Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers

Haitian/Belgian electric voodoo dub

Photo: Eric Desjeux

Who?

Formed in 2012, Chouk Bwa are a Haitian group sharing the music of Vodou, a diasporic faith blending traditional West and Central African spirituality with Catholicism. In 2016, they crossed paths with The Ångströmers, two bearded Belgian producers with strong roots in European dance music. And so meet Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers – a high-octane mash-up of hand-drum techno, ritualistic chanting and analogue wizardry.

Why Chouk Bwa & The Ångströmers?

If what you desire is unadulterated energy, this lot have it by the bucket-load. Already adored by Kevin “The Bug” Martin, their music could fuel any club at peak time, and you might assume that’s thanks to The Ångströmers. But the Belgian producers have made clear their intention of not wanting to bastardise Haitian music along Western lines, and the duo’s all-analogue input is notable for its subtlety, revealing the inherent danceability of Vodou music. The techno-like pulse is played with two very real drums, culminating in propulsive rhythms and given further beans by the fè (a piece of iron), which is struck continuously by lead singer Gomez “Djopipi” Henris. Like Gnawa music in Morocco, Chouk Bwa are a testament to the ancientness of dance music, as evidenced on their scintillating new EP, ‘Ayiti Kongo Dub #2’.

Tell Us More…

Voodoo gets a bad rep. This centuries-old tradition is often misrepresented in Western narratives around malevolent spell-casting characters, a caricature which was originally disseminated by European colonialists. But voodoo is a central belief in Vodou culture, much more about positivity and sharing. A strong part of Chouk Bwa’s musical mission is to dispel these lies and myths, as they reassert voodoo’s true meaning through euphoric dance music, and The Ångströmers play an admirable and arresting part in that.

‘Ayiti Kongo Dub #2’ is out on Bongo Joe

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