Omar Sosa 

Mulatos Remixed

Omar Sosa is known as a guru of that Utne Reader-wooing, East-meets-West, globalized-digital-culture-
meets-Afro-Latin-polyrhythmic-tradition thing. On the Grammy-winning 2004 album Mulatos, Sosa showed us that live woodwinds, Afro-Cuban piano licks, and itchy studio effects could actually form a viable polyamorous union. Most of Sosa's oeuvre shows enough musical depth to justify his (occasionally self-indulgent) cross-cultural forays, not to mention his hip-hop gambit of recycling and/or remixing old material. But words like "hybrid" and "remix" don't always translate into "new and highly evolved." The strongest track on this year's Mulatos Remixed is a swank, club-friendly, deliciously house version of "L3zero" by Paris-based producer and drummer Doctor L — while it's easy to get seduced by Sosa's updated, dance-oriented vibe, you'll miss the slithery cha-cha bassline on the original. As for the rest of Remixed (featuring notables like DJ Spinna and Marque Gilmore), you might not miss it at all.

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