10 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ozomatli frequently mix genres that often don’t go well together. Yet for six studio albums (besides their children's album, Ozokidz), the Los Angeles–based group have taken a Latin-music base and incorporated elements of rap, reggae, and rock until casual listeners become hardcore fans. Working with their longtime engineer and producer Robert Carranza (who’s helped out Eels, Jack Johnson, Los Lobos, The Mars Volta, and Supergrass over the years), Place in the Sun is a high-energy mix of tunes. From the opening title track, it sets out to be the party album of the year. By keeping tempos up, centering on the tunes, and foregoing silly jams (no song tops four minutes), Place in the Sun delivers what it promises. Ex-Eurythmics member Dave Stewart joins for the upbeat reggae of “Brighter,” while Voces Del Rancho are featured on the accordion-wielding “Paleta.” The entire album is dance floor–approved with no loss of soul or identity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ozomatli frequently mix genres that often don’t go well together. Yet for six studio albums (besides their children's album, Ozokidz), the Los Angeles–based group have taken a Latin-music base and incorporated elements of rap, reggae, and rock until casual listeners become hardcore fans. Working with their longtime engineer and producer Robert Carranza (who’s helped out Eels, Jack Johnson, Los Lobos, The Mars Volta, and Supergrass over the years), Place in the Sun is a high-energy mix of tunes. From the opening title track, it sets out to be the party album of the year. By keeping tempos up, centering on the tunes, and foregoing silly jams (no song tops four minutes), Place in the Sun delivers what it promises. Ex-Eurythmics member Dave Stewart joins for the upbeat reggae of “Brighter,” while Voces Del Rancho are featured on the accordion-wielding “Paleta.” The entire album is dance floor–approved with no loss of soul or identity.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5

38 Ratings

Great band

EJ559,

Ozo has continued to produce great, fun music throughout their albums. Their sound has changed, sure. You can't expect bands to keep producing the same sound album after album. I saw these guys live a couple times and they put on a GREAT show too. Definitely recommend.

What happened to this band

fishbone850,

Listening this next to its ground-breaking debut, Ozomatli should be embarrassed.

About Ozomatli

Brewing a vital concoction of Latin salsa, urban hip-hop, and jazz-funk, Ozomatli formed in Los Angeles in the mid-'90s, eventually settling on a lineup that included Raúl "El Bully" Pacheco, Ulises Bella, Jiro Yamaguchi, Cut Chemist, Chali 2na, Wil-Dog Abers, Mairo Calire, Rene "Spinobi" Dominguez, Justin "Niño" Porée, Asdrubal Sierra, and Jabu. After making their name on the local club circuit, the group made an appearance on the urban late-night talk show Vibe! and released its self-titled debut in June 1998. Embrace the Chaos was released in 2001, followed by an EP, Coming Up, in 2003. A third full-length, Street Signs, which featured a changed lineup (both Cut Chemist and Chali 2na, for example, left the group on good terms), came out in 2004 and subsequently won a Grammy. A concert CD, Live at the Fillmore, with an accompanying DVD of the show, was released in 2005, unofficially honoring the group's tenth anniversary, and in 2006, Don't Mess with the Dragon was released, followed by Live from Soho in 2008. The band returned to the studio with producer Tony Berg to issue Fire Away, its debut album for Mercer Street Records/Downtown Records, in 2010. Two years later, a surprise turn into children's music produced Ozokidz. In 2014, Ozomatli delivered their seventh studio album, the Robert Carranza-produced Place in the Sun. While they played the festival circuit in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in support of the album, it was business as usual: The group seldom took time off, playing across Latin America and the Caribbean as well. In 2015, the band honed in on a new vision: to revisit their collective Latin music heritage through the lens of reggae and Caribbean music. They undertook a PledgeMusic campaign (and reached 153-percent of their goal) and entered the studio with Sly & Robbie as producers. Ozomatli also invited a large host of guests to assist on various tracks. They included Gaby Moreno, Juanes, Regulo Caro, and "Herb Alpertto." The material included songs written by Selena, Café Tacvba, Juan Gabriel, Julieta Venegas, and Los Tigres del Norte, and rearranged tunes from their catalog. Entitled Non-Stop: Mexico to Jamaica, the set was issued by Cleopatra in the spring of 2017. ~ John Bush

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1995

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