November 20, 2014
TITLE: Feedback Madagascar
Madagascar was the subject of several excellent world music releases back in the 80s and 90s. More recently the outside world has heard little from the island nation, which has been wracked by political crises and economic stagnation, so this new compilation is a welcome addition to the all-too-small Malagasy catalog. The good news is that there’s plenty of excellent music to be heard on the island. If you like South African sounds, you’re in luck: many Malagasy styles are closely related. For example, track 6 in the tsapiky genre and 3 (mangaliba) are both reminiscent of speedy mbaqanga, the remarkable, equally fast 15 is as catchy as the best maskanda, and 2 is a clever blend of maskanda and rap. Congolese music is influential all across Africa, and that’s certainly the case here: 12 could be a current ndombolo release, 11 is anchored by an immediately recognizable soukous drum figure, and even local superstar Jaojoby introduces his song here (4) with a Congolese guitar riff. Kudos to the Feedback Madagascar organization for dedicating 50% of all album proceeds to reforestation and community projects, and to Josh Coppersmith Heaven for excellent curation.
TOP TRACKS: 2 3 4 6 11 12 15
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 1 5 7 8 9 10 13 14 16