Shit the Kids Are Listening to: Moombahton

Have you heard about the newish micro-genre of dance music called moombahton? No? OK, old folks, put down your can of Ensure for a second and turn the volume up so that the next time your nieces and nephews come over you have something to talk about. 

Moombahton was invented one day in late 2009 by a DC-based DJ named Dave Nada. (Check out the full story here.) Nada was spinning at a party for a bunch of Latino kids and wanted to play something other than 130-bpm progressive house choons for them. So he slowed some Dutch house records way down until they started sounding like the pulsating beat of reggaeton.

Turn up the bass! announced a voice in the song. “And that’s when shit popped the fuck off,” Nada wrote.

He called it Moombahton—for “Moombah,” the Silvio Ecomo & Chuckie track whose remix by Afrojack he’d contorted, and for reggaeton, the immensely popular Latin genre whose slow tempo he’d neared.

So Nada came up with this new sound that combines a swaying Caribbean beat with the synthesizer-driven madness of modern electro-house and the party anthems of Miami bass. It’s loosely part of the still-evolving “bass music” scene that has given us names like M.I.A., Diplo and Major Lazer.

To me, moombahton has soul and flavor — two things that the more sterile dubstep records certainly don’t have. The best place to start is the  mixtape “Blow Your Head Vol. 2: Dave Nada Presents Moombahton,” from Diplo’s Mad Decent label.


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