For its new album, Malagasy group Tarika found inspiration via a trip that lead singer/songwriter Hanitra Rasoanaivo made to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
For its new album, Malagasy group Tarika found inspiration via a trip that lead singer/songwriter Hanitra Rasoanaivo made to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. While there, she discovered a culture remarkably similar to her own, and that was no coincidence—Indonesian oarsmen are thought to have migrated to Madagascar 1,500 years ago. The music provoked by Hanitra's journey is an amalgam of Malagasy and Indonesian traditional influences, as well as much more. "Madindo," a Hanitra rap number that might well pass for an Asian Underground sortie, may find its way to college radio playlists and dancefloors. On "Ela," penned by Malagasy songwriter Levelo, the lilt of French Caribbean zouk, the lyrical voice of South African jive, Senegalese talking drums, and mbaquanga mix with Afrobeat, the cascading tones of the valiha (bamboo zither), and colorful Eastern Pacific strains. As Soul Makassar clearly demonstrates, groove is where you find it.—PVV