Mdou Moctar’s ‘Afrique Refait’ Reimagines a Masterpiece
By Nathan Leigh
April 29, 2022
Mdou Moctar’s 2021 Afrique Victime cemented him as one of the most innovative guitarists of his generation. Melding Tuareg folk with alt rock and an expansive sonic palette, the record has stayed in regular rotation. The new Afrique Refait reworks the album, revealing new depths within its already unrivaled depth.
The highlights kick off early with a blistering take on “Chismiteen” courtesy of Tanzanian producer Jay Mitta. The song’s circuitous guitar line provides a template for some of the disc’s best cuts, including a suite of explorations by Mali’s DJ Diaki that bookend it. Yugen Blakrok crafts a noisy, moody track that makes a meal out of Mdou Moctar’s psychedelic tendencies on “Asdikte Akal.” The downtempo beat widens the sound and scope of the original, while Tommy T’s take on “Ya Habibti” adds contrast with an unexpectedly glorious synth line.
Remix discs tend to fall into 2 camps, either cheap cash-in efforts to extend the shelf-life of an already expired record, or vital sonic explorations that expand the scope of what made the original so special from new angles. Afrique Refait is decidedly in the latter camp offering a unique view that shines light on why the original became such an instantly heralded classic, while standing firmly on its own as a thrilling document in its own rite.
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