I've ben playing drums for about 22 years now and am quite capable around the kit. I've been working on some more complex polyrhythmic stuff, like 9/8 grooves with 7/8 or 5/8 ostinatos on the hats/ride and, while I can do them, I find that my ear is drawn to the ostinato meter, and the groove sounds very robotic; in fact, I struggle to play the groove without writing it out. Here's a simple example of a 9/8 groove with 5/8 ostinato:
When I play it, it feels (and therefore probably sounds) like a confusing 5/8 groove instead of a straightforward 9/8 groove with polyrhythmic cymbal work. My question is: how can I train my ear to hear the groove meter and let the ostinato be the autopilot portion? Obviously it takes practice, but if anyone has any pointers for "hearing" one rhythmic piece instead of the other, I'd appreciate the ideas.