The defining principle of moombahton is a battle between the agony and the ecstacy. Sharp-edged bangers that wear their Dutch house and dubstep influences on their sleeves versus tropical baby making music. To genre pigeon-holers, moombahcore versus moombahsoul. To a skilled moombahnista, the two styles are the ebb and flow of a set, pulling from all across the spectrum of passion.
On new EP NightVision, it’s clear that Cam Jus has the battle under control. After teasing audiences with original compositions “The Stabs” and “Even the Gringos” and remixes of M.I.A.’s “Boyz” and Doctor P’s “Big Boss,” the Tropixxx DJ releases four tracks that will surely be in moombahton sets everywhere.
For your soul, Cam flips Lisa Fischer’s 1991 classic “How Can I Ease the Pain.” Then he digs even deeper, remixing Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Keep Your Head to the Sky.” Both tracks are tributes to Cam’s deep musical knowledge.
For the party, Cam brings it on both the title track and “Metro Center (Step Back).” “NightVision” is a pulsing jam that bounces between sawtooth synths and bubbly bass. The highlight, however, is the previously released “Metro Center.” The WMATA sampling tune is the best tribute to DC since Dave Nada’s “Moombahton” demanded that “If you in DC, just turn up the bass.”
Tittsworth and Alvin Risk need no introduction, and their long-awaited Two Strokes Raw EP brings moombahton to new levels. Like Munchi’s Murda Sound before it, Two Strokes Raw combines the duo’s Baltimore club, electro and rave influences with the nascent genre, birthing something exciting and new.
For the most part, this isn’t straight, 108 moombahton – and that’s a good thing. “Porcacheese” is more tropical electro than moombahton, and “Carta Boost” (featuring club legend Scottie B) is the sound of being lost in Baltimore at 4 in the morning.
The next step for moombahton is songs with organic, recorded vocals – not just samples. To that end, “La Campana” features Mad Decent singer Maluca over its skittering club beat. And as good as “La Campana” is, it has nothing on siren-fueled banger “Pendejas.” The bass is funky and unrelenting, and the 30-second build halfway through the song is simply explosive. Keep an eye out for the track’s video, recorded at an especially rambunctious Tropixxx party.
Two Strokes Raw was written expressly for the sound system of U Street Music Hall, so tomorrow night’s EP release party is sure to be epic. In the same vein, mark your calendar for the next Moombahton Massive – June 16 – featuring Nadastrom, Jen Lasher, Billy the Gent & Cam Jus, Tom B, and Obeyah.