginary TV channel, helmed by designer Virgil Abloh.



In addition to vinyl, CD, picture disk and digital formats, 'Afrique Victime' will be available as a special and limited cellphone edition. Hearkening back to the way Moctar's music originally spread and proliferated across the Sahara via word-of-mouth Bluetooth mobile phone swaps, this collector's edition of Afrique Victime arrives pre-loaded onto a classic Nokia 6120 handset and specially mastered for it.

Mdou Moctar will be appearing at the 2021 edition of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this coming September 3.

stream / download "Afrique Victime"
presave / preorder 'Afrique Victime'

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

VIDEO : Mdou Moctar - "Tala Tannam" (live)



Mdou Moctar - "Talla Tannam" (live)

Footage shot by: Mamadou Halidou & WH Moustapha / Dynamique image
Audio Recorded by: Mikey Coltun.
Mixed and Mastered by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets

studio version on 'Afrique Victime', out May 21.
“In winter 2020, the Mdou Moctar band met up in Niamey, the capital of Niger, to record a few songs in anticipation of the release of ‘Afrique Victime’. We were staying on the outskirts of town at a friend's home. One day, we quietly set up in front of the house to film a few songs. Despite our relative isolation, the noise of the band inevitably attracted a crowd. What started as the four of us simply playing a few songs for a camera turned into a three-night run of rowdy concerts, bringing in hundreds of eager listeners. Each night, kids from all over the city would line up at our door, rushing over after their final evening prayer. These performances were completely spontaneous and wholly unplanned. Thanks to our audience, we were able to capture the spectacular energy of a typical Niamey concert for you. We're thrilled about it and hope you will be, too. Enjoy!”

stream / download "Tala Tannam" (studio version)
presave / preorder 'Afrique Victime'

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Coming May 21 : Mdou Moctar - 'Afrique Victime'



"Tala Tannam", video directed by Cem Misirlioglu
Footage shot by WH Moustapha (Dynamique Image) & Mikey Coltun


(photo : WH Moustapha)


On May 21, Matador Records will release 'Afrique Victime', the long-awaited new album by Mdou Moctar.

With ‘Afrique Victime’ the prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar rips a new hole in the sky ­– boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and “rock music” by melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations on love, religion, women's rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers.

Mdou’s home is Agadez, a desert village in rural Niger. Inspired by traditional Tuareg melodies and YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen’s six string techniques, he mastered the guitar and created his own burning style. A born charismatic, Mdou went on to tell his story as an aspiring artist by writing, producing, and starring in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai – which translates to “Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It” – winning the approval of his family and his community. The word and the sound travelled across West Africa via mobile phone data cards, a popular form of local music distribution. Grueling DIY world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds followed, including 2019’s landmark Ilana: The Creator, which earned Mdou an ecstatic international audience.

'Afrique Victime' is result of the combined efforts of Mdou and the members of the band that shares his name. His crucial collaborator is Ahmoudou Madassane, who’s been his rhythm guitarist since 2008. Their two guitars are an alchemical combination. As a songwriter, producer, and recording artist Ahmoudou is the premier musical ambassador to Tuaregs in Niger ­– empowering young musicians with instruments, recording opportunities, and visas. Masassane helped form the revolutionary first woman-fronted Tuareg guitar band Les Filles De Illighadad, whose debut album and tours caused an international sensation in 2019.

The band’s youngest member is prodigal drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, also a member of both the well-known Niger band, Sultanat Star De L'air, and the longest running wedding band in Agadez, Etran De L'air. Souleymane’s playing on this album ferociously sets a new standard for the “rock” drum set.

Producer and bassist Mikey Coltun flies 20 hours from Brooklyn, NYC, then takes a 28-hour bus ride to reach Agadez so the band can practice and record. With no support from a major label or a manager, they made this journey out of Niger every time they toured. In the past three years, Mikey’s played over 500 shows on three continents as Mdou Moctar’s bassist, road manager, producer/recording engineer, and friend. Coltun recorded and produced 'Afrique Victime' around the band’s travels in 2019 ­– working in studios, apartments, hotel rooms, venue backstages, and in field recordings in Niger.

