SLUG Mag Soundwaves
SLUG Mag Soundwaves
Episode #448 – Review: Mdou Moctar's Funeral for Justice

I first heard the band Mdou Moctar a few years ago, back when I still clocked in at 6:00 a.m. to open a coffee shop every morning. I often opened with a drummer named Noah, and the 30 minutes we had to set up was a time where we shared new music with one another, always played at maximum volume. It’s a place where I discovered a lot of incredible music (Backxwash’s His Happiness Shall Come First Even Though We Are Suffering, black midi’s Cavalcade and Fontaines D.C.’s A Hero’s Death, to name a few) and also a place where we could play obnoxious songs that weren’t allowed during actual business hours. Those years were creatively barren for me as I was still very much coming into my own. The opening notes of “Chismiten” off the album Afrique Victime remind me of that time and always will. It was my first time really loving an album that was fully sung in a different language and was, at that time, the only African band I could name. The fact that Mdou Moctar was shared with me by a friend is a large part of why I still cherish the band to this day. 

Continually, since October 7, 2023, I have been diving back into a lot of political essays and theory to further understand the Palestinian cause and the plight of all colonized people in the world. I find that it’s easy to become nearsighted in politics, and I’d spent much of the first part of 2023 focused on American writers and American issues. That’s not to say that the struggles of the American people are deeply unique or a far send from those of the rest of the world, but it takes practice to broaden one’s vision. Pan-Africanism has become a focus of mine, which started around the time that Mdou Moctar started dropping singles for Funeral for Justice. I’ll use the word “special” again because that’s how it felt. The ripping chords and striking anti-colonial lyrics were incredible and fascinating to me. I set out to write more than a straightforward review, wanting to dive into the reasons why an album like Funeral for Justice was written. I still could say so much more, but it’d be better for you to listen to the record yourself. Read the full written review here.