Mdou Moctar, Visitors

Wednesday January 16, 2019 09:00 pm EST
Cost: $12
One of Mdou Moctar’s most publicized achievements was not in music, but film. In 2015, the Tuareg guitarist starred in Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It, the first ever feature film in the Tuareg language and a tribute to Prince’s iconic Purple Rain set in the arid landscape of the Sahel. Like the film, Moctar’s own music reflects a similar symbiosis between traditional Tuareg stylings and Western influences. On songs like the droning “Tarhatazed,” recorded during a live session with Seattle’s KEXP, he trades off extended rapid-fire guitar licks with a solid foundation in blues-rock. While many rock guitar solos feel like an infinite slog, his ability to channel the melodic sensibilities of Tuareg music in a contemporary context keeps things interesting. Thanks to the exposure of the West Africa-centric label Sahel Sounds, Moctar’s music has summoned a niche-yet-devoted new audience, captivated by a sound both foreign and familiar. — Paul DeMerritt
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529 Magnum
529 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 228-6769