Madagascar's Got a Squeeze Box

The most botanically and biologically diverse land mass in the world also produces great quantities of music that can be found nowhere else.

The accordion players of the Masikoro region, however, often bear an uncanny resemblance to the great zydeco and Cajun box squeezers of Louisiana. Singers wail soulfully about the delights of love, liquor and dancing, accompanying themselves on accordion with the particular chikita-chikita rhythm that practically defines Malagasy folk music.

Spare yet intricate rattle and drum percussion adds snappy, fluid rhythms that don't so much drive as tickle the tunes along.