Another contrast for HC 11 (Isn’t it always though? ;) – This time something a little more dancefloor-friendly, but with a twist, as we enter the world of Moombahton.
I feel this needs a little explaination, but if you’re not in the mood to hear the backstory, just scroll down and hit play – you’ll figure it out.
I’ve been following a few blogs over the last couple of years that promote a range of “Global” dance music. A variety of different styles from around the world, some of which I liked and some I didn’t care for, but it’s always interesting hearing what people around the world are getting off on :)
Through these blogs and the producers I’d discovered there and then followed on Soundcloud, the name “Moombahton” started popping up in the tags. I heard a few things I liked, but then I read this article by Wayne Marshall that gave me the backstory to it’s creation. I’d recommend reading the whole article, but in essence the sound originated (as did Cumbia Dub, I believe) through playing slowed-down European dance tunes, some of which had already picked up on certain offbeat snare rhythms – a very “now” style in Euro-house – listen to Afrojack, for example, who provided the remix that, slowed down, gave the style it’s name (“Moombah”).
But, as is often the way with a style that gains a name so early in its gestation, a lot of people aren’t really that sure exactly what Moombahton is yet, but as with something like dubstep there’s a template; a tempo (roughly round 110) and a rhythmic guide (in this case, the flying offbeat snares over the 4/4 that provide the necessary syncopation).
This obviously is the brightest of green lights to many a producer, who can quickly adapt and remix their own and others work to suit.
So naturally this tweaked my brain considerably, as I’ve been enjoying quite a large chunk of slower dance stuff recently (the “slow house” and “cosmic disco” styles which operate around 110-120 and sometimes slower – not a marked, or new, difference in tempo (more a reversion!) but considerably different to euro-house’s 130 and dubstep’s 140). There’s something that resonates with me also around that tempo – it definitely allows for a bit more space and groove – better to actually dance to, rather than just bounce. However, the tempo has prevented me from DJing the stuff, as crowds generally view it as a warm up to something faster and harder, rather than the main course.
Reading Wayne’s article left me highly inspired to experiment with mixing at that tempo, using the Moombahton tracks that I liked and also adding slowed-down versions of tunes that I already had, some of which I’m not so keen on playing out in their original form as they’re a bit too intense (and also there’s a lot of peeps that do it better than me!).
In the spirit of the speed this sound seems to be mutating I wanted to do it very quickly (also grabbing the inspiration while it was there!), so I spent Friday working my way through a pile of tracks, mostly taken down 15-20bpm (although the odd one pitched up!). It was very surprising to find what worked best – quite an across-the-board selection indeed. I assembled the tracks and spent the weekend jamming with them and putting together this mix (recorded live, but tweaked and edited in Ableton afterwards), which is about 40% “genuine” Moombahton tracks and remixes, and the rest my own slow-down edits, samples and added percussion.
I think it sounds pretty good indeed. I’ve certainly achieved what I set out to do, had a blast doing it and am looking forward to experimenting some more. Have a listen and see if it suits you! :)
(PS No tracklist as I don’t want to spoil any surprises in the mix – feel free to tag the track in Soundcloud as you spot ’em, if you like!)