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Bigga Haitian: Sak Pase

Bigga Haitian: Sak Pase

Bigga Haitian: Sak Pase

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Eclectic reggae and hip-hop sounds from Bigga Haitian


Bigga Haitian (born Charles Dorismond in Port au Prince, Haiti) moved to New York aged 8 and on that journey brought with him a rich musical heritage, including the influence of his father who was one of the pioneers of a specifically Haitian dance music known as Kompa. Growing up with the rhythms of Haiti and the influences of Jamaica and the United States, Bigga has built up an impressive track record of performing for over 20 years at the crossover between reggae and hip hop. This, his third album, was recorded between 2006 and 2008 and it is no surprise that the numerous influences can be heard throughout.

Bigga Haitian - Sak PaséThe album opens with I Am a Haitian, a strong and slow song with mainly acoustic instrumentation and an effective vocal arrangement. This is followed by a version of the White Stripes’ My Doorbell, an initially surprising song to find here, though on balance it works with its upbeat feel and crisp production. Empress is an inspiring reggae tune, delivered powerfully, with a strong instrumental fade out in the style of a song that should have been played for years, a standout track. Then it’s into London Massive, classic reggae style featuring Yvad, recent vocalist with the Wailiers. The single release Gi Me Da Weed is included here too – Bigga’s “ganja anthem” – while Load the Chalice, with a number of guest vocalists, draws from both dancehall and hip hop in quite a potent mix. And – as if one version were not enough - the album closes with a further take on My Doorbell, this time with an additional guitar solo but otherwise not strikingly different.

Haiti Weh Mi From, probably Bigga Haitian’s best-known song, is also included here in a newly remastered version. Recorded in 1983, its ragga dancehall feel is definitely of its time but there is still a vitality in the way it sounds today. The other tracks on the album were all recorded in New York, with Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence featuring prominently in the mixing, mastering, engineering and production credits and also listed as writers of the music for two of the tracks. The music here is eclectic and committed. It would be interesting to hear more of it at full album length next time as there is history and depth in these songs.

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