Friday, July 8, 2011

CD Review: Damily's 'Ela Lia'

Madagascar's Damily is a tsapika guitar player from the Southwest part of the country. Tsapika guitar music grew out of the rural dance movements traditional inherent at weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other events and occasions. The combination of traditional dance music and south African pop makes Ela Lia shine with musical delight. While most contemporary music coming out of Madagascar today incorporates the valiha (plucked instrument), the acoustic guitar makes a lead appearance throughout the album. The group vocals, fast picking, and mixed instrumentation provide listeners with a candid view of yet another group to come out of Madagascar. Though, the music is purely south African, there is an element of European and even Australian music. The lilting melodies, energetic guitar playing, and enthusiastic percussion make Ela Lia a noteworthy addition to any African music collection. ~ Matthew Forss

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