Buy

“Melodic songs with beautiful vocal harmonies and complex rhythms that invite you to dance.”
★ ★ ★ ★  Bas Springer, Lust For Life Magazine

Toko Telo from Madagascar brings together three top musicians from this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean: the formidable singer Monika Njava, master guitarist D’Gary, and the equally gifted guitarist Joël Rabesolo. The latter takes the place of the original member, accordionist Régis Gizavo, who unexpectedly died during a tour in 2017. To honor their deceased friend, the rest of the tour was finished by Njava and D’Gary.

Fortunately, the death of Gizavo didn’t mean the premature end of Toko Telo. The dexterous electric guitar playing of the new band member Rabesolo mixes naturally with that of D’Gary, whose impressive playing style is characterized by unusual open tunings. With her powerful, soulful voice, Njava connects these two stringed-instrument virtuosos, drawing inspiration from traditional music from Madagascar. It results in melodic songs with beautiful vocal harmonies and complex rhythms that invite you to dance.

“Outstanding new album.”
Tony Hillier, Rhythms Magazine

“The sweet success of Malagasy trio Toko Telo’s debut album Toy Raha Toy on its release last year turned sour when the band’s legendary accordion player, Régis Gizavo, passed away. Remaining members, guitar whiz D’Gary and soaring songstress Moniker Njava, who are among Madagascar’s most acclaimed musicians, decided the best way to honour their friend’s memory was by continuing the project. That decision accounts for Toko Telo’s swift return with an outstanding new album in Diavola and a dashing young replacement in Joël Rabesolo, who’s ranked among the best Malagasy guitarists of his generation.

“The interlocking acoustic strings of the male maestros enthrall on a collection of excellent songs that, while contemporary, are rooted in the rich traditions of one of the world’s most intriguing island nations. On pieces such as the beautiful title track and on ‘Manoro’ and ‘Oka Niny’ the guitarists gel like an Indian Ocean version of the revered UK duo of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. Elsewhere, in songs such as ‘Zaza Somondrara’, Njava’s voice soars as guitar harmonics ring delicately behind. The diva’s shaker lends propulsion to the album’s sign-off track and sole instrumental, the jaunty ‘Ndreto Zahay’.”

 

#1: Spin The Globe Top 10 Albums June 2017
#1: Global Village Top 40 Albums July 2017
#1: Transglobal World Music Chart August 2017
#7: Transglobal World Music Chart 2017 Top 100
Mundofonías Favorites August 2017
fRoots compilation CD August/September 2017
Top 10: World Music Charts Europe October 2017

“Toy Raha Toy is an impeccable album.”
Angel Romero, World Music Central.org

“Malagasy acts have failed to achieve sufficient sales numbers, and today, it is rare to find an international release or touring group from this vast Indian Ocean island in North America. Given that history, it is risky to predict that this is the album that will change the tide. And yet, I am ready to do just that.”
Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide

“A really enjoyable experience as Monika’s voice soars over the intricate accompaniments.”
Vic Smith, fRoots Magazine

“Ils forment le superbe trio Toko Telo.”
Patrick Labesse, Le Monde

“The sun shines through on every track.”
Jim Hickson, Songlines

 

“This album is a highly-anticipated return of bass virtuoso Linley Marthe…Zawinul’s comment regarding Marthe tells the story: ‘I don’t know if there is anybody who can touch him in terms of overall bass playing.’…I can honestly say that [Monika Njava] is probably the most powerful female vocalist alive today…I am blown away by guitarist Joël Rabesolo’s mastery of his instrument…VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!”
★ ★ ★ ★   Customer review CD Baby

“Quelle énergie dans ce magnifique disque. Des musiciens admirables. Monika Njava est extra. Et que dire de Linley Marthe, ce bassiste prodigieux, qui nous montre encore une fois la pertinence de ses expériences musicales.”
★ ★ ★ ★   Customer review Amazon FR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A musician who seems to know everyone told me that Monika (whom I’d never heard of) was ‘The voice of Madagascar’. Four weeks later when we left, I knew what he meant.
Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide

Her powerful voice and explosive presence radiate pure emotion…
Kultur – Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft

Her album Haizina allows her to show her true personality. It is an opus of well-crafted compositions.
Midi-Madagasikara