Personnel: Ozomatli (kazoo); Raúl Pacheco (vocals, electric guitar, background vocals); Asdru Sierra (vocals, trumpet, slide trumpet, celesta, keyboards, background vocals); Wil-Dog Abers (vocals, background vocals); Justin "El Niño" Porée (rap vocals, percussion); Ulises Bella (melodica, background vocals); Mario Calire (drums); Jiro Yamaguchi (tabla, percussion, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Robert Carranza.
Recording information: Solar Powered Plastic Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Raul "Boogie" Caracoza.
Ozomatli is the Aztec God associated with dance and laughter, and this ten-man collective of Black-Chicano-Cuban-Japanese-Jewish-Filipino musicians has always had an uplifting party vibe, without forsaking their progressive left-leaning beliefs. Their international musical vision knows no boundaries, and they range freely through punk, merengue, R&B, jaroch, Egyptian-Hindi funk, rap, rock, and Latin jazz. On this, the band's first album aimed at kids, they don't talk down to their young audience either musically or lyrically. No matter what music a kid is familiar with, Ozokidz is going to stretch his or her boundaries with a batch of buoyant party anthems. This is kid's music that will also have adults up and grooving to the beat. "Germs" has an old-school reggae/ska vibe, with sparkling keyboard work and a singalong chorus -- "Germs are everywhere" -- with a serious message about cleanliness. "Exercise" would be perfect for an adult aerobics class and, again, has a serious message about keeping fit, with a galloping calypso/salsa/cumba beat that'll have you instantly up and sweating. "Skateboard" sound like a surf rock anthem you've never heard before, like the Beach Boys gone skate punk but with a lot more energy than they've shown in decades. "Moose on the Loose" has a big, stomping reggae/funk beat and tells the tongue-in-cheek tale of following a moose through the forest. The lyric describes the intimidating majesty of the animal and in the end, the moose escapes, while the children cheer. ~ j. poet