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Sylvain Marc and Del Rabenja – Madagascar Now/Maintenant/’Zao

I don’t know very much about Madagascar, apart from the fact that it’s flora and fauna is unique due to the separation of the Island from the African mainland in ancient times. Also, I understand the language Malagasey is amazingly enough of the Malayo-Polynesian family and bears resemblance to the language of Borneo. With all this in mind, I reckon Madagascan music could be all over the place. Well, this record certainly is.

Guitarist/percussionist Sylvain Marc attempts to showcase more traditional inspired music on one side, with beautiful use of percussion, bass and a sort of tubular zither, that according to some online sources dates back to indonesia as well. The other side has Madagascan modern jazz fused with local styles featuring saxophone player Del Rabenja, resulting in some next level free jazz. I stick to the “traditional” side where the music gets pretty wild too but here luckily within some identifiable parameters. Record was pressed in France.

One off the best tracks is a zither jam with some terrific rhythms in three quarter underneath. Somehow it works best when listened to at loud volume.

Listen to Madagascar Now


  • This is really lovely!

  • agreed, very nice!

  • Nice one indeed.
    Madagascar was once under French colonial domination, hence the French name Sylvain Marc and the French pressing.
    If you dig this stuff, be sure to also get into Jef Gilson’s music (and his band Malagasy), another French musician involved in the Madagascar scene. He recorded one good version of P. Sanders’ “The Creator Has A Masterplan” among other good stuff…

  • This record is dope. Not a weak track on here. There is other gold by Malagasy artists, especially releases on French labels of Malagasy funk artists.

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