Mdou Moctar has shared the title track from his upcoming new album, Afrique Victime, which is to be released on May 21 via Matador Records.
The single, the title of which translates as Africa Victim, sets mournful chanting, swirling guitars and hypnotic grooves over seven-and-a-half-minutes of glorious psych rock.
A protest anthem written about the exploitation of Western Africa and, most importantly, its people, Moctar sings directly about the dangers facing modern Africa. Lyrics like 'The wind born in Tunisia spread all over Arabia / Africa is a victim of so many crimes / If we stay silent it will be the end of us / Why is this happening?' provide a sharp contrast to the song's dreamy psychedelia.
Moctar explains: “Afrique Victime is a message to all of the countries with money and power who come into Africa and kill the leaders who try to empower the people and lead revolutions. This pushes the area into danger and instability and emboldens the terrorists, and it’s the people who suffer and have no justice.
“Africa is innocent. The French use our uranium, but 90% of the people here don't have electricity. Imagine.”
Watch the video for Afrique Victime below:
Moctar's music originally spread across the Sahara via word-of-mouth Bluetooth mobile phone swaps – in homage to this, a collector's edition of Afrique Victime will be available pre-loaded onto a classic Nokia 6120 handset. Yep, for real. It will also be available via the more conventional vinyl, CD, picture disk and digital formats. Pre-order is available now.
Afrique Victime tracklist:
3. Ya Habibti
4. Tala Tannam
6. Asdikte Akal
8. Afrique Victime
9. Bismilahi Atagah