The flora and fauna of Madagascar are like nothing else. It's full of strange bulbous plants filled with corrosive sap and eerie thorn forests. Oh, and lemurs. You can't forget the lemurs. It's not as isolated culturally as it is geographically - centuries of trade have seen to that - but the traditional music of the island is still quite unlike anything else in Africa.
Here's a recording made in 1930. You can forget the idea that the ensemble might actually be called Choeur Malgache, it translates as Malagasy choir so that's just the (presumably French) ethnologist's way of referring to them. They're not even a choir, as this is a purely instrumental piece. What we've got here is a large ensemble of ukulele-like instruments, and one lead instrument. This being Madagascar, it's probably a valiha, and it has the driest sound ever, played with absolutely no sustain whatsoever and scratchy as all hell. Anyway, Afindrafindrao is a semi-traditional dance tune that's also given its name to a dance style. It's a beautifully intricate piece, full of internal rhythms. Apparently French courtly manners were fashionable in the late 19th century, and it's based on the quadrille. Bizarre.
Choeur Malgache - Afindrafindrao