“The Tuareg guitarist and his bandmates deliver the fullest picture of his gifts yet.”
–Pitchfork (Best New Music)
“This one is essential… It’s musically dense, wildly psychedelic and politically sharp, with Moctar singing in his native tongue across the record to make for the year’s most quintessential guitar albums.” – Mixdown
“Moctar’s guitar is a tangled, twisted, blazing beam of light cutting across a black sky.”
– Rolling Stone
“Searing and soulful” – CLASH
“This is a group that is deeply zoned into one another’s nervous systems, grooving hard, moving as one.” –Aquarium Drunkard
“Afrique Victime, Moctar’s first album for Matador, seems poised to attract his largest audience yet” – Bandcamp
“scarcely has a Fender Stratocaster sounded more alive than in his hands… a propulsive, psychedelic sound that is at once delivered with the cathartic oomph of celebration and the urgent cadence of protest” – Guitar World
“As it becomes safe to go out again, seeing these songs live should be as early a priority as is reasonable.” – Under the Radar
“His electric guitar leaps up from the band’s rhythmic core to trill, twirl, swoop and scream”
–New York Times
“The world’s most uniquely thrilling guitarist” – Dazed & Confused
“Afrique Victime finds Moctar and his band in the studio delivering the raw power of their intense and transcendent live performances.” – Reverb
“Vital, wonderful music with cutting intensity” – i Paper ★★★★★
“This is guitar music, but likely to resonate with club heads. Unlike anything you’ve ever heard in the West, it laughs at the idea that music has run out of new sounds” – DJ ‘Album Of The Month’
“Transcendent” –MOJO ★★★★
“Mesmerizing meld of Tuareg folk tradition and modern rock” – Uncut (9/10)
“Mdou Moctar and his band are the true sound of youth resistance” – Line Of Best Fit (8/10)
“The consensus that is slowly forming is that he is not just one of the leading exponents of Sahel (Sub-Saharan) guitar music, but one of the finest and certainly most expressive, guitarists in the world” –MusicRadar
The global pandemic trapped Mdou Moctar and his band in their home country of Niger. They could not leave to promote their upcoming album, Afrique Victime. Instead, American bassist Mikey Coltun flew to Niger, carrying cameras and recording equipment. Shortly after Mikey arrived, it became clear that it was too dangerous to travel within Niger due to the presence of guerrilla groups such as Boko Haram, which have come to prominence in the country’s power vacuum. So Mdou, Mikey, Ahmoudou and Souleyman met in Niamey, the capital. It was their first time together as a band since they played over 200 concerts worldwide in 2019.
Today, Mdou Moctar releases Afrique Victime – The Documentary. The 10-minute short film offers an intimate glimpse into Moctar and his band – rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim and American bassist and producer Mikey Coltun – as they prepare for the release of their critically acclaimed latest album Afrique Victimein Niamey, Niger. Navigating complex world and regional geo-political circumstances, the film touches on the environment, inspiration, stories, challenges and singular musical and personal alchemy behind one of today’s most electrifying and trailblazing groups. Watch HERE.
Moctar was last seen wowing US audiences throughout the band’s nearly entirely sold out North American tour dates. “Draped in traditional Tuareg garments that were white and turquoise, Moctar shredded, tapped and slid up and down the neck of his left-handed Strat in ways that would’ve made the late Eddie Van Halen proud”, said the Nashville Scene. “Watching him absolutely shred in person is always a treat”, noted the Boston Globe.
Mdou recently teamed up Kenya-born/Uganda-based rapper, MC Yallah (Nyege Nyege Tapes) and Debmaster for the first in a series of Afrique Victime remixes by African artists curated by the band. “It introduces a contemporary club music vibe to Moctar’s thrilling and often gorgeous desert blues sound, the kind of rework that feels more like a cultural fusion than a simple remix”, said Resident Advisor. More tracks and info from the series are to follow. Listen HERE.
Released in June, Mdou Moctar’s Afrique Victimewas met with widespread critical acclaim, receiving a Best New Music nod from Pitchfork and favorable reviews from the likes of MOJO, Uncut, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, DJ Mag, The Wire and many others. The album charted across several categories in the US including #2 Top New Artist (Albums), #10 Current Rock, #11 Record Label Independent (Albums), and shows no signs of slowing down as North American tour dates continue to sell out, with further dates being added. The album has amassed over 2.7 million global streams to date. It has received several “Best of 2021 So Far” nods so far, including from Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Paste and others.
Listen to ‘Tala Tannam’ (Debmaster Remix) ft. MC Yallah HERE