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Standout Track: No. 6, “Happy Track (Thomas Blondet and Second Sky Remix),” one of the best reimaginings on the Latin funk quintet’s new double EP of remixes from Fort Knox Recordings. D.C. producer and DJ Thomas Blondet joined Lancaster, Pa., trio Second Sky to remix “Happy People,” and the collaboration transforms the song from simmering funk to chilled out bossa nova. Empresarios wouldn’t have included the reworking if they didn’t approve, but vocalist Javier Miranda still had some feedback. “Javier was sad that I didn’t include more of his vocals!” says Blondet.
Musical Motivation: “I’ve had this precise idea for five years and the album [Sabor Tropical] took two worthwhile years to record,” says Miranda, a 34-year-old Puerto Rico native who lives in Arlington. “The remix EPs were a label idea to continue to market our work. We have had a lot of really talented people who have asked to work with us, so it was very easy to choose extremely talented remixers who all brought so many unique ideas to our vision.”
Bhangra in D.C.: Blondet and Second Sky are both signed to D.C.’s Rhythm and Culture Records, but they looked elsewhere for the remix’s new melodies. The source? “Bollywood movies and early dance music,” says Blondet. “[Second Sky] are big fans, and their tastes definitely come from listening to the soundtracks and viewing the films and wanting that sort of vibrant action in their work.”