Alefa Madagascar

09/09/2019Strut Records Drops Compilation Of Salegy, Soukous & Soul From The Red Island (1974-1984)

Strut Records continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with "Alefa Madagascar", the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the ‘70s and ‘80s. The selection, made by Réunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius) reveals the enormous diversity of sounds produced on the East African island from 1974-1984, many of them by the influential Charles Maurin Poty. 

"Originating as far back as the 15th Century through folkloric ceremonial music and an a cappella chanting style called antsa, salegy emerged as a fast- tempoed local dance style based on 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms. By the ‘60s, radio was bringing in new sounds from the Congo, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya and Jean Francois de Comarmond’s Discomad label championed a new generation of artists breaking the mould with their own new fusions of styles as electric instruments replaced the traditional. The strong call-and- response dialogues, rich vocal choruses and rolling triplet feel in the rhythm sections all boasted a unique Malagasy sensibility and singles started selling tens of thousands of copies, rivalling any foreign music at the time," the album notes read. 

"Alefa Magagascar! Salegy, Soucous & Soul from the Red Island" presents 18 energetic tracks from a prolific era that shaped much of the popular  Malagasy music heard today, pioneered by artists and bands including Roger Georges, Jean Kely et Basth, Los Matadores, Mahaleo, the Terak'Anosy Group and many more. You can stream the full release via the Bandcamp player below. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom