Haitian band Lakou Mizik to release collaborative album with NERO’s Joseph Ray

© Michael Sippa

A new project from the multi-generational ensemble and the UK producer.

Haitian band Lakou Mizik has teamed up with NERO’s Joseph Ray for a new collaborative album entitled Leave the Bones. The project sees the nine-piece ensemble working with the Grammy-winning producer to infuse its traditional vodou sound and rara rhythms with electronic components. Across the new release, Ray incorporates new time signatures in order to accurately capture the band’s drum patterns, while also including century-old field recordings, and Mbria and conch shell samples.

The collaboration formed after Ray stumbled across the band at a club in the port town of Jakmel in 2015. The producer was in Haiti to teach at music production and audio engineering school, the Artist’s Institute. By this time, Lakou Mizik had been together for around five years, having formed in 2010 in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake. Lakou Mizik’s past releases include 2019’s HaitiaNola, which linked the band’s Haitian influences with the music of New Orleans.

Leave the Bones is scheduled for release this summer via Anjunadeep. Ahead of its release, Lakou Mizik and Ray have shared the lead single and video for the project. The stirring new track, entitled Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen), hints to what the rest of the LP may entail. It’s been described as a plea to the vodou spirits of Iron and War.

Anjunadeep will release Leave the Bones on 6 August. Pre-order here and watch the Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) music video below.