Ozomatli To Release ‘Don’t Mess With The Dragon’ March 27th

Los Angeles band Ozomatli always brings an artful touch to its mix of funk,
rock, hip-hop, traditional Latin forms, Asian instrumentation and more.  But
the group¹s latest disc, ‘Don¹t Mess With the Dragon’ (due March 27 on
Concord Records), was born out of a unique scenario -­ the art came before
the music.
With multiple laurels under their belts ­ including two Grammy awards, a
Latin Grammy (and multiple nominations), two Billboard Latin awards and an
Alma award, countless film, TV, commercial and game placements, and national
tours with the likes of Santana, the Dave Matthews Band, Los Lonely Boys,
Lenny Kravitz and many others ­ the band ventured into new terrain: a
community art space in the heart of their hometown.
‘We did an art installation at Tropico de Nopal, a gallery near Macarthur
Park in L.A.,’ recalls bassist-vocalist Wil-Dog Abers.  ‘We stayed there for
two weeks, writing; each member had a corner of the room, which we decorated
ourselves. Visitors came in and each of us got a chance to show how we
create music, individually and collectively. That environment gave birth to
these songs. I think we created our most cohesive album yet.’
‘It was an unusual experience,’ agrees percussionist Jiro Yamaguchi.  ‘There
were no rules or definitions.  We were in the midst of forming the seeds of
these songs.  I was pretty confused at first, and other people felt that way
as well, but it came out really cool.’
‘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.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide