Vodu 155

Vodu 155

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Haitian brothers who moved to New York as teenagers and quickly immersed themselves in the city's melting pot of musical influences, Vodu 155's Lionel and Constance Bernard are very conscious of and true to the spirituality of their roots, but are by no means limited by them. Just as Haitian voodoo is a hybrid of African tribal beliefs influenced by Spanish Catholicism and other forms of Christianity, Vodu 155's music is a creative mixture of African rhythms, Haitian patois, Jamaican reggae/dancehall, and American funk and hip-hop. On songs like "Vodu Funkadelic," "Zaka," and the autobiographical "Boom Boom Bip," the band (which includes bassist/producer Bill Laswell, guitarist Nicky Skopelitis, and reggae legend Sly Dunbar on drums) combines their disparate influences in an original manner that renders their sound virtually incomparable. Although its broad reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, Vodu 155's debut is an innovative album that deserves to be heard by world music fusion fans and more adventurous hip-hop heads alike.

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