Within the constellation of North African blues rockers who’ve risen to international prominence since Tinariwen lit the fire almost 20 years ago, the raunchiest rock ’n’ roller of the bunch is definitely Niger’s Mdou Moctar. With their tour cut short, Moctar and his band seek to fill the gap as best they can with this new proposal.
This first “mixtape” is a casual collage of live jams, wild wedding sets, and other fragments from out in the field, as well as demos for 2019’s astounding album Ilana: The Creator. Sound quality varies, but that matters little when one’s enjoying a scrapbook shared between friends. There’s one certain constant across these three quarters of an hour, though, and that’s that Moctar is among the most vital and exciting rock guitar gods – that dying breed! – treading the terrestrial plane right now.