The essentials of maloya music on the Digital Kabar compilation

Born from the musical union of maloya and electronic music, Digital Kabar is a compilation retracing the fusion of the genres since 1980.

Maloya is a music style native to the French island of La Réunion built up over centuries in the sugar plantations of the Island (which had been populated only three centuries earlier), agglomerating popular sounds brought along by slaves from Madagascar, India and Mozambique. With a very simple language organized mainly around a chant recited as a chorus, a massive drum (the roulèr) and the kayamb, the genre shares the common spirit with the techno-house tribes.

In the early 1960s, in response to growing unrest in Algeria, the French government issued a decree aimed at removing openly pro-independence civil servants from the colonies. The ensuing ban on Maloya was an overtly politically-motivated censoring of a workers’ culture that had become the standard-bearer of the Réunion’s Young Communist Party.

Over a few decades the style has grown a new branch of maloya that is bound to continue to sprout new buds. And this is what this compilation seeks to tells us.

The compilation features artists who are still based from La Réunion, including Labelle, Jako Maron and Zong and Psychorigid. Discover Jako Maron remix of Patrick  Manent’s Kabaré Atèr below :

Digital Kabar: Electronic Maloya From La Reunion Since 1980 drops on June 21 and is available to pre-order now.

Read next: Listen to the electro Maloya experiments of Jako Maron

Digital Kabar