Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Music Of Madagascar: Classic Traditional Recordings Of The 1930s
Genres: World Music, Pop
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Discover what Malagasy song was like in the 1930s
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this CD was going to be a boring one since it is a digitally remastered version of a 1930s recording, but I was dead wrong. It is a very old, thus faithfull recording of songs mainly from the Merina Kingdom (Antananarivo.) Many of the songs are still sung today, with slight variation, in Malagasy backyard when kids play or when families gather. The discovery of the record from which this CD was made must have been a great find, but I admire the minds of the people behind the new recording even more. For people who want to find a real, not just the Pop Malagasy music, this is a good CD to have."
Marvellous Malagasy Music
Josh Z. Bonder | Toronto | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review is intended to provide some information and correct a few points made by the other reviewer of this incredible album. Firstly, it is not a copy of an older album, but rather a collection of rare (and nicely remastered) 78 rpm records made in the 1930's. These are traditional recordings of a very high quality, made at a time before modern trends would irradicate much of this cultural aesthetic. They were created at a time when the French ruled Madagascar, and were recorded by the French to market and profit from this "primitive" music. The music is not primitive, but extremely affecting and emotional at a base level. It is accessible, and strikes a chord within the listener which makes it both great fun to listen to and a moving musical experience.
The disc consists of recordings by 5 or 6 different groups of musicians, most featuring traditional Malagasy intstrumentation (sometimes augmented with accordian/concertina and fiddle). While the instrumentation is certainly quite accomplished and interesting, it is the vocal harmonies which are most remarkable. They are extremely rousing, and make one want so badly to join in and sing along (if only I spoke the language!). The tracks of the album flow nicely from one to the next, and the variety of groups and instrumentations keep things interesting and engaging. While every track is a worthwhile addition, personal favourites are "O! Dear Friend", "Echoes of Dance Steps", "Raivo-O", "Once When You Where a Child", "Folly Leads to Regrets", and my personal favourite, "Who's Gun is This?".
Part of what makes this music so unique is the fact that Madagascar is a relatively isolated island, yet had strong connections with African, Indonesian, and French cultures. This music manages to reflect a variety of influences, creating something totally original and authentic (as all great art does). I would seriously recommend this disc for anyone with an interest in untainted world music before the onslaught of modernity. I would also highly recommend "The Secret Museum of Mankind", a five disc series of early world music recordings also compiled by Pat Conte and Yazoo records. Anyone already familiar with that series would do well to purchase this cd as well. Highly Recommended!"