This Afro-Latin hip-hop fusion ensemble’s last album came out on 9/11, but rather than get swept away in fear-mongering nationalism or a Muslim apologia, the group decided to explore Arabic culture through music. If the idea of music as a unifying force is cliché, Ozomatli nonetheless makes a compelling go of it — hardly a surprise to anyone familiar with the group’s heady, socially conscious, multicultural approach. The band, which includes two lead vocalists, two MCs, a horn section, heavy percussion and a DJ, pulls different styles together in novel ways, but it can’t be dismissed as a mere novelty. Ozomatli makes political activism feel good. And dancing is all but required at an Ozo show — a good thing, because you wouldn’t be able to resist anyway.

Categories: Music