Interscope/UMG – 45 minutes
Musical cross-breeding is still a rich source of innovation and creativity. Given the Black-Chicano-Cuban-Japanese-Jewish-Filipino origins of their line-up it's no surprise to find Ozomalti leading the way; adding new musical forms, from the sweet sounds of Havana to jungle, to their original mix of mariachi stomp and laidback West Coast hip-hop.
As before, the band's second album is an inventive musical cocktail that is backed up by the presence of several guests from the classy end of the hip-hop scene. De La Soul get on the mike on '1,2,3,4' and the title track boasts a guest appearance by Common, one of the more thoughtful and literate MC talents of recent years. 'Embrace The Chaos' tells the story of an Ozomalti concert in front of the Democratic Party Convention last year that degenerated into bloodshed as the LAPD dispersed the crowd by opening fire with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The band are associated with Brown Power, the liberation movement of Los Angeles' considerable Chicano population. Yes, Ozomalti are the Californian Chumbawamba (except much, much better) mixing left-wing politics with addictive, dancefloor jams…
Other guests include Will-I-Am of the Black Eyed Peas, and Medusa, and the mix of high-energy Latin instruments and ultra-modern wordplay is a winner.
They might have dropped 'Dos Cosas Ciertas', a new version of a track from the first album, but this quibble apart, 'Embrace The Chaos' captures the sunshine and energy of Spanish-speaking California perfectly.
Tracklisting:Pa Lante – 1234 - Dos Cosas Ciertas - Vocal Artillery – Guerrillero - Embrace the Chaos – Pensative - Timido (Interlude) - Lo Que Dice - Mi Alma - Suenos en Realidad