Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boukman Eksperyans: Libète (Pran Pou Pran’l!) (1995)

(As published in the Illinois Entertainer ... )

Boukman Eksperyans
Libète (Pran Pou Pran’l!)/Freedom (Let's Take It!)

Combining worldly rhythms and other-worldy invocations, Boukman Eksperyans creates the unsettling effect of making Haiti's infammatory mixture of superstition and corrupt politics seem seductive, and in so doing they've made the most political religious album and the most religious political album to come along in some time. The songs range from the soulfully sweet ("Ki Moun") to the sweetly soulful ("Zili," a prayer to the Virgin Mary with some Hoodoo for good measure), with lots more in between. In Peye Pou Peye" ("You Must Pay") and "Jou Male" ("Day of the Shock"), anti-oppressor choruses accompany vengefully rocking polyrhythms, and the liner notes decidate the album to a late bandmember whose death the band blames on President Clinton's medicine-impeding embargo. Despair, however, never rears its head, not with Boukman dancing all over it as if their lives depended on it--which in Haiti they probably do.

No comments:

Post a Comment