Wa Di Yo Lakou Mizik Cumbancha/Planet From the earthquake that devastated Haiti in the second week of 2010 emerged a nine-piece multi-generational roots-revival band that’s been blowing away locals in Port-au-Prince and is now set to engage with the world at large. Reflecting the African, French and American influences that coagulate in Haitian music, Lakou Mizik intersperses waves of upbeat carnivalesque groove with the laid-back vibe that also characterises Caribbean island music. Wa Di Yo kicks off with a traditional romp in which mesmerising drumming and wheezy zydeco-esque accordion underpin trumpeting cornets and incantations. The album concludes 10 tracks later with the title cut, an ultra-soulful band original propelled by clattering cowbells that reverberates with attitude and defiance. As the (translated) catchline declares: “You tell them — we’re still here.” In between, there are contrasts in style and feel, from lighter zouk-like traditional numbers to breezy call-and-response songs driven by guitar and accordion riffing and voodoo-informed percussion. The band’s vocal strength and harmonic excellence is emphasised in a couple of short a cappella pieces. The sole female member gets to exercise her vocal cords via well-arranged indigenous works, one connected by a toastin’ bridge. With band members’ ages ranging from early 20s to late 60s, Lakou Mizik could be classified as a Haitian cousin of its famous Cuban neighbour, the Buena Vista Social Club, or, from the perspective of genesis, the Caribbean counterpart of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.