soundstreamsunday: “Pran Ka Mwen” by Lakou Mizik

kanaval2016-lino - EditedI will never know, I mean KNOW, what a lakou is, in the same way that a Haitian will.  It is a backyard, a coming together, a process, a form, a spirit.  It is a community and a memory of communities stretching back through time all the way to the only successful slave revolution in recorded history and beyond.  A summation and a celebration.  It’s also just a freakin’ party, where all the significance of what Lakou means ends up in the bottom of a bottle of rum.

Lakou Mizik built itself as an experiment of sorts, coming out of 2010’s Haiti earthquake with a purpose, to revisit traditional Haitian music and recast it for a world pop culture tied to YouTube, not radios.  In full disclosure I know this band, or they at least they know my house, as I hosted them for dinner (and yes, rum), a road-weary touring unit criss-crossing the states.  The songs they sang in my living room included this gem, a homebrew version of “Gaya,” a raveup with Michael Brun that otherwise looks like this:

Their lone LP Wa Di Yo is the ultimate lakou.  The beautiful “Pran Ka Mwen,” featuring vocalist Nadine Remy and Steeve Valcourt’s gorgeous guitar, and a chorus of cornets and percussion, is the gem in the goldmine (well, then there’s “Poze” …).  This is joy drawn from the ashes, as brave a get down as any I can think of.

“I came on earth to live in peace
Down here on earth, we are all one”

Lakou Mizik:

Lakou Mizik on bandcamp

Lakou Mizik on Amazon

soundstreamsunday presents one song or live set by an artist each week, and in theory wants to be an infinite linear mix tape where the songs relate and progress as a whole. For the complete playlist, go here: soundstreamsunday archive and playlist, or check related articles by clicking on”soundstreamsunday” in the tags section above.


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