Mdou Moctar – “Kamane Tarhanin”

Mdou Moctar – “Kamane Tarhanin”

Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar makes blistering and gritty psych rock. He’s an experimentalist who’s gained recognition from frenetic live shows, 2011’s Auto-Tune compilation Music From Saharan Cellphones, as well as his starring role in Niger’s remake of Prince’s musical drama Purple Rain — translated to Rain The Color Blue With A Little Red In It because there’s no word for purple in the Tuareg language. Today, he’s announcing his newest full-length Ilana, which translates to The Creator. Recorded in Detroit with producer Chris Koltay, the album is out in March on Sahel Sounds.

Lead single “Kamane Tarhanin” is hypnotic, plunging forward with a spontaneous urgency. It’s a lavish dance track laden with chanting, call and response lyrics and Moctar’s wild guitar. His music, while contemporarily innovative, works to transmit the sounds of Saharan tradition. In a press release, he shared, “I’m just an ambassador, like a messenger of music, telling what is happening in my world.”

Listen to “Kamane Tarhanin” below and check out Moctar’s upcoming US tour dates.

03/28 Pittsburgh, PA @ Andy Warhol Museum
03/29 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class*
03/30 Detroit, MI @ Trinosophes*
03/31 Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric Cafe*
04/02 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
04/03 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop*
04/04 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle
04/05 Milwaukee, WI @ Milwaukee Psych Festival
04/06 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
04/08 Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
04/09 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
04/12 Olympia, WA @ Octapas
04/20 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
04/21 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
04/23 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
04/25 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
* w/ Guerilla Toss

Ilana and out 3/29 on Sahel Sounds.

CREDIT: Kentaro Murai

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