Mdou Moctar: Niger guitarist soundtracks a Tuareg Purple Rain
Our love of Tuareg guitars is pretty obvious, so of course I have to write about Niger’s Mdou Moctar. Also, I recently (two years late) started listening to the original soundtrack for Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, a Tuareg film reimaging Prince’s Purple Rain in the Saharan Desert. This explains why the album cover looks so familiar and why I’m drawn to this record.
The album was produced by Christopher Kirkley, the man behind the sahelsounds project we often cover here.
Moctar kicks off his US tour next month and will be in New York in September and October. Full dates here.
“Rocking soundtrack recording from “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it,” a revolutionary story of guitars, motorcycles, cellphones – and the music of a new generation. Original compositions from Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar from the film about his rise to fame in the city of Agadez. From the raucous heavy psychedelic to the beautiful pentatonic sublime. Includes original compositions and reverb heavy intermissions film score.”
Agrim Agadez: Sahelsounds’ latest field recordings focuses on Niger’s guitar music
Agrim Agadez is the latest release from Sahelsounds, an archival project started by Christopher Kirkley that explores the contemporary sounds of West Africa’s Sahel region. This latest batch of field recordings focuses on Niger’s guitar music.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“Agrim Agadez is a compilation of contemporary field recordings of guitar music from the Sahelian empire of Niger. Focusing on guitar music throughout the country, from meditative starlight ballads, fuzzy Hendrix covers, rag tag wedding bands, to political minded folk guitarists. A beautiful encapsulation of the diversity of guitar as it exists today, recorded over years of travels.
Like most of the Sahel, the guitar is found in every corner of Niger. Whether acoustic, electric, or built by hand, guitars are highly prized possessions and continue to inspire. Every corner of Niger has particular languages, customs, and cultures, and each corner has taken the instrument and transformed it in its own special way: from bar bands of the southern Hausa land, pastoral flock owning village autodidacts, rag-tag DIY wedding rock musicians, to political minded folk guitarists.
Agrim Agadez follows the sounds overheard playing on cassettes, seeking out the once legendary local heroes in their hometowns, and stumbling upon musicians in accidental chance encounters. The resulting record is a document of the guitar as it’s heard, experienced in the open air studios of Niger with a single microphone – with backdrops of children’s voices, crickets, and village ambience.”