Each Wednesday, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This week, we vibrate to the rhythms of maloya, a genre inherited from African slaves and Indian workers on the French island of Reunion.
“Yo Mang”, by Space Galvachers & Olivyé
We knew Olivier Araste – alias “Olivyé” – as the founder and leader of the maloya group Lindigo. The singer and multi-instrumentalist (kayamb, bobre…) takes a step aside by joining forces with the Burgundian trio Space Galvachers (Clément Janinet on violin, Clément Petit on cello, Benjamin Flament on percussion), with which he will publish the album Lo Swar (“in the evening”, in Reunionese Creole) Friday, March 31. Without straying too far from his island, since the opus, recorded in a few days at the Cité des arts in Saint-Denis, sets to music the texts of two young local authors (Gaël Velleyen and Mari Sizay) and gives pride of place to the sweet and heady melodies of maloya.
“Monmon Kolonel” by Saodaj
It is also to a meeting between traditional rhythms of maloya (roulèr, pikèr, kayamb, bobre) and classical instruments (cello, guitar) that the group Saodaj invites us, formed around the singer Marie Lanfroy and the percussionist Jonathan Itéma. At the beginning of March, the sextet released the album laz (“age”, in Creole), in which he intends to deliver “a music that questions the beauties and excesses of our world”. Illustration of this committed poetry, the title Monmon Kolonel (“maman colonel”) pays tribute to the fight of police officer Honorine Munyole against physical and sexual violence against women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Maloya Waltz Chok 1”, by Jako Maron
Finally, maloya is combined with electro with the pioneer Jako Maron, whose Ugandan label Nyege Nyege Tapes reissued in February, in an expanded version of four new tracks, the album The Electro Maloya Experiments of Jako Maron, released in 2018 and now available on vinyl. Born in 1968, at a time when maloya was prohibited by the French authorities, it was in the 1990s that Jako Maron began to reinterpret, using drum machines and modular synthesizers, the tertiary rhythms specific to this music. . Between trance, minimalism and psychedelia, his experiments paved the way for what is now known as “electro-maloya”.
Find all the editorial staff’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of the World Africa.