Tag Archives: DJ A-Mac

The Moombootleg: An Unofficial History of Moombahton, Part 1

Even though it seems ubiquitous, devotees of moombahton must remember that their cherished genre is still a mystery to the music world at large. For those of us who have been following the ascendant sound, it’s easy to forget that most people can’t answer the question, “what is moombahton?”

Describing it as a Dutch house and reggaeton hybrid certainly doesn’t do the trick – that’s just jargon. You could try retelling the genre’s “origin story,” as it were, with Dave Nada slowing down a record into something more palatable for his cousin’s skip party, but that’s a setting, not a sound. Play the Nada-compiled Blow Your Head 2, and you get a specific vision of moombahton, albeit through Mad Decent’s rose-colored glasses. None of these give you a complete picture of a genre that has undergone so much in just over a year.

For those reasons and more, I’ve compiled The Moombootleg: 19 tracks over 80 minutes that attempts to present the story of moombahton for beginners. Moombahnistas might get a bit of nostalgia from these tracks, as I did when assembling it, but the real audience is your co-worker, your siblings, or even your parents, so they can finally understand moombahton. You can even fit it on a CD (remember those?) and let it blow the car speakers out as you educate your neighborhood.

Postcultural and TGRIOnline present… The Moombootleg: An Unofficial History of Moombahton

Dave Nada, “Moombahton”

The track that started it all. Its birth a 21st century accident: “Moombah” by Silvio Ecomo & Chuckie, remixed by Afrojack, made new by Dave Nada. The word “moombahton” had been floating around social networks since Nada played his new tunes at Winter Olympics afterparties, but the public didn’t hear it until he took over the decks at a pair of late night gigs, first at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and then post-KIDS at DC9. I was at the latter, and the visceral experience will stay with me forever.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll (A-Mac Moombahton Edit)”

One of the first producers to grab Dave’s edits and make some moombahton was Calgary DJ A-Mac. The original “Heads Will Roll” was already a hit, and A-Trak’s electro edit made it palatable for the dance floor. A-Mac’s edit of the latter was one of the first of many moombahton edits and remixes to spread like wildfire. I interviewed A-Mac; he would go on to put together the first Culipandeo mixtape for TGRIOnline.

Steve Starks, “Lydia (Nadastrom’s Moombahton Remix)”

Back in DC, Nouveau Riche party-starters Steve Starks and Nacey were prepping their second EP, and first for T&A Records, Time Run Out. Starks’ Latin house jam “Lydia” is built around a sample of the father of reggaeton, El General. With that lineage, it begged for a moombahton remix. Nadastrom obliged with this bonus track.

Munchi, “Metele Bellaco”

Munchi’s story dovetails nicely with that of moombahton. The self-described “kid with big hair that loves to make all kinds of music” had already released promo EPs in various styles – Baltimore club, baile funk and even dubstep – but it wasn’t until his moombahton promo that his name ricocheted through the electronic music community. “Metele Bellaco” is moombahton at its finest: the “Planet Rock” riff, the Yaviah rap, and the Dutch house drums could only come from a Dominican living in Rotterdam. This is how a global movement is built.

Dave Nada, “Punk Rock Latino (Moombahton edit)”

T&A continued its moombahton dominance, including this gem off the EP of the same name. While “La Gata” and “KRS Moombahton” are arguably more essential to the sound, this is practically Nada’s theme song, biography and motto all in one.

Heartbreak & Munchi, “Boneknuckles (Moombahton Remix)”

At TGRIOnline, Marcus Dowling and I had faithfully been covering every development in the genre, so when we received an email from Munchi it felt like Christmas. Munchi described the origin of each track on this collaborative EP with Charlotte producer David Heartbreak, in a verbose style that he would repeat in each successive announcement email. The Munbreakton EP brought hip-hop, R&B, baile funk, and bubbling influences to the forefront. Together or separate, there would be no moombahton without Heartbreak and Munchi.

Drop The Lime x East Flatbush Project, “Tried by Sex Sax (Doc Adam Moombahton Edit)”

For underground club-goers, Drop the Lime’s “Sex Sax” was the song of the summer in 2010. Portland’s Doc Adam mashed it up with a throwback to ‘96, East Flatbush Project’s “Tried by Twelve.” The remix refreshed DTL’s bass jam for moombahton fans.

Munchi, “Pun Aint Dead”

Following up where Munbreakton left off was the Fuck H & M promo. Only Munchi could mix salsa great Héctor Lavoe with rapper Big Pun and pull it off. The first of many anthemic moombahton bangers, the producer summed it up best: “Who the fuck invited Pun? Yeah I did, fuck you.”

Heartbreak, “Shy Day” and “King Kong”

Like Munchi, Heartbreak is an extremely prolific producer with a strong grasp on moombahton and its possibilities. That’s why TGRIOnline booked him to play with DJs Cam Jus and Obeyah. Unfortunately, the night was a bust, but it did get three rising producers in the same room. Heartbreak’s third Moombahma EP (M3) dropped that November, giving a name to moombahton’s first subgenres: the moombahsoul of “Shy Day” and the moombahcore of “King Kong.” Whether sampling Sade or Denzel, Heartbreak is a pro. Yet even he couldn’t have predicted the staying power of “King Kong:” “I do not expect people to dance to this shit, or even play it in the club, but fuck it, every song has its place… and [its] is the gutter.”

