Answering the question “what is moombahton?” couldn’t possibly be answered in one post. Today, I’ll move on from the OGs (mostly), recalling a year that saw moombahton bounce across the world.
Jon Kwest, “Run Di Track”
While moombahton is a global movement and not a regional one, it found a special place with the club music scene (not surprising, considering Dave Nada’s roots). Philly by way of Baltimore DJ Jon Kwest is a perfect example of this, contributing to both Bmore Original and Moombah Original records. “Run Di Track” has the car siren synths of Dutch house and a beat that doesn’t give up.
Pier Bucci & Samim, “Hay Consuelo (Obeyah edit)”
Moombahton allows a producer to infuse it with his own style. DC’s Obeyah takes a turntablist mentality to the deep house of “Hay Consuelo,” proving that every song in the set doesn’t have to be a banger to get crowds moving. With the finesse of a house DJ, Obeyah keeps the groove going like none other.
DJ Melo, “Song For My Children (radio edit)”
Melo was the perfect candidate for the third volume of TGRI’s Culipandeo mixtape series (following A-Mac and Heartbreak). With a background of spinning reggaeton, house and Latin music, the Phoenix DJ has the perfect pedigree for moombahton, and the smooth, soulful vibe of this very personal song shines through every time.
Vybz Kartel, “Yuh Love (Boyfriend remix)”
For the next Culipandeo, Marcus reached out to a DJ that spoke to the global nature of the moombahton movement. “Tropical bass” and “Lithuania” are unlikely partners, but Boyfriend (Vytis Gruzdys) makes it work. His edit of Vybz Kartel’s dancehall hit “Yuh Love” actually speeds up the original to the swift 108 BPM where moombahton resides. From Jamaica to Lithuania and back to the States: a very moombahton story.
Alex Clare, “Too Close (Nadastrom remix)”
Leave it to Nadastrom to best all their peers in the moombahton remix game. While their take on Alex Clare’s “Up All Night” is stuck in record company purgatory, “Too Close” remains a peak hour killer with its soulful build and half-time breakdown. Says Alex Clare: “I’m honoured to be associated with moombahton; it’s genuine, no pretence party music. There are not many other genres that can still claim that.”
Long Jawns & Billy the Gent, “Vibrate 2.0”
Just a year ago, Billy the Gent was killing ‘em with wobbles, and now he’s at the center of the moombahton scene, thanks to a firm grip on the zeitgeist and an easygoing, collaborative attitude. With longtime collaborator Long Jawns, the Gent crafted “Vibrate” out of the Petey Pablo track of the same name. “Vibrate” destroys dance floors.
Cam Jus, “Metro Center (Step Back)”
Along with running the spiritual successor to Dave Nada’s Moombahton Mondays (the monthly Tropixxx party) with Billy the Gent, Cam is a producer and DJ bar none. While “Even the Gringoes,” “The Stabs” or “Ease the Pain” would fit in here, this is the quintessential DC moombahton track, from one of DC’s fastest rising stars.
JWLS, “6 foot 7 foot (J-trick remix)”
This track is a bank shot, encapsulating the collaborative culture that moombahton embodies. Take a club favorite Lil’ Wayne track, amp it into a Dutch house banger (courtesy Miami moombahnista JWLS) and then screw it down into moombahton (as Australian wunderkind J-Trick did). Seeing producers across the world work on tracks like this is part of the moombahton mystique.
Alvin Risk & Tittsworth, “Pendejas”
“Pendejas” had floated around the moombahton and DJ scenes for a while before its release Plant Music. Everyone knew it would be major – but the masses had to wait. With an insane video shot at Tropixxx – including a Titts “stage” dive – “Pendejas” is already a moombahton classic.
“What is moombahton?” As these producers and many more have proven, the answer is always changing. It’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s only beginning.
Download: The Moombootleg