“An incandescent set of guitar music with a spontaneous, celebratory air—and a latent urgency” – Pitchfork
“… raw guitar sound and haunting lyrics” – The Guardian
Matador Records & Remote Control Records are 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 Purple Rain. Otherwise, you may have spent time with last year’s monumental Ilana: The Creator, 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 – ‘Chismiten’is out now via Matador Records / Remote Control Records.