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.
MECHANICAL RIVER DREAM BAND:
BIO: Mechanical River is the moniker for Charleston, South Carolina native Joel Hamilton’s most recent musical project – a lo-fi folk masterpiece constructed with fuzzed out, crooning vocals, crunchy acoustic guitar arrangements, and drum machine percussion. In the spirit of true DIY, Hamilton plays every instrument on his debut album, ‘Astral Castle’, which he also recorded and produced himself. Tracks for the album were then mixed at Electric Lady Studios by Ben Baptie (Beck, Haim) and completed by famed mastering engineer Tom Coyne (Adele, Taylor Swift). Songs “Pomelos” and “I Need Love” are already seeing much attention (and rotation) from tastemakers at KEXP in Seattle and other online channels.