Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar

Glockabelle

Wed, June 26, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$15.00

Mdou Moctar
Mdou Moctar
Mdou Moctar immediately stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. His unconventional interpretations of Tuareg guitar have pushed him to the forefront of a crowded scene. Back home, he’s celebrated for his original compositions and verbose poetry, an original creator in a genre defined by cover bands. In the exterior, where Saharan rock has become one of the continents biggest musical exports, he’s earned a name for himself with his guitar moves. Mdou shreds with a relentless and frenetic energy that utterly sets him apart.

Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in central Niger in a remote region steeped in religious tradition. Growing up in an area where secular music was all but prohibited, he taught himself to play on a homemade guitar cobbled together out of wood. It was years before he found a “real” guitar and taught himself to play in secret. His immediately became a star amongst the village youth.

In 2008, Mdou traveled to Nigeria to record his debut album of spacey autotune, drum machine, and synthesizer. The album became a viral hit on the mp3 networks of West Africa, and was later released on the compilation Music from Saharan Cellphones. In 2013, he released Afelan, compiled from field recordings of his performances recorded in his village. Then he shifted gears, producing and starring in the first Tuareg language film, a remake of Prince’s Purple Rain (Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in It). Finally, in 2017, he created a solo folk album, Sousoume Tamachek, a mellow blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape. Without a band present, he played every instrument on the record. “I am a very curious person and I want to push Tuareg music far,” he says.

2019 brings his first recorded in a proper studio - Ilana (The Creator), out Mar. 29th on Sahel Sounds. He has shared the first single, “Kamane Tarhanin,” and has announced spring tour dates in support of the new record. A long time coming, Ilana is Mdou’s first true studio album with a live band. Recorded in Detroit at the tail end of a US tour by engineer Chris Koltay (the two met after bonding over ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres), the band lived in the studio for a week, playing into the early hours. Mdou was accompanied by an all-star band: Ahmoudou Madassane’s (Les Filles de Illighadad) lighting fast rhythm guitar, Aboubacar Mazawadje’s machine gun drums, and Michael Coltun’s structured low-end bass. The album was driven by lots of spontaneity – Mdou’s preferred method of creation – jumping into action whenever inspiration struck. The resulting tracks were brought back to Niger to add final production: additional guitar solos, overdubs of traditional percussion, and a general ambiance of Agadez wedding vibes.

The result is Mdou’s most ambitious record to date. Ilana takes the tradition laid out by the founders into hyperdrive, pushing Tuareg guitar into an ever louder and blistering direction. For Mdou, his style is to draw on both modern and traditional sources and combine elements into new forms. In “Ilana” Mdou reaches back into Tuareg folklore for inspiration, riffing on the hypnotic loops of takamba griots, or borrowing vocal patterns from polyphonic nomad songs, and combining them with his signature guitar. You can hear the effect in tracks like “Kamane Tarhanin,” where a call and response lyric lifts up over a traditional vocal hum before breaking into a wailing solo with tapping techniques learned from watching Youtube videos of Eddie Van Halen.

As Mdou travels the world, he divides his time between two places, alternating from lavish weddings in Agadez to sold out concerts in Berlin nightclubs. It offers a unique perspective, but also means that he needs to address different audiences. At home, his compositions send a message to his people. Abroad, his music is an opportunity to be heard and represent his people on a world stage.
Glockabelle
Glockabelle
Glockabelle plays two Casio VL-Tones, a lyre-shaped glockenspiel with eight thimbles and sings in both French and English.

Her wild sound stems from a combination of inspiration and circumstance. Born to Francophone parents, Glockabelle received an education both stateside and in France. After being introduced to the sound of the Casio VL-Tone by a neighbor in Paris, Glockabelle began blending her classical piano techniques with vintage synth-pop sounds resulting in a hyperactive mixture of rhythm and tone. She also developed a unique approach to playing the glockenspiel: not with mallets but with eight sewing thimbles.

This new sound lead Glockabelle to a 2008 tour with Fiery Furnaces, landing her a set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. In 2010, Glockabelle composed an original piece for the Paris Cinema Festival which was broadcast in French Cinemas and on national television. She has performed at The Toronto Film Festival, Miami Art Basel, SXSW, The Montreux Jazz Festival, on the Chris Gethard Show, WFMU, opened for Lightning Bolt, Marnie Stern, James Chance and the Contortions, Kaki King, and The Go! Team. She opened for Jack White's Raconteurs while touring as a member of the Fiery Furnaces. The New York Times said of her performance on this tour, “Technique in action: The glockenspiel has a new heyday in indie-rock, following a lineage from Phil Spector through the E Street Band through U2’s first album to the Arcade Fire. But I haven’t seen one played the way the Fiery Furnaces did: not with mallets, but with thimbles on fingertips. That can make for more simultaneous notes, more busy metallic pling.”

In 2015, Glockabelle was a featured vocalist on the Go! Team's album The Scene Between with the song "Catch Me on the Rebound."

She released her first EP in May 2015, which was hailed by SPIN as "Anarchic Enchantment" and the A.V. Club as "[showcasing] her art-punk, synth-pop provocateur music with gleeful abandon, while still highlighting her exquisite musicianship. Her 'Wolf BBQ' EP is a collection of mostly unreleased tracks. The result is a collection of equally playful and technically complex tracks filled with surf and punk tendencies, all brought together with her intricate synths and controlled madness."

In June 2015, she toured Europe opening for the Go! Team. In September 2015, she performed at the Toronto International Film Festival as she contributed the soundtrack to the film "Concerning the Bodyguard" which was an official festival selection and narrated by Sir Salman Rushdie.

In January 2016, she opened for the Go! Team across the U.S. And in March 2016, her
thimble glockenspiel playing premiered at both Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern
Art in New York City as "Concerning the Bodyguard" was an official selection at the New
Directors New Films festival.

She completed a tour opening for Kaki King in June of 2016 in the U.S. and Canada.
In December 2016, her work debuted in Japan as her "Gazelle" song was selected as part of an exclusive compilation by the Tokyo-based label Stubbie Records.

In March 2017, she performed as an official artist at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Her journey and performance at SXSW were filmed as part of a two-hour documentary by the NHK Network of Japan which premiered in April 2017.

In April 2018, she completed a solo tour of the northeastern U.S. opening for Lightning Bolt.
Venue Information:
Monty Hall
43 Montgomery St.
Jersey City, NJ, 07302
http://wfmu.org/montyhall