March 1999

Tarika
D
Xenophile

A calm purr of jubilation rises off the first track of the new album by Madagascar group Tarika, D (Xenophile 4053; 57:06), and, once lured in, there's no looking back or entertaining ill thoughts. The title of their second album for Xenophile, a collection of covers of old 45s in Madagascar, stands for the Malagassy term for "dance" fittingly enough for a recording that bubbles over with rhythmic verve. But the grooves are of a refreshing organic, mixing chattering electric guitars and other unplugged instruments, bolstering the friendly vocal mesh. Led by sisters Hanitra and Nero Rasoanaivo, the group exudes a kind of live-in charm that defies cynicism and marks the continuing emergence of Madagascar's musical life on the world stage.

Originally published in March 1999
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