Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar arrives at the Columbus Theater on Thursday
If you’re unfamiliar with the genre often referred to as “desert rock,” you’re in for a treat Thursday night at the Columbus Theater. Mdou Moctar, from the North African nation of Niger, opens his national tour in Providence. Tickets are available here.
Moctar’s guitar style is hypnotic and the band’s gigs are legendary. His album 2021 Africa Victimwas one of the best of the year, appearing on several year-end lists.
Learn more about Mdou Moctar
Chez Mdou Moctar Africa Victim was one of the best-loved releases of 2021: an innovative alchemy of Tuareg folk, blues and rock, electric guitar pyrotechnics, field recordings and electronics with poetic call-to-arms lyrics on the fate of his native country, Niger. It won wide acclaim, receiving a “Best New Music” nod from Fork and sweeping the “Best of 2021” lists, earning high rankings from The New York Times, the new yorkerThe guardian, NPR, rolling stone, Variety, Squire and many more.
With Africa Victim, the oft-acclaimed “Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara” has blasted a new hole in the sky – boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and “rock music” by blending guitar pyrotechnics, loud noise and field recordings with poetic meditations on the love, religion, women’s rights, inequality and the exploitation of West Africa at the hands of colonial powers. It is the result of the combined efforts of Mdou, Ahmoudou Madassane, Souleymane Ibrahim and Mikey Coltun.
Africa Victim is Mdou’s most impressive work to date and an incredible leap forward. Yes Ilana was a late 60s early 70s High ZZ and black sabbath disc – Africa Victim 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 impressive on songs like “Chismiten” and “Afrique Victime”, while softer acoustic ballads like “Habibti” and “Layla” bring out the facets most gloomy but incandescent of The group.
You can catch a glimpse below of the band’s famous electric live set via this live-streamed concert Mdou Moctar – Living in Niamey, Niger which they released earlier this year.