Various Artists

Alefa Madagascar - Salegy, Soukous & Soul 1974 - 1984

Image of Various Artists - Alefa Madagascar - Salegy, Soukous & Soul 1974 - 1984

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Strut 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.

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. Local pop was sometimes referred to as tapany maintso (half-green) a reference to the stickers on singles from the other key label in Madagascar, Kaïamba, many of them produced by Charles Maurin Poty whose work was crucial in shaping the emerging genre.

‘Alefa Madagascar’ showcases the rich variety of sounds during this heyday of Malagasy music: Roger Georges’ ‘Mama’ and Jean Kely et Basth’s ‘Andosy Mora’ bring the raw energy of salegy, influential band Los Matadores drop military drums and Hammond soul in the classic ‘Andeha Hanarato’; Mahaleo’s ‘Izahay Mpamita’ showcases the band’s powerful folk sound, a crucial voice emerging from the Rotaka farmer and student protests of 1972, while Terak’Anosy Group work around a stomping Congolese guitar groove. The era paved the way for many of the household names of Malagasy music today including Jaojoby, D’Gary and Lego. Mastered by The Carvery and featuring cover artwork by top illustrator Lewis Heriz, ‘Alefa Madagascar’ is released on 16th August 2019 and is compiled by Réunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius). Physical formats feature sleeve notes by influential producer Charles Maurin Poty and Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide.

First ever compilation documenting the heyday of Malagasy music during the 1970s and 1980s. All tracks officially licensed in conjunction with the Discomad and Kaïamba labels. Includes sleeve notes by legendary producer Charles Maurin Poty and writer Banning Eyre. Latest instalment in Strut’s ongoing series documenting some of the best original music from the Indian Ocean region.


Sil says: Heart warming and with plenty of exotic soul and funk to fill your cold nights ahead. These are rarities for us westerners and sound as fresh as when they were created. Recommended to those who like 'world music' - like me!


1. Jean Kely Et Basth - Andosy Mora
2. Soymanga - Moramora Zoky
3. Roger Georges - Mama
4. Ny Anjarasoa – Mahonena
5. Charles Maurin Poty - Amboliako Fary
6. Mahaleo - Izahay Mpamita
7. Papa James - Ngôma Hoe
8. Los Pépitos Et Leur Ensemble - B.B. Gasy
9. JeanotRabeson Et Son Orchestre - Jazz Sega
10. Feon’Ala - Farahy
11. Terak’ Anosy Group - Soaliza
12. Saka Dit The King - Ody Ody (Tsy Mentsy Mandroso)
13. Michael - Razana Tsy Ho Meloko
14. Falafa - Rapela
15. Los Matadores - Andeha Hanarato
16. Nino Rafah - Oa Niny Ê
17. Kaiamba Orchestra - Tokatoka
18. Atrefy Andriana - Zaka Tiako Mamolaka Keriko

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