Stream Mdou Moctar’s New Album Ilana: The Creator

Earlier this month, we made Saharan guitar protege Mdou Moctar an Artist To Watch. His upcoming album Ilana (The Creator) is out next Friday, but luckily we get to stream it today, a week in advance. The Tuareg guitarist and songwriter seamlessly blends his roots with influences spanning from ZZ Top to traditional Takamba celebration music to create something truly next level.

This is Moctar’s first full-band studio album, and it vacillates from monstrously expansive guitar tracks like “Asshet Akai” to more upbeat tracks like “Wiwasharnine” that groove while lyrically addressing the struggles that define Tuareg culture. He lets his life experiences bleed out through the shredding, allowing melodically complex riffs to subsume rhythm-induced trances. A standout track is “Tarhatazed,” which opens like an AC/DC classic, but then rips right into a Hendrix-style shred accented by claps and a jiving rhythm. Moctar even works in the harmonic tapping-style made famous by Van Halen. And with such palpable touches of acid rock, I’d imagine that Greta Van Fleet is already contriving ways to replicate this innovative yet retro sound.

Stream Ilana (The Creator) on NPR.

TOUR DATES:
03/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Andy Warhol Museum Fri. March 29 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class &
03/30 – Detroit, MI @ Trinosophes &
03/31 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric Cafe &
04/01 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival – Sanctuary &
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
04/07  – Omaha, NE @ Pageturners Lounge
04/08 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
04/09 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
04/10 – Garden City, ID @ Visual Arts Collective
04/12 – Olympia, WA @ Octapas
04/13 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater *$
04/14 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey *
04/16 – Felton, CA @ Flynn’s Cabaret *
04/17 – Chico, CA @ Argus Bar & Patio *
04/18 – Oakland, CA @ Red Bay Coffee
04/19 – Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door *
04/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon *
04/21 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah *
04/22 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole *
04/23 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
04/25 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
04/26 – Lafayette, LA @ Festival International de Louisiane
04/27 – Lafayette, LA @ Festival International de Louisiane
04/28 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
04/29 – New Orleans, LA @ Santos
04/30 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
05/01 – Memphis, TN @ Brooks Museum
05/02 – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater #
05/03 – Asheville, NC @ ExploreAsheville.com Arena #
05/06 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre #
05/07 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach #
06/28 – Sun. June 30 – North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound Festival

&= w/ Guerilla Toss
*= w/ Marisa Anderson
$= w/ Lithics
# = w/ Tame Impala

Ilana (The Creator) is out 3/29 via Sahel Sounds. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Mdou Moctar