Based out of Washington DC, the Empresarios make music to dance to. Influences cross genres ranging from dub and funk to salsa and bossa nova. Their debut album, Sabor Tropical, was released in January 2011 and now they have released a remix EP that is rather weak in comparison to their original album.
Talented DJs from around the world have taken original songs and given them a high-class spa treatment. The EP starts with a Fort Knox Five Remint of “Space Selectah” drenched in heavy bass and space invader laser sounds. Its like a Jamaican dance party on Jupiter that is impossible to get to. I would prefer to stay on earth and listen to my dancehall station on Pandora.
Strangely, the track listing is lined up in such a monotonous way that by the time one remix is over, it’s painful to listen to the next remix of the same song. “Space Selecta” is remixed three times. By the time you get to the “crunk” version you realize that the efforts to produce a danceable album was misguided and uninformed of the true nature of what was trying to be recreated. If you want chopped and screwed, call on your homeboys in Houston to make it “crunk.”
The “Happy Track” unfortunately suffers from the same problem of repetitive monotony. After three remixes of “Happy Track,” the coked up version of “Let it Up” is stress inducing. Luckily, the very last track, “Lock In,” brings back the peace. It’s playful, easy, and zen like. Cheers to Shanistan for thinking to bring in a sitar. It’s funky and chill all at once.
All in all, Sabor Tropical Remix EP is a let down. This is not to say that Empresarios are bad because on the contrary, they are great. The original release is exuberant, playful, and guided. The remix on the other hand is lost. Lost in it’s development and misguided in its arrangement.
Listen to “Space Selecta” (Fort Knox Remint) below and download here.