Ote Maloya: The Birth Of Electric Maloya On Réunion Island 1975-1986
Rebel music and redemption songs from Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
Maloya was conceived by slaves working the sugar plantations of Réunion. First played with percussion and musical bow, built around call and response, by the ’60s it was the main voice of protest with groups often banned from playing it live. But the music still evolved, and by the mid ’70s, where this compilation begins, it provided a powerful culture clash of east meets west, with older acoustic instruments fusing with electric guitars and Fender Rhodes piano. At the movement’s centre was Caméléon, who drew on Hendrix and Weather Report to deliver rare groove such as 1977’s La Rosée Si Feuilles Songes. They were also the engine room for many others on the scene, including Michou, an exceptional vocalist behind the hypnotic soul of the same year’s Maloya Ton Tisane. Lois Wilson