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InStudio: Ozomatli


Ozomatli is a celebration waiting to happen — a fiery brew of jazz-funk, Latin salsa and urban hip hop. Basic tracks for the band’s upcoming album, Don’t Mess With the Dragon, were recorded in Ocean Way Recording’s (Los Angeles) Studio B with engineer Robert Carranza and KC Porter, who wrote and co-produced with the band. Porter explains, “We tracked drums in the big room to have more space and flexibility, more options and to use different drum kits.” The album was completed at Porter’s private studio, Worldbeat Recording, in the Santa Monica Mountains, and then mixed by Serban Ghenea in Virginia. The Concord Records project is slated for release next month.

Singer and trumpeter Asdrubal Sierra

From left: percussionist Jiro Yamaguchi, engineer Robert Carranza, bassist/vocalist Wil-Dog Abers and assistant producer Sebastian Jacome at Worldbeat Recording’s Euphonix CS-2000

Justin Porée, percussionist

Producer KC Porter

The band takes a break in Ocean Way Recording Studio B. L-R, rear: Sebastian Jacome, assistant producer; Ulises Bella, tenor sax, clarinet, vocals; Robert Carranza, engineer; Mario Calire, drums; KC Porter, producer; Justin Porée, percussion, MC, vocals; Scott Gutierrez, assistant engineer. Foreground, L-R: Scott Moore, assistant engineer; Wil-Dog Abers, bass, vocals; Jiro Yamaguchi, percussion; Asdrubal Sierra, trumpet, lead vocals.

“If I didn’t play guitar with Ozo,” says Raul Pacheco, “I would probably be in Chiapas, Mexico, wearing a ski mask fighting on the Zapatista side.” Pacheco’s Les Paul has a Shure SM7 on the guitar amp, straight into a Neve preamp.

Engineer and mixer Robert Carranza

Ulises Bella