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“RAM 6” transports you right to Thursday night at Hotel Oloffson.
While you were occupied with all the political uncertainty in Haiti and questions about Carnival, RAM released their first album in 12 years. “It was time!” Morse, lead singer of Ram says of the timing of the album. “RAM 6: Manman m Se Ginen” is a project with 12 songs sung by Lunise, Richard and a 5 person chorus.
Continuing the long tradition of making new interpretations of old Haitian folk music, “RAM 6” also revisits melodies we have become familiar with from recent RAM carnival tunes. The album opens with “Papa Loko” a song to the first Vodou priest, which RAM had already put its own twist on in their 2014 Carnival song “Se Pa Sa w Te Di Mwen”. The arrangement of Papa Loko on “RAM 6” keeps the same high energy as the Carnival song, but replaces the epic tanbou solo with a drum solo. Lunise had us all singing the prayer found on “Koulou Koulou” back in 2013 with RAM’s Carnival hit, “Men Bwa w” . And the band puts their own touch on a Coupe Cloue classic “Jije M Byen”. Although some of these melodies may not be new to us, the music remains extremely exciting.
Richard Morse says of the sound presented in the project “We [now] have a better understanding of how to get a ‘live’ sound on record.” Indeed, they do. The full band and rara arrangements on “RAM 6” transport you right to Thursday night at Hotel Oloffson. They have managed to capture the magic of their live shows, and place it on a record for you to take home. So, whether you are a Haitian abroad feeling nostalgic, or a Haitian in Haiti looking for a respite from the current political climate, or someone new to Haitian music all together, you should check out this album. Thank you for this pleasant surprise, RAM!
It is available for streaming on Spotify: