Mdou Moctar – Anar
Innovative 21st century fusion of acoustic guitar, autotuned vocals, synths and drum machines
Currently filming a Saharan remake of Prince's Purple Rain, Mdou Moctar is perhaps the most exciting of the new generation of Tuareg guitarists. Hailing from Niger, Moctar shows a willingness to push at the boundaries of the music; not by going down the classic rock route of Tamikrest and Bombino, but by embracing technology. Last year's Afelan consisted of acoustic campfire songs and blazing electric jams. Anar, recorded in 2008, but officially released for the first time here, is something else altogether, an inspired 21st-century fusion of stubbly acoustic guitar, autotuned vocals, synths and loping drum machines. There's nothing like autotune to bring out the hives in 'real music' snobs, but like any tool, it's only as good as those who use it. On Anar, Moctar's vocals become fluid and glistening, adding intensity to the fine melodies as notes slide and slur in a sidereal motion.