LDA v The Lunatics

Los de Abajo

Released 20 September 2005

  1. Resistencia
  2. Los Lunaticos
  3. A La Orillita
  4. Cumbia Del Castor
  5. La Sonidera
  6. De Marcha
  7. Adios Negrita
  8. Noche
  9. Sombras
  10. Fan Fatal
  11. Tu Calor
  12. Mi Candela
  13. La Tortuga Dub
  14. The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)
  15. Tan Lejos, Tan Cerca

Liner notes

This, surely, is one of the more glorious moments in the history of clashes between global music styles. …the best album they’ve made thus far.

The Temple of Sound team were determined to capture the impact of the band playing live, when they met up in Mexico City in the studios of that famed Mexican rocker and ranchero exponent, Pepe Aguilar. They took their time. Instead of rushing into a hectic recording schedule, they spent two weeks together simply rehearsing and re-working the songs, changing styles or tempos and gradually reducing the 30 contenders to the 15 songs that appear on the album. Nearly half of those tracks were then recorded live – including the Fun Boy song that now appears as Los Lunaticos (though the vocals from Neville Staples and trombone work from Bad Bone and Jazz Jamaica star Dennis Rollins were added back in England). As for the other tracks, they show off a different side to the band’s work, making subtle use of programming. The result, as Carlos agrees, is “a balance between traditional Mexican music styles and European electronic influences. There is even a pop element, through the strings and voices”.



  • This, surely, is one of the finer moments in the history of global pop fusion. There's a brassy, south-of-the-border mariachi introduction, a grand announcement ("Rude Boy ... this is made in Mexico") and then a sudden switch to ska as Los de Abajo launch into a rousing Spanish-language treatment of the 1980s Fun Boy Three hit, The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum, with original Fun Boy Neville Staples joining in. The Guardian (UK)
  • A flutter of mariachi trumpet; some spaghetti-western guitar; a shout of "Rude Boy! This is Radio Mexico!" Then the song starts in earnest, and it is, unmistakably, "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)", rendered in Spanish, forming the missing link between The Clash and Fun Boy Three. Los De Abajo are a politically-minded Mexican band, sometime proteges of Manu Chao. Temple Of Sound, the producers, give their new album a fashionably dub-heavy mix, and the 15 songs zip along almost too quickly. "Resistencia", the band cry at intervals, but that would be futile. The Financial Times (UK)

Further Listening

  • A Town Called Addis

    Dub Colossus

    Released 12 October 2008

    Dub Colossus collaborate with some of Ethiopia's finest performers. Utilising Azmari and traditional styles as well as the popular singing styles of the 60s and 70s the album seeks to combine the golden years of Ethiopique beats and Ethiojazz with the dub reggae styles of early 70s groups like the Abyssinians and the Mighty Diamonds.
  • People’s Colony No. 1

    Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

    Released 14 May 2001

    Temple of Sound was created by Neil Sparkes and Count Dubulah (former members of Transglobal Underground). This album brings them together with Pakistan’s powerful and passionate Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali in a brilliant collaboration.

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