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CD Review:

taiwan musicOzomatli

Ozomatli were defined as the 'future of music' by rock legend, Carlos Santana, who opened for him last year in Anaheim, California. This multi-cultural 10-piece band, take their name from the Aztec god of dance. On their self-titled debut, this L.A. based collage brings on the funk, merging acid jazz, hip-hop, ska, salsa and reggae. It's like Fishbone meets Mano Negra at Ricky Ricardo's house.

There's some cumbias, charangas, guitars, horns, heavy on the turntables, and even some sitar-and-tabla Indian grooves.

While the majority of the lyrics are sung en espanol, 2na raps in English, making Ozomatli's left-leaning politics more explicit. However, Ozomatli doesn't beat the listener over the head but instead slips its subversive message in between tasty grooves so that you're dancing long before you realize what the lyrics are. "Everything is fodder for humor for us-our races, our religious beliefs, everything. People think we're a lot more militant than we really are." says Ulises Bella, tenor sax.

If Ozomatli really are the future of music, the future will be funky, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, and definitely something to look forward to. So get out there, pick it up and stick it in your ear.

-Stephen Taylor


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