DJ A-Mac and the Moombahton Movement

We can’t stop talking about it: moombahton. Bubbling just under the surface, moombahton is poised to be the Next Big Thing on dance floors everywhere, in places that might surprise you. Dave Nada‘s serendipitous slow down of Dutch house has even found an evangelist 2,000 miles away: Calgary’s DJ A-Mac. I had a chance to talk with a DJ/producer whose moombahton edits are already annihilating playlists and setlists.


The basic biographical: where are you from and where are you based now?

I’m originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, but have been living in Calgary, Alberta for the past 4 years.

How long have you been DJing? What’s the basic trajectory of your tastes and style?

Ive been DJing for 7 years now and really have only been working on production stuff during the past year, even though I bought an MPC way back before I even owned a pair of turntables. I started out playing hip hop / funk / disco jams and have gradually moved into playing house music and rave bombs that I used to never touch. With the introduction of Serato, I’ve found my musical tastes going all over the map.

How did you get on the moombahton tip? What’s the reaction been when playing it out?

I was up in Vancouver for the Olympics and all the homies were in town for various gigs all over town. We were up at this Monster Energy party on the top of a mountain overlooking Vancouver. It was earlier in the evening, so basically the place was just filled with the DJs that were going to be playing and various other people who helped throw the party. Dave Nada got on the decks and started playing these joints and everyone just got up and started to get down on the dance floor. My homie Neoteric was telling me that Dave had just played a radio show with him, and had introduced him to Moombahton. He knew what type of music I am into and was like, “you are gonna love this shit.” We all got down to it super hard, and afterwards, I grabbed the edits that Dave had made.

My first couple of edits, which include the “Heads Will Roll” joint, were originally just to have more of a crate to play a set with. I got a lot of really good feedback from those so I sat down and started putting some work into making some tracks with a lot more of my own personal touch. I have played it out a few times, and I find that it can get a dance floor going hard. It works especially well if the crowd knows some of the original house tracks in the back of their heads, but are more inclined to dance to slower tempo music like hip hop or reggae.

Any hints as to what is next to get “moombahton’d”?

I’ve got a new one in the works, as do a few other producers I have talked to, and I know that Dave Nada has some heat that he is going to unleash on Austin and Miami (PUNK ROCK LATINO!). I just finished up my latest track titled Long train to Moombahton. (Ed. note: this track is dangerous!)

What are the top three artists that everyone needs to know right now?

The local Calgary DJ super group Smalltown Romeo have an upcoming release on Plant music – home to your local destroyer Tittsworth – that is going to be huge! I can’t wait for them to get some big shine, as they have provided me with so much inspiration over the years.

They have a stranglehold on the scene here in Calgary, as they own the Hifi Club and have a weekly that has been going for 10 years. Its called Hai Karate, and over the years, they have hosted pretty much every big DJ in the game. I’m really excited for DC, as they are going to get a taste of how awesome it is to have visionary local DJs own the best club in town. I can’t wait to come check out the U Street Music Hall.

Neoteric has been killing the game lately with his mixtapes. His latest projects include a mix for Crookers.net and the next installment of his Mystery Mix series (mixed by Brodinski) can be found on Discobelle. The Mystery Mix idea is a really original concept that he came up with and I love where it’s going.

Stirling Agency is a new DJ booking agency that my girl Miche started this past year and things are really starting to blow up for her. They are throwing a massive jam down in Miami for WMC.

Check out A-Mac’s tracks and mixtapes, and if you’re in Calgary, check out his weekly Friday gig at Habitat.

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