Don't Mess With the Dragon
Album Audio Streams
Check out these new tracks from Ozomatli who always brings an artful touch to their mix of funk, rock, hip-hop, traditional Latin forms, Asian instrumentation and more. But the group's latest disc, 'Don't Mess With the Dragon' (due March 27 on Concord Records), was born out of a unique scenario - the art came before the music.
'Dragon' reflects the creative explosion begun in the art installation and carried to fruition in the studio with producer KC Porter. The band rocks the dance floor with pulsing reggaeton jams like 'Here We Go' and 'Creo,' as well as the funky hip-hop of 'Magnolia Soul' (a celebration of New Orleans spirit in the wake of Katrina) and the title track's Chinatown-meets-the-Dirty-South vibe. But the expansive disc also features the moving Spanish-language ballad 'Violeta' (about the mortal thoughts of a soldier in Iraq), the driving, '80s-inflected rock-ska of 'When I Close My Eyes' and much more.
Producer Porter, who'd worked with the band on some prior tracks, including their duet with Santana on 'One of These Days' (from the rock icon's album 'Shaman'), played a crucial role in streamlining Ozomatli's process. 'We're all producers,' says Wil. 'We need a coach, a guy that's gonna get us together.' Adds Jiro: 'We're really good at putting things in - but self-editing is hard. KC helped us boil it down to what was really needed, and he has a great song sensibility. Also, he's fluent in Spanish, which was ideal, because he understood all the lyrics and styles.'
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