Mdou Moctar shares surprise Niger EP Vol. 1

The project features live and alternate takes of songs Moctar and his band recorded between 2017 and 2020 in his home country, Niger.

August 24, 2022
Mdou Moctar shares surprise <i>Niger EP Vol. 1</i> WH Moustapha / Matador Records

2022 has technically been an off-year for Mdou Moctar’s catalog, with his most recent studio album, Afrique Victime, arriving in May of last year. Still, he’s given his fans plenty to feast on, including deluxe and remixed versions of that record and a sprawling international tour.


Today, without warning, he’s shared Niger EP Vol. 1, a collection of two alternate “drum machine” versions and four live takes on songs from his past, recorded between 2017 and 2020 in his home country. It’s the first in an indefinite number of such mixtapes, giving Moctar and his band an entirely new format to play with.

“In 2021, we started the Mdou Moctar mixtape series,” the group’s bassist and producer explains. “These releases compiled field recordings, cell phone voice memos, interview clips, conversations captured in the tour van, and blown-out board recordings from shows all over the world. As a continuation of those mixtapes, we present the Niger EPs, which examine the roots of the Mdou Moctar band. Early Mdou recordings were contained on cassettes, though the humble tape was soon replaced by the quick and easy facility of cell phone technology. Long bus rides are common in West Africa. On one of these rides, you might be seated next to a stranger and ask, ‘What are you listening to?’ Then a song exchange would begin over Bluetooth. This is a very real way artists found their music distributed far from home. In that vein, the Niger EP series features solely recordings taped in Mdou Moctar’s home country of Niger. Volume 1 begin the series with a mix of recordings from 2017-2020, documenting the band at weddings, picnics, rehearsals, and even impromptu house concerts.”


Watch the visualizer for “Chismiten (Drum Machine Version),” listen to the full tape, and view Moctar’s upcoming tour dates below.

Mdou Moctar tour dates

August 24 – Revolution Hall, Portland, OR
August 25 – Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
August 6 – THING Festival, Port Townsend, WA
August 27 – The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
August 27-28 – This Ain’t No Picnic, Pasadena, CA
August 31 – Pappy & Harriet’s, Pioneertown, CA
September 1 – Hoco Festival, Tucson, AZ
September 3 – Nelsonville Music Festival, Nelsonville, OH
September 6 – Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL

Mdou Moctar shares surprise Niger EP Vol. 1