‘Carribean’ music can suffer from the tendency to categorize its output into two distinct genres – ‘reggae’ (or music from Jamaica), and ‘everything else’. As the sleeve notes on Strut records latest offering are keen to reinforce, this is a trap that is not only easy to fall in to but one that does the region a criminal disservice. ‘Haiti Direct’ is a double CD/Vinyl re-issue celebrating an enormous expanse of music, from a specific time period, within a small portion of this particular archipelago.
Reflecting on the output between the early 1960’s and late 1970’s there is a vast range of artists, styles and expressions contained within the array of tracks compiled by Sofrito’s Hugo Mendez. Whilst the list of accredited genres may initially read like a cryptic puzzle, the compilation can simply be summarised as a hugely positive and refreshing collection of vibrant tracks from an often overlooked corner of the globe.
Initially scheduled for October 2013, ‘Haiti Direct’ has been pushed back over the last few months. Thankfully the long awaited LP is due to see the light of day very soon, with the release date having been confirmed for 14th January . In addition to the music itself, this promises to be a very special package – in-depth notes and descriptions, artwork, and interviews with the artists involved make for an essential addition. Check out a few tracks below, and order your copy here.