Artwork: detail of the Tzompantli (prehispanic Mexican skull rack) inspired background of a Dia de los Muertos altar in Philadelphia, part of an exposition from 2012 by the Mexican mural artist César Viveros Herrera
Moombahton is dead. We all know. There was a period when hearing or even just reading these words would trigger me into a defense-mode, but last October it became official. Even for the fiercest defenders, the struggle only had one end-point: acceptance. Or maybe not…
After all, was moombahton’s ‘death’ so bad in the first place? Being kept at a fair distance from the currently sinking-ship called EDM is probably something that should not be mourned over but rather celebrated. Death can be dealt with in a joyful way. An appropriate parallel with what the sugar skull stands for in the Day of the Dead tradition. And now the music world as a whole is entering a creative chaos, moombahton can proudly join in the gigantic march of dead genres, hungry to feed off the blood and brains of the collapsing commercial industry.
What makes all of this even more hopeful is that moombahton seems to become more firmly embraced both in the Netherlands and in Latin America, ‘homelands’ of Dutch house and of reggaeton. With a stronger ‘local home-bases’ a scene is no longer dependent on hipster-attention in order to stay interesting and to attract new talent. It’s happening slowly, but there’s something going on in Latin America, in the Netherlands as well as in the USA & Canada. The new central spot, Original Moombahton, is doing a fantastic job in bringing it all together. This post will show what the different clusters of the moombahton scene have been up to just these months, including some older stuff because it just needs to be blogged…
In my cumbia posts, I’m used to split things up into mixtapes, EP’s and single releases.. so here imma do the mixtapes separately just to get into the right vibe!
Few of us will doubt that Ricky Vaughn is currently the leading force behind all things moombahton and nobody else deserves more to walk in front of this massive zombie march. That’s why I open with this mixtape with unreleased specials, delivered as a celebration of and for his 30K fans on Facebook!
The Washington DC-based DJ-producer DJ Madd OD is another moombahton OG, one who has done an amazing job in introducing moombahton in his home-country Nicaragua (which was home to a Moombahton Massive – Dia de Los Muertos Special last October!). Check out this fantastic ‘Moombahton Mayhem’, mixed 2 months ago for Do Androids Dance!
Hugo Haze is an up and coming name from the new generation of global bass fanatics. This mix is the first episode of a new moombahton mixtape series, ‘Noche de MooMbahTON’, which we will definitely keep you updated about in the future!
If you asked me a year ago what the main problem with moombahton was I’d have answered, among many other things, that there were far too many bangers and far too few tracks meant for another place in a set than the ‘climax’. More specifically, moombahton is craving for tracks that bring a hot ‘perreo’ vibe back into it. Of course there is a lot of great soulful and deep stuff too, but that’s a whole different thing. Many producers seemed to forget that the way you can dance to dembow is precisely what makes a low BPM interesting in the first place… Fortunately, I see more and more diverse vibes in moombahton these days, and much of it also seems to get closer to reggaeton again.
Necio, a moombahtonista from Compton, LA, is one of the most avid pushers of moombahton as an innovation inside reggaeton itself, just like dominican dembow and Mexican cumbiaton. This epic mixtape, which was mixed already two years ago, could not have been published on a better moment than now!
The day before yesterday, I was already more than half way writing this post when this mindblowing new EP came out from the Orlando-based bass alrounder Big Makk! ‘Midnight EP’, which contains two delicately produced tracks, brings an ancient-futuristic hybrid of moombahton and techno. The delicious combination of percussion, atmospheric sound effects and subtle use of tension make this EP one of the most promising innovative experiments in moombahton I’ve seen in a while!
Get it here!
A while ago, ‘Dos Borrachos’ from LocoMotive was an EP released as a special edition for Do Androids Dance. I can’t recall exactly whether or not Generation Bass has already supported it, so just in case we haven’t, I just do a quick review here.
The first two tracks are heavy bangers with dominant sharp synths, reminiscent of the strongly Dirty-Dutch inspired early moombahton bleeps and Skrillex-growls took over the genre. The final track, a collaboration with moombahtonista of the very first hour DJ Melo, is a more subtle, cumbia-influenced track that features accordeon and organic latin-percussion sounds!
