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Mdou Moctar has announced details of part two of the Niger EP series – featuring live and alternate versions of songs spanning the band’s discography recorded in their native Niger – which will be released digitally on October 25th. It follows Niger Vol.1 EP which is out now digitally. A physical release date for both EPs on limited vinyl has additionally been announced for March 10th.
A preview of Vol. 2 is available to listen to with a live version of ‘Ibitilan’. First appearing on 2019’s Blue Stage Session, the latest iteration of ‘Ibitlan’ captures the band’s renowned live energy in unmediated form, pushing the faders to their very limits.
“Ibitlan is a love song,” says producer and bassist Mikey Coltun. “Mdou sings about his love for a woman, comparing her to a beautiful valley with a stream running through it, how her skin is a yellow flower and her smile is like lightning. This particular recording was done in Agadez in 2017 at a wedding. Mdou and I had played three weddings a day for about a month and a half on that trip. It was like bootcamp. I loved it. Ibitlan is one of Mdou's oldest songs and is covered by pretty much every Tuareg guitarist. We've played versions of this song lasting over 20 minutes. It's definitely one of my favorites to play!”
An innovative alchemy of Tuareg folk, blues and rock, electric guitar pyrotechnics, field recordings and electronics with poetic call-to-arms lyrics about the plight of his homeland of Niger, Moctar’s 2021 album Afrique Victime swept end of year lists, achieving high placements in The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times, Uncut, MOJO, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, NPR, Rolling Stone, Dazed & Confused, DJ, Crack and many others.