In case you missed the memo the first time out, Javier Miranda and his band devised a way to effortlessly blur genre lines whenever the Empresarios tap into their urban roots of rhythm. Following the group’s white-hot debut, Sabor Tropical, people can’t help but gravitate to the funky aesthetic of this multi-talented Washington, D.C.-based outfit. The second album, El Sonido Magico, delivers on demand—a 13-track chart-burner on Fort Knox Recordings magnifying the universal sound and soul of these young kings of “Tropicaliente.”
The new album leans heavily on horns, percussion and the strengths of Miranda and lead singers Frankie Rosado and Felix Perez, all with ties to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It’s that clever fusion of salsa, Cumbia, dub, house and reggae clearly setting this collective apart from any dancefloor alternatives. No attempt at comparisons needed since the Empresarios’ distinct interplay with lyrics and instrumentation ring true throughout El Sonido Magico.
At the onset, things heat up with the track, “Salsa de Gala” (featured on the new Funk The World mix), a sophisticated throwback to a 1970s vibe. Nothing disrupts the ebb and flow with grooves like “Quinto Nivel,” “Volume,” “Rompan Fila” and “Bailando”—each reflecting the heart and spirit Miranda and crew have poured into this project from the studio, DJ booth and on the road. Want edgy? It’s all good. Deep, dark dub influences define the final track, “Rey de Reyes.” Just don’t sleep on this one...it’s a spellbinding venture into sound.
Empresarios perform live at Camaradas El Barrio in New York City for the CD release party on Saturday, Nov. 10.
BTW, if you missed the latest Funk The World mix by Empresarios, you can download it for free here. You’ll also be entered to win a signed copy of the album.