Recording and honing songs as a touring outfit forged a live wire new sound. If Ilana was a late ’60s early ’70s ZZ Top and Black Sabbath record – 'Afrique Victime' is mid-’70s to early ’80s Van Halen meets Black Flag meets Black Uhuru. The ferocity of Moctar’s electric guitar and the band's hypnotic rhythm section are on awe-inspiring display “Chismiten” and the mournful yet incandescent title track. Elsewhere, Moctar finds inspiration in highlighting lesser-known facets of the group: “While people have gotten to know Mdou Moctar as a rock band, there is a whole different set of music with this band done on acoustic guitars, which we wanted to incorporate into this album in order to go through a sonic journey,” he says. Mdou pays homage to one of his heroes Abdallah Ag Oumbadagou, the legendary Niger musician and political revolutionary, on songs “Habibti” and “Layla”. “Abdallah was a contemporary of Tinariwen and helped to pioneer the sound of Tuareg guitar music blended with drum machines and electronic sounds”.

“From prison to Nobel prize. They ceded to Mandela / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening? “Moctar asks on the title track. “I want the world to know that we are making music to promote world peace and be with everyone on the same level, fighting against racism”, he says. “All colors and genders are equal. Women, men and children all suffer in the desert due to the colonization by France and therefore there is a lack of the basics - hospitals, drinking water, schools.”

The needs of Agadez are a major part of what drives Moctar as an artist and promoting the region’s youth through music is an especially personal cause. “I know what it’s like to have been in that position,” he says, “to not have the support of your family, or the money for guitars or strings, it’s really hard. I have a lot of support from the younger generation, because I help them out a lot. When I get back from tour, I give them gear that I bought while I was away so they can go out and form their own bands.”

Says Coltun: “In Agadez the music and feeling at Tuareg weddings is exactly like the best of Western DIY/Punk shows. It's loud, energetic and powerful. There is a sense of everyone helping out. Tuaregs are a tight community. If you're Tuareg you're considered family.”

The music listeners are the beneficiaries of the staggeringly powerful do-it-yourself musical ethic of Mdou Moctar – the man and the band – who’ve worked so hard to bring the spirits of families and communities in Niger to the West. Afrique Victime sounds and feels like a Tuareg hand reaching down from the sky, and we are very lucky for this chance to get lifted.

'Afrique Victime' is now available for pre-order on LP (standard black vinyl, picture disc and multiple colored vinyl editions) and compact disc. There's also a t-shirt bundle.

stream / download "Tala Tannam"
presave / preorder 'Afrique Victime'











'Afrique Victime' Tracklist
1. Chismiten
2. Taliat
3. Ya Habibti
4. Tala Tannam
5. Untitled
6. Asdikte Akal
7. Layla
8. Afrique Victime
9. Bismilahi Atagah

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Mdou Moctar - "Chismiten"



(art by Robert Beatty)





(photo : Cem Misirlioglu)

stream / download "Chismiten"

Matador Records is thrilled to announce the addition of prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar to its roster.

A once-in-a-generation artist backed by an unstoppable rhythm section, Mdou’s music has roots in both traditional Tuareg melodicism and Eddie Van Halen’s daredevil majesty. Today we offer you “Chismiten,” the white-hot ripper that will kick off an expansive new full-length due to hit down next year. “The song is about how people in a relationship lose their sense of self, they become jealous and envious of others,” explains Mdou. “It is not about one specific person, but about all people in the world. I turn to Allah for guidance not to be that person.”

The song is accompanied by a video that blends illustrations by artist Robert Beatty with animation and cellphone footage shot in Niger, capturing wedding performances by the band, their friends and family, the markets in Niamey and Agadez, and the famous Agadez Mosque.

It’s possible that you’re already familiar with Mdou via his leading role in "Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai", the first Tuareg language film – a retelling of Prince’s P"urple Rain". Otherwise, you may have spent time with last year’s monumental 'Ilana: The Creator' (Sahel Sounds), the guitarist’s first true studio album recorded alongside his live band. Indeed, it was this album and the band’s explosive concerts that brought them to Matador’s attention.

Mdou and his group – bassist and producer Mikey Coltun, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane -- have toured ceaselessly throughout the world, evolving into a ferocious ensemble that can rock a Tuareg wedding as easily as they can scorch a festival stage.

At present, their live energies are unparalleled and their range immense, capable of evoking both the mesmeric boogie of Masters of Reality-era Black Sabbath and Black Uhuru’s sublime electrified grooves. “At our concerts we never talk about the music we are going to play, never write out a setlist, it's whatever comes to my head that I'm feeling,” says Mdou. “My band is always with me listening.”

This is all evident on “Chismiten,” where Mdou’s whirling riffs embroider and illuminate the band’s hypnotic grind, kicking up a noise that is at once elemental and undeniably transcendent.

Mdou Moctar online:

Official site
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

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