25–26 November 2015
Very excited to welcome back Nigeran guitarist Mdou Moctar to OTO for a two day residency after blistering shows here last Summer.
In the somewhat crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou stands apart from his peers. One of the few original singer/songwriters willing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre, his unconventional styles have won him accolades both in Niger and abroad.
Mdou Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar, Mdou traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.
Rising to the status as local celebrity, in 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album “Anar” – a psychedelic electronic album of Tuareg guitar, became an instant success throughout the mp3 networks of West Africa. “Tahoultine,” one of the standout tracks, was later featured on the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphones.”
In 2013, he released his first international album, “Afelane,” rocking and raw sessions recorded live at his hometown in Niger. He is currently in production in the first ever Tuareg language film, a fictional story of the struggle of a guitarist trying to make it against all odds in Agadez.
Imarhan or the new sound of a desert city. Tamanrasset, south of Algeria... in the early 90s, Tamanrasset is expanding with Kel Tamashek people, Tuareg community of Northern Mali, which have no other alternative but to leave their own homeland, following the multiple struggles they have been suffering since the 60s. This forced exile is the one Tinariwen have been initiating to express with the Assuf, the blues of the desert. The six Imarhan, ‘the ones I care about’ in tamashek, Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane aka Sadam, Tahar Ag Kaddor, Kada Ag Chanani, Hicham Ag Boubas, Hachim Ag Abdelkader and Habibalah Ag Azouz, grow up in between the immensity of the desert and a new urban way of life. Jamming around since 2008, they make their music education under the watchful eye of Sadam’s cousin, and genuine bass guitarist of Tinariwen, Eyadou Ag Leche, who stimulates and helps them up to producing their debut album. The sound they create altogether is a genuine alchemy of their history, made of their blues Assuf, of panafrican rhythms and of pop and rock melodies Imarhan have been experiencing while growing up... Crossed by multiple waves, from Algeria, Sub Saharian Africa and the West, they celebrate Kel Tamashek today stories, illustrating them through the kaleidoscope of a jumble of Sahara 4x4 trips and guitars, of the electric tuareg night parties which give to Tamanrasset its unique tempo... From lullabies and soulful songs to upbeat and electric ones, Imarhan create a rare symbiosis, giving a new breath to the Assuf. A pigmented introspection into the passionate Tuareg youth... a unique offspring for Kel Tamashek people.