Saturday, March 14, 2009
LINDIGO - Lafrikindmada (Lindigo Music/Cobalt)
Lindigo are from La Réunion and play a heavily rhythmic maloya that makes more that a passing reference to the Creole styles of the island and its neighbour Madagascar. A simple template of call and response chants set against high tempo, very bassy percussion leaves this listener wishing he could understand Malagasy in order to be able to better appreciate the differences between the first five in-yer-face tracks (lead singer Olivier Araste has lungs as powerful as any I’ve heard from this region). Thereafter, the rhythmic attack is punctuated by a number of more subtle tunes that blend a goodly selection of Indian Ocean instrumentation to ear-catching effect. Accordion, kabosy (Madagascan box guitar), harmonica, some subtler percussion and the gritty blues vocals of Lauriane Marceline all add welcome variety to the mix, all of which is bewitching enough to have me resolving to seek out the ensemble’s first two releases.