Don’t Mess With The Dragon

It sounds like an amazing idea. A multicultural nine-piece band playing a politicised fusion of hip-hop, funk, Latin, rock, Arabic grooves and Martian polka (probably). So how, pray tell, does it end up sounding like Black Eyed Peas? Ozomatli describe themselves as the sound of driving down Sunset Boulevard with your window open, but in truth, their horrific party-funk-rock sounds like slumping in front of MTV with your popcorn slowly encrusting on to your skater shorts. The vaguely uplifting message of the ska-tinged ‘When I Close My Eyes’ and an exhortation to “just do your thing”, on ‘City Of Angels’ are about as radical as it gets politically. Musically, it misses a trick by muddying its influences into a bland mainstream of vapid positivity. If it’s truly global hip-hop you’re after, hold on ’til MIA’s second arrives.

Emily Mackay