All tracks are free!
The Korean-American bass producer Macrohard, based in Durham North Carolina, frequently shows love for moombahton alongside other global bass flavours. ‘Me Da Igual’ EP was released earlier this year on the great alternative-electronic-oriented Mexican netlabel After Mess Recs and delivers an excellent blend vibes! ‘Me Da Igual’ is an experimental track that fuses the grooves and sounds of moombahton, deephouse, techno, and dubstep, while ‘OGM’ is a subtle porn-flavoured twerk track that stays close to the hiphop roots of twerk music!
More recent is ‘Saoco’, this fantastic EP from the New-York based producer SΛNDL♂T. This EP is an excellent example of what I see emerging as a new generation of moombahton, which most important feature is that it stays danceable and grindable, even when combined whith roughest moombahcore sounds!
Another perfect example is ‘Hablo Un Poco’, an equally powerful EP by the up and coming Trap-A-Lot Maffia-signed bass alrounder CZuR, released only two weeks ago, with another three tracks that all have an enormous amount of dance-drive, but of the kind will make you dance!
US-Canada connection in m0ombahton is most directly celebrated in this collaborated EP by Toronto’s Cortez Syndicate together with SikkSounds (DC) and D-V3KZ (Chula Vista, CA)! ‘Empuja EP’ brings a subtle, downtempo lento tune and a powerful moombahton banger, both with a lot of latin percussion and a vibe that guarantees some intense perreo!
The final EP also comes from Toronto, Canada, delivered by SlyRocka. ‘Cold Snap’, released already four months ago, is an EP that brings wonderfully deep grooves with delicious percussion in three tracks that vary in vibe from light and dreamy to heavy and dark!
But more than time now for the actual worldwide zombie-march to take off, starting in the USA where the movement started, going down south and then crossing the Atlantic! Keep in mind there’s no order of importance in which country is mentioned first…
Again, nobody deserves more to lead this massive procession than Ricky Vaughn. After his amazing Viva La Ricky EP, a Remixes EP and a mindblowing third edition of The Art of Moombahton, this week he is back with a absolutely crazy remix of not just of the hit-track ‘Yeezus’, but of all tracks on the whole album together!
I know that opinions about this differ but personally, I’ve always been in favour of keeping moombahton close to reggaeton and the broader ‘latin-urban’ scene that includes innovative genres like nu-mambo and nu-salsa, among other things. Reggaeton legend DJ Blass has shown love for the moombahton movement from the very start and has definitely done a lot to draw the two worlds together. What’s especially dope is that he didn’t ‘switch’, like many hype-artists who jump on a bandwagon while leaving their ‘old’ style behind. Until today he has continued to produce great reggaeton, next his excursions into moombahton, dominican dembow, trap and kuduro.. Check out his newest release: transforming Enrique Iglesias’ new hit ‘Bailando’ into the ideal club banger, with a Sean Paul-vocal, 808 drums and powerful moombah madness!
That also gives me the opportunity to share his ‘A lo Loco EP’ from October last year. When it came out, I wanted write a post about it but I didn’t manage to. Which I still regret, because this is one of the absolute-best moombahton EP’s that has appeared ever since the heydays of Munchi..
This filthy banger from Hammo Sung & LocoMotive, released in the beginning of this year, is one of those tunes that have the potential to become a genre-classic, a hook that pushes a recognition-button and makes the crowd go crazy. Both being important names in the bass scene on the interface of trap, moombahton and house, I definitely hope to hear more moombahton from their hands in the near future!
Also check out Hammo Sung‘s epic tribute to the Colombian salsa-legend Joe Arroyo…
…and his most recent collaboration with the Miami-based Dominican bass talent Happy Colors: a unique, downtempo lento-trap banger. Maybe not completely moombahton for the purist, but the rough, dembow-vibe makes it closer to moombahton than to anything else!
There are probably no other producers who have kept pushing new moombahton so persitently as the New-York based duo Noise Twins, who have delivered new quality productions on an almost on a monthly basis. These are their newest releases.
