Fort Knox Recordings have released the 19th edition of their impressively long-lived Funk The World series. This one is curated by Empresarios, the Washington DC-based group with strong ties to Puerto Rico (the group’s band leader and two lead singers were born there). They call their music “tropicaliente,” a mix of salsa, cumbia, and dub with electronic elements. The mix displays the versatility of their taste, moving effortlessly across a wide musical spectrum in its 46 minute running time.
Empresarios contribute remixes of the smooth 80s jam “Soho Strut” by the acid jazz band Brand New Heavies, and the deep dub-house groove “Palace of Light” by the Greek group Auditors Domination. They also supply a Dubplate Especial version of Colombian electro cumbia act Bomba Estéreo’s “Sintiendo,” and their own funked-out “Salsa de Gala,” remixed by All Good Funk Alliance. Along with Empresarios’ own work, there’s a Jr. Dynamite edit of the salsa heavyweights Fania All Stars’ horn-heavy 70s party anthem “Ella Fue.” The mix ends with Gregory Isaacs’ end-of-the-night classic “Cool Down The Pace.” The transition from Latin into reggae sounds completely natural, as the mix winds down from a raucous party atmosphere to a calm and cooled down conclusion.