Slow Machete is a collaborative music group made of up Haitian and American artists: six female vocalists from Cap Haitien (a city on the northern coast of Haiti) and Joseph Shaffer, an electronic musician from Pittsburgh who is currently based in Washington, DC. The result is hard to describe; a combination of nearly every genre I can think of, the music is haunting, otherworldly, sometimes ambient, other times groovy. Whatever the genre — or even the proper adjectives — it is certainly beautiful and memorable.
Slow Machete's newest EP, Mango Tree, was released in July and features an array of sounds; electronic beats, layered vocals, and field recordings from Haiti all come together to make uniquely inspiring songs. They have a laid-back groove to them that feels really natural. They're not overproduced or too Americanized. Rather, they're songs that stay true to the roots of the musicians. In fact, the whole project goes back to those roots: All proceeds from the recordings support the Haitian people through education and agriculture programs in the region.