This was part of Mdou Moctar’s first tour of Europe and recorded on what was originally scheduled as a night off. The band had played a rousing set the night before to a packed house when it was discovered that they weren’t up to anything on this night and that OTO was only scheduled to open as a bar. Things were quickly put into place for a second show which promptly sold out and totally delivered the kind of spontaneous energy you’d hope for in this kind of situation.
“We’ve got a problem” said Carl, our erstwhile evening manager at the end of the night.
“Mdou has fallen in love”
“He’d like to take our amp with him”
Of course, a deal was struck and off it went. It’s nice to know that there is a little bit of OTO tearing it up across the north of Africa!
Mdou Moctar / guitar, voice
Ahmoudou Madassane / guitar, voice
Mahmoud Ahmed Jabre / drums, voice
Recorded by Shaun Crook at Cafe OTO on Friday 1 August 2014. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux, London. Photograph by Jonathan Crabb.
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1. Adounia Ayassohen
2. Adounia Tewoun
4. Tarha Tazed
6. Afrik Victim
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.