Mezcla M.A.K.U. Soundsystem Glitterbeat/Planet With salsa and sass, aphorisms and mantras, and abundant energy, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem comes across as an American counterpart of Australia’s favourite party animals, the Cat Empire, or the New York equivalent of LA’s Ozomatli. Manned by a band of immigrants who gorge on live gigging, this raw-edged octet rocks and rolls to the mesmerising metre of traditional AfroColombian rhythms such as cumbia, garnished by jazz-fuelled horns and sauteed with streetwise hip hop and punk. Mezcla is a frenetic fiesta of an album that bops till it drops. That’s probably why the waltz that winds up the party sounds so sweet. De Barrio’s slower tempo allows the band’s lead singer to inject some warmth, a quality that’s lacking in the hustle and bustle of the preceding tracks. M.A.K.U. Soundsystem’s well-intentioned incantations — “let the music take you”, “we’ve got to take care of each other” and “keep your head up” — tend to be subjugated by the combination of boisterous brass, ebullient electronica and general rowdiness. Densely packed romps such as Agua and What Do You Wish For? might contain pertinent political commentaries, but they’re hard to absorb over the Afrobeat-driven mayhem. Mind you, when high-register trumpet lets rip over clattering percussion — cowbells et al — in Let It Go, it’s hard to defy the song’s sentiments. And it’s impossible not to be excited when a squeaky sopranino sax solo soars in La Haitiana. By the time corny Casio-like keyboard competes with mellifluous horn stabs and salsaesque vocal lines in the well-named and ultracatchy Happy Hour, all resistance is futile anyway.