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Leave the Bones
Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray
Catalogue Number
Release Date
August 6, 2021
  • 'Leave The Bones' Vinyl + 'Sanba Yo Pran Pale (DJ Koze Remix)' Vinyl Bundle:

    • Leave the Bones Vinyl, 2×LP

    • Sanba Yo Pran Pale (DJ Koze Remix) Vinyl, 12” 12inch Hand-Stamped White Label Vinyl

    • + WAV / FLAC
    • Includes Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray 'Leave The Bones' vinyl, plus the 'Sanba Yo Pran Pale (DJ Koze Remix)' hand-stamped 12" vinyl single.
    • WAV download also included

    Available: December 3, 2021

  • Vinyl 2×LP

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    • + WAV / FLAC


    • 2xLP black vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve and printed inner sleeves
    • 4 x 12" matt prints depicting the four single artworks

Few albums manage to evoke a time and place with such startling effect as the unlikely collaboration Leave the Bones (out August 6th), between the multi-generational Haitian band Lakou Mizik and Grammy-winning electronic music artist Joseph Ray.

"Haiti'' is a word that conjures up a lot of images -it is a country judged by many, most of whom have never set foot on its shores. But its history is rich, its people proud and defiant, and nowhere is that more evident than in its music. Culture is what defines the country - its drums and Vaksins (horns) are symbols of freedom and pride, liberty and struggle, and the joy of dancing.

Leave the Bones paints a musical portrait, a fresh glimpse of an oft misrepresented country. Through Vodou chants, chest-pounding Rara dance tunes and contemporary protest songs, the record conveys the listener to Haiti's spiritual heart, a place that remains a compelling mystery for foreigners and a source of pride for every Haitian.

Since its inception Lakou Mizik has sought to re-define people's conceptions of Haiti through its music. The nine piece band, formed in 2010, is emblematic of the melting pot that is Haiti's musical culture. Lakou's figurehead, Sanba Zao, one of only ten original Sanba poets left, played a central role in Haiti's Rasin (roots) movement of the 1980s which sought to re-imagine traditional Haitian Vodou music through radical experimentation with modern instruments. This spirit of Haiti's rich musical history underpins Lakou Mizik today; a multi-generational genre-blending ensemble that plays traditional Haitian music with a punk energy and a deep sense of their heritage.

Joseph Ray, a Grammy winner and founding member of the pioneering Platinum selling electronic music trio, NERO, had never heard of Lakou when he arrived in Haiti in 2015, having volunteered to teach a course at Haiti's only music production and audio engineering school, the Artist's Institute. Ray stumbled on Lakou at a tiny beach side club in Jakmel; the scene that night was frenetic and ecstatic, evocative of the spirit of Ray's early electronic music clubbing experiences. The band's organic power entranced Ray, who saw the possibility of merging his cinematic electronic production style with Lakou's own traditional dance rhythms. Their subsequent six year journey led to Leave the Bones, teaching Ray more about himself and music than any other period in his life.

Ray had initially wanted to sample the band, and overlay them on traditional 4x4 electronic beats, but he realized this approach would not evoke the spirit he was so captivated by. Lakou's organic style needed more room to stretch and breathe, and the album became far more collaborative and deeper in scope. Ray was forced to rethink his approach, learning how to produce and engineer for a nine piece band. He incorporated new time signatures to capture Lakou's complex drum patterns, lacing in 1930s field recordings from ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax and replacing synth sounds with Mbrias and conch shell samples that he stretched.

Today, Lakou Mizik and Ray premiered the album's debut single, 'Ogou (Pran Ma Kwen)', via NPR World Cafe, giving a telling look at what's to come. Characterised by vibrant strings, traditional Haitian rhythms and a jubilant chorus, 'Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen)' is an impassioned plea to the Vodou spirit of Iron and War for protection from the brutality of life's daily battles - "Ogou, you brought me here, take care of me."

By way of preview, Leave the Bones weaves us through the euphoric swagger of No Rival!, to the bluesy beautiful melancholy of Lamizè Pa Dous (Misery Isn't Sweet). It takes us to dance in the mystical underworld of Bade Zile (Under the Island), yet offers lessons for the living, reminding us we should not underestimate those who seem easy to walk upon on Zeb Atè (Grass of the Earth), and that we are all one people, Nou Tout Se Moun.

Leave the Bones is a record that sounds like it could come from nowhere else, and while its rhythms undoubtedly possess a universal danceability, their meaning and depth are also unique to Haiti. It's powerful to imagine these tracks being played on dancefloors in Miami, London or Ibiza, transporting people from around the world, inviting them to dance, celebrate and get lost in the richness of Haiti, if only for a moment.

Please note: physical product shipping dates are approximate and subject to change due to COVID-19. Thank you for understanding.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Sanba Yo Pran Pale 2:05 Buy

    Sanba Yo Pran Pale

  2. 2 Kite Zo A 5:54 Buy

    Kite Zo A

  3. 3 Night Drums 2:00 Buy

    Night Drums

  4. 4 Lamizè Pa Dous 6:00 Buy

    Lamizè Pa Dous

  5. 5 No Rival! 5:41 Buy

    No Rival!

  6. 6 Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) 6:20 Buy

    Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen)

  7. 7 Zeb Atè 4:35 Buy

    Zeb Atè

  8. 8 Bade Zile 5:34 Buy

    Bade Zile

  9. 9 Nou Tout Se Moun 4:16 Buy

    Nou Tout Se Moun

  10. 10 Boukman O' 2:36 Buy

    Boukman O'

  11. 11 Simbi Nan Dlo 6:09 Buy

    Simbi Nan Dlo

  12. 12 Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) (Edit) 4:56 Buy

    Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen) (Edit)

  13. 13 Lamizè Pa Dous (Edit) 4:02 Buy

    Lamizè Pa Dous (Edit)

  14. 14 Bade Zile (Edit) 3:45 Buy

    Bade Zile (Edit)

  • Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray - Bade Zile

  • Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray - No Rival!

Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray

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