The Thriving Malagasy Scene During the 1970s-1980s

Various Artists – Alefa Madagascar – Salegy, Soukous & Soul from the Red Island 1974-1984 (STRUT207, 2019)

Strut continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with ‘Alefa Madagascar’, the first compilation to detail the distinctive culture of salegy, soukous, acoustic folk and soul in Madagascar during the 1970s and 1980s.     

‘Alefa Madagascar’ showcases the rich variety of genres during what some call the golden era of Malagasy music. The anthology features a mix of vibrant traditional rhythms, call and response vocals and the introduction of intricate electric guitars and the now vintage sounds of the electric organ.

Various Artists – Alefa Madagascar – Salegy, Soukous & Soul from the Red Island 1974-1984

The artists featured played an essential role in the development of modern Malagasy music. The album includes Jean Kely Et Basth; Los Matadores; Soymanga; Roger Georges; Ny Anjarasoa; Charles Maurin Poty; Mahaleo; Papa James; Los Pepitos Et Leur Ensemble; Jeannot Rabeson Et Son Orchestre; Feon’ala; Terak Anosy Group; Saka Dit The King; Michael; Falafa; Nino Rafah; Kaiamba Orchestra; and Atrefy Andriana.

The album has cover artwork by illustrator Lewis Heriz. ‘Alefa Madagascar’ is compiled by Reunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius). It is available on CD, vinyl and digital.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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