Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Empresarios: Sabor Tropical

Posted on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge music_cd_empresarios_cmyk.jpg
Empresarios: Sabor Tropical
Label: Fort Knox Recordings
Release Date: 2011-01-12
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Now, here’s a great concept: put together a dream team and form a collective that mixes Afro-Cuban with electronica. If the team is led by Javier Miranda (vocals, percussion), who toured with Thievery Corporation and Mustafa Akbar, that’s even better. Downtempo and reggae DJ/producer Sonny Cheba? Give me two. House DJ/producer Sammy K, VJ/producer John Bowen (aka Video Killers), and guitarist/producer/bassist/engineer Paul Chaconas (formerly of D.C. hardcore bands Far Cry and On Edge), and we’re all set. So far, so good. But the cover and name of the CD tell you almost everything you need to know about this project: the album is by a band called “Impresarios” or “Entrepreneurs,” it has a beautiful, semi-naked woman on the cover, and it’s called “Tropical Flavor.” Not surprisingly, the album sounds great, and the dub/tropical mix is unlike most tropical albums you hear. But the music never explodes, partly because they were so careful in coming up with the perfect chilled-out atmosphere, which I can understand. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t concentrate on that and make an artistic statement, instead of mixing it up with the usual dance-floor-friendly numbers with idiotic lyrics that urge us to dance and have fun, as if that was the only way to enjoy Afro-Cuban music. That only works when you have dynamite braindead-targeted music. Not the case here. This is an electronic case of middle-of-the-road to nowhere.

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