In case you didn’t notice, MOOMBAHTON is blowing up!!! With a recent feature in SPIN Magazine - 'Hot New Sound: Moombahton Goes Boom!' - the genre has gone from Dave Nada’s lucky party foul to the electronic world’s new big thing. Last Thursday I had the pleasure of spending the day at IDentity Festival in Bristow. Seeing Modeselektor, Chuckie, Nervo, Le Castle Vania, Avicii, Rusko, and Kaskade may have been enough for most, but I couldn’t stop there. Why? Moombahton Massive VI.
Back for its monthly residency at U Street Music Hall, the Massive brought out all the stops, with 16 of Moombahton’s top producers spinning live to a packed house (so packed, that the walls were beading sweat). Needless to say, the party was off the hook. I got there rockin my ‘Fuck To Moombahton' T by Mac & Smash (#fresh #likeabaws) and was able to see Dave Nada, Sazon Booya, Billy The Gent, Heartbreak, Munchi, and Sabo all take to the decks and spin their biggest tracks all in less than an hour and a half. I’ve copied an excellent review of the night by Moombahtonista below:
Moombahton Massive VI continued in the genre’s commitment to instigating inspiration in the next generation of progressive minds. Treading water in the rapidly switching tides of universal change, moombahton shares much in common with Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” It exists because it needed to, and nobody seemed to be aware of the connection. While the sonics are different, the historical necessity is much the same. When Dave Nada pitched down Dutch house and it sounded like reggaeton, he accidentally, then knowingly tapped into a growing societal trend that brought hipsters together with hood rats, and embraces entirely tearing down the edifice of racial difference. Sixteen of the most culturally diverse DJs in the world, from an Ecuadoran-American mama’s boy to a hyper intellectual mop haired Dutch reggaeton renegade an ex rapper, a deep Latin house champion and a solid group of absurdly young innovators defining themselves professionally through the sound, spun last night. Orgiastic celebration of a brand new society in brand new times? Yes, and if you weren’t there, DC’s U Street Music Hall was sold out, and though unbelievably insane,the walls were sweating, and everything that happened, definitely happened.
This was a family reunion as trial by fire. Moombahton’s top spinners were at moombahton’s top venue, all wanting to exceed the expectations set by the five previous events. They did. New York City duo Sazon Booya had a dancing masked shaman in the booth grooving to their heavily Latin groove. Munchi, overjoyed to finally be back in the states, was a booth moshing mess of rampant glee, dropping his now legendary moombahcore edit of Datsik dubstep tune “Firepower.” In high flying lockstep with the tune’s energy, it was a perfect live commercial for the transformational power of the genre. Six foot five inch David Heartbreak looms over his laptop as not so much a DJ but a tropical bass overlord, as when his 80 inch wingspan arms swing wildly and clap, Zeus is throwing down thunderbolts from the heavens, and no matter how hard you move, you have no other option than to be overwhelmed by the power of his productions.
20-year old Miami prodigy DJ JWLS and Richmond’s Long Jawns collaborated on the major league Vibrate Chick EP with new father Billy the Gent, and in watching them, as well as DC’s Obeyah and Cam Jus, you understand that this genre as movement has permanence. Listening to the tremendous, genre bending work of established top tier professionals like LA’s Sabo, Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom, plus adding in their own unrestrained plethora of influences, we are possibly looking at music as the keystone of a perpetual revolution. Given that the genre has no rules, it can evolve at the speed of life, absorbing international experiences into an extravagant and populist sound.
At 2:30 in the morning, Hawaiian naturalist John Monsoon closed out the night. As DJ Lightning Eyez, his entire world view was galvanized by moombahton. His DJing errs toward something he calls “wildstyle,” which invokes 500-day old tropical bass invention as the basis of a sonic journey to the id. Instead of bringing the energy down to seal the memory of the evening for the revelers in attendance, his wildstyle set was loud, raucous and undeniable fun. As Monsoon’s set poetically showed, we’ve reached a point with moombahton where the Massive isn’t the biggest party, but galvanizes a never ending energy, dawn’s guiding light illuminating a brand new world.
So yea. That’s that. The Moombahton Massives are truly special events to celebrate a genre that you truly need to see to believe. Many are quick to call Moombahton abrasive or irritating. For relaxation and easy listening, yea, listening to Dillon Francis’ remix of Hitz by Chase & Status may not be the right choice. Save that one for the clubs. But Moombahton has become more than just dirty dutch house music slowed to a 108 reggaeton beat. With new Moombahton sub-genres like Moombahsoul popping up daily, there is more than enough “chill” tracks (ie. Tactic - I Don’t Wanna Be Right or Jaime XX - Far Nearer [Nadastrom & Sabo Moombahton Edit]) for the haters.
Do yourself a favor. Listen to Moombahton.