‘Noisetwins’: a short, dark-edged and somewhat bigroom-ish tune with an energetic dembow beat!
…’La Na Treta Do Chefão’: a heavily baile funk inspired, tropical track with delicious percussion but also with sharp Dutch synths!
… and ‘Future Noize’: a heavy moombahcore banger with an intro and middle part in which they explore a subtle, futuristic vibe, different from their usual stryle, creating an uplifting, mysterious atmosphere that reminds me of the cumbia of Sitlaly!
Kapo is another first-hour moombahtonista from New York who has been very important for the scene, best known for his ‘Viva La Moombah’ trilogy, and with quite a number of genre-classics on his name. This is his newest creation, that officially came out this month on Groove Therapy Records as a Cinco de Mayo special!
Staying in New York, Go Buck has released as many as three new moombahton tracks this month only, which are all wildly creative in their own way..
‘Birds’ is a crazy moombification of DJ Snake’s hit ‘Bird Machine’, spiced up with extra bird-sounds, some of which made me realise that some of those actually resemble bleep-synths.. or is it the other way around..?
‘Fluence’, a collaboration with the mysterious BNRCPZ, is a feelgood-flavoured track which has the potential to become a radio hit this summer!
‘[email protected]@a’ is a funky track where elements of classic house, nu-disco, deep house and even some very subtle traces of dubstep and baile funk blend together in a delicious mid-tempo groove!
Apart from his EP, Macrohard is did two more crazy moombahton tunes:
A moombahfication of Gregor Salto & Wiwek‘s Dutch-electro banger ‘Intimi’..
..and an epic moombah-tribute to the legendary original pokemon ‘theme rap‘!
Following his mixtape, Necio delivered more moombahton-reggaeton fusion this week: a smooth moombahfication of Wisin y Yandel’s ‘Tu Sabanas’!
And just few days ago, a fresh new moombahton-crew was launched the US-Mexican border city of El Paso Texas, Eskeleto, presenting itself to the South-West and to the world with this high-energy banger: ‘POW!’
PoundPoundPound is a duo from Lafayette, Indiana, which also pushes moombahton in combination with trap and house and have continued producing and supporting it. In the past, they’ve done specials for Moomba+ and then-still-Moombahton.net. After some more EDM oriented productions, they’re back now with a remix of Ricky Vaughn & Kapo‘s ‘Thinking About You’..
And with ‘En Route’: a new multigenre EP, released just yesterday, which contains next to an electrohouse and a nu-disco tune, as many as three fresh new moombahton productions!
Probably, it is the popularity of twerk music (and maybe zouk-bass) that created a demand for a larger grab-bag-tag of Mid-Tempo, to refer to all those different styles together. Many moombahtonistas and global bass fans hate trap and twerk and part of the reason may be that for some time, they felt like trap and twerk were taking over their party, at the expense of interest in moombahton. Understandable, but for me personally, it would be a wasted opportunity if moombahton on the one hand and trap and twerk on the other hand remained hostile towards each other rather than join forces. It even seems that moombahton might be getting the last laughs. Now an underground trap scene is emerging that is retracting from the EDM-industry, there are some signs that this scene is regaining some interest in moombahton too. But I’ll preserve this new trap scene for a separate post soon.
This big remix of is one of the many examples of how deliciously well these vibes can flow together!
That track is actually a re-twerk of an original moombahton track which is another example of an ‘instant genre-classic’!
Here another perfect example, delivered by DJ Madd OD!
And just as I was writing this post, a fresh new moombahtwerk banger appeared on my Souncloud stream, from Chicago’s rising trap & EDM star Julian Benasis!
You will have noticed that I have focused mainly on dembow-oriented stuff and less on electro-glitch-Skrillexstep-inspired moombahcore and nu-jumpup-flavoured bangers.
Since Cortez‘ and SlyRocka‘s EPs were most recent releases, my Montreal-based BAE Antae is repping Canada all by himself. Drawing from his solid musical background in underground prog, he does a fantastic job with this spectacular progressive-flavoured remix of Bacondo‘s ‘Umayuwaka‘ ft. Loki Da Trixta!