Mindlessly Mullumbimby

Issue 

Dancing on the Edge
Los Bobos Cosmicos
Self-financed release through Disculture
Reviewed by Norm Dixon

This is the first release by a new distribution company, Disculture, that specialises in promoting "self-dependent" artists — artists without the backing of the big record companies, who are forced to fund the production of their own CDs. Given the notoriously conservative nature of the majors when it comes to recording and releasing new talent, such an undertaking is welcome.

Los Bobos Cosmicos produce a bright, lively, danceable sound. The band's music is based on an infectious mix of South African township jive, Afro-Latin rhythms and reggae grooves. Vocals by leader singer Diti are little on the cutsie side, resembling Frente's Angie Hart.

Based in Mullumbimby, the band has won a devoted following in the north coast region of NSW. Lyrically, the CD doesn't live up to the band's bold claim to have "a unique global vision of a world free of nations, boundaries, religions, war, poverty and discrimination, where all people have the opportunity to fulfil their creative potential".

Each song is little more than an inane mantra to universal love, peace, understanding, cooperation and care for the planet. Wonderful sentiments, of course, but for the utopia they seek to be realised, some harder questions need to be asked and more pertinent answers found.

Los Bobos Cosmicos (which translates as the Cosmic Fools) confirm the unfortunate stereotype of "hippy-trippy" middle class Mullumbimby/Nimbinites who believe the world can be changed by simply wishing for it rather than organising to bring it about. Appropriately enough, the band follows the teachings an "enlightened mystic" who goes by the pen-name of "Osho".

But perhaps I'm being too harsh and taking it all too seriously. After all, Los Bobos Cosmicos only ever promise "mindlessly happy music for mindlessly happy people". Dancing on the Edge is no more meaningless than 99.9% of the pap that reaches the pop charts every year. Musically it is certainly better than most of that, and the band does have its heart in the right place.

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