Mdou Moctar

Chop Suey Presents

Mdou Moctar

Marisa Anderson

Sun · April 14, 2019

8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

Mdou Moctar
Mdou Moctar
In the crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou Moctar stands apart from his peers. Playing in
the repertoire of desert guitar popularized by groups like Tinariwen and Bombino, Mdou is
pushing the boundaries of the genre with a unique personal sound. With versatile compositions
and genre defying albums, Mdou’s music has been an underground success with an
international following, set on redefining the sound of the desert.
Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in the Azawagh desert of Niger, a remote region steeped
in religious tradition. As a child, he taught himself to play the a homemade guitars, cobbled
together out of planks of wood. It was years later before he found a “real” guitar, teaching
himself in secret. In an area where guitar music was all but prohibited, he quickly rose to the
status of local celebrity amongst the village youth.
In 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album “Anar.” A psychedelic reworking of the
Tuareg sound, the electronic tracks featured innovative pitch bending synths, drum machines,
and autotune. In 2010, he teamed up with the label and collective Sahel Sounds, releasing his
first international album, “Afelan.” In 2015, he co-wrote and starred in the first ever Tuareg
language film, “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It,” a Saharan remake of Prince’s “Purple
Rain.” In 2017, he again shifted gears to another sound with “Sousoume Tamachek,” a mellow
blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape, tackling religion, spirituality, and
matters of the heart.
In the past years, Tuareg rock music has gotten faster. There is a preference for this new style,
both in the raucous weddings of Agadez and in Berlin rock clubs. The wavering guitar solos,
rapid fire drums and heavy distortion has become characteristic of the contemporary sound.
Mdou takes on this challenge, but with an ear towards tradition. Rooted in traditional, with
borrowed polyrhythms of traditional « takamba » and lyrics sung in the style of old nomadic
poets, his guitar playing is wild and unrelenting, equal parts nomadic bard and Eddie Van Halen.
Mdou Moctar and his band have toured Europe and North America, playing sold out shows from
small DIY rock clubs in Portland to New York City’s Lincoln Center. His music has been featured
in the BBC, The Guardian, Pitchfork, New Yorker, L.A. Weekly, NPR, Rolling Stone, Les
Inrocks, and his film continues to be screened at film festivals around the world. From
underground star of Niger to international film star, Mdou Moctar has undoubtedly one of the
quickest rises to success.
Marisa Anderson
Marisa Anderson
Marisa Anderson is a composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist living in Portland Oregon. Anderson’s current and past projects include the Evolutionary Jass Band, the Dolly Ranchers, and the One Railroad Circus.
Venue Information:
Chop Suey
1325 E Madison St
Seattle, WA, 98122