This one has my number on it:
He grew up and nurtured his music in Madagascar, playing in local bands, touring occasionally, eventually winning a prize from Radio France that inspired him to move to Europe in 1990 to pursue further musical adventures. Mikea presents the results of this adventure, in a blend of styles from around southern Africa, stripped down roots music that while clearly intending to be "pop" hangs on to the sources for dear life and the outcome is quite solid. A lot of it is reminiscent of early Juluka, a raw energy built on fat drum and what I thought at first was bass, but I later realized was the drummer, David Mirandon doing some clever kick drum tricks. Layers of voices are driven by a sparse, pulsating accordion. It's so simple that even the most pop inspired pieces become coarse, folky and altogether fascinating.
Régis Gizano plays a chromatic accordion, but since he learned on a diatonic, the approach is pretty unique, blending the more restricted melodies with surprising accents and a lot more "air" from the bellows. The songs are original, and while you could spend a lot of time guessing what region influenced what, there's really no real locale to this music save the artist's own inspiration, which is pretty fine territory. - Cliff Furnald
Read Ian Anderson's interview with Gizavo from Folk Roots