Check back tomorrow for the second installment of this unofficial history of moombahton, as the movement goes global while keeping DC at the forefront.

Download: The Moombootleg

Notes from the Moombahton Movement

One year ago, I wrote my first piece about moombahton, profiling OG moombahnista DJ A-Mac. This month has seen so many developments that I think it’s helpful to catalog them all in one post. So here goes:

Moombahton Massive III

To mark the the appropriately massive Megaton event at SXSW, the third installment in the Moombahton Massive EP series was released. Sol Selecta Sabo provides two offerings, including a take on the oft-sampled “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band (“Patchy Moombahton”). Always with an ear for crossovers, A-Mac flips “Drop” by Timbaland and Magoo. Pickster One, Melo, and Apt One also contribute, but leave it to the originators for the finest track. Nadastrom stretches the Axwell & Dirty South remix of the Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” into an uplifting seven-minute epic.

Download Moombahton Massive EP III

Dillon Francis – Westside!

Last week, Mad Decent dropped the highly-anticipated Westside! EP from Dillon Francis. It doesn’t disappoint: Francis’ crowd-pleasing electro-house style transitions nicely into block rocking moombahton beats. The title track is a moombahcore banger that references one of the genre’s earliest songs, Nada’s “Riverside.” Maluca on a moombahton track is a no-brainer, and “Que Que” explores relatively new (and necessary) territory: producers using original vocals on their tracks. Dutch-flavored car siren synths power “Brazzer’s Theme,” which – like most tracks Munchi gets his hands on – is overshadowed by the remix.

“Moombahton: Born in D.C., bred worldwide”

By night, Sami Y is a DC DJ and party promoter of events, either in warehouses or his own house. By day, he works at NPR, where he continues to trumpet moombahton’s growth on the public airwaves.

“After moombahton comes moombriton”

Neil Queen of Pop Culture Care Package published an excellent piece about a new hotbed of moombahton: the UK (where else?). The piece is extensive and features an interview and exclusives from rising producer Smutlee.

Mixes from the Capitol

DC’s own Cam Jus and Billy the Gent have been ably carrying the Moombahton Monday torch with their Tropixxx parties at Velvet Lounge (next up: April 3). The duo also have a slot on the Moombahton Massive / Munchi benefit at U Hall in April. These are all can’t miss events, but in the meantime, check out Cam’s mix for trendsetting DC brand Black Collection.

Not to be outdone, Obeyah (who is also playing the Munchi benefit), just dropped a “thrashhall” mix. It’s full of exclusives, including unreleased tracks by Steve Starks, Tittsworth, and Alvin Risk, and it hits all parts of the tropical bass explosion.

Bonus: Head over to my old home, True Genius Requires Insanity, for an exclusive mix from Lithuanian producer Boyfriend. It’s a tribute to just how global this movement is.

TGRIOnline x David Heartbreak present… Culipandeo: Volumen Dos

Moombahton keeps growing, with new sounds, new DJs, and even new countries of origin. So it was clear that Culipandeo, DJ A-Mac’s TGRI exclusive mixtape, needed a sequel. After covering the Munbreakton and Barack Moombahma EPs, we knew Charlotte’s David Heartbreak had to man the tables for the next one.

Throughout Culipandeo Volumen Dos, Heartbreak effortlessly blends his own productions with those of frequent collaborators Munchi and DJ Melo. Notably, the half hour mix is better suited for sipping tequila than slamming body shots, with its chilled out moombahton versions of “Hey Lover,” “Ready of Not,” and “Single.” Things get a little harder about halfway through, when the grimey bass of “Barbie Weed” before closing with Heartbreak and Munchi’s “Boneknuckles.”

More than anything, Culipandeo Volumen Dos leaves you wanting more, and Heartbreak promises just that. Later this month, he’ll be appearing on a moombahton compilation with moombahton masters Dave Nada, A-Mac, Munchi, and Melo, among others. Then comes a moombahton meets club music mix entitled Moombahmore, and another volume of Munbreakton. Apparently, when you’re part of the moombahton revolution, there’s no rest for the weary.

Tracklist for Culipandeo Volumen Dos:

1. David Heartbreak- Sweet Tea
2. Heartbreak & Munchi- Aponte o Nao
3. DJ Melo- Sientelo (Moombahton edit)
4. David Heartbreak- Moombahma
5. Munchi- Soltero y Sin Compromiso
6. Sam Tiba – Barbie Weed (Yeah! edit)
7. DJ Melo- Told ya (Moombahton edit)
8. Munchi- Toma Bermibau (Original mix)
9. Heartbreak & Munchi- Boneknuckles

TGRIOnline x DJ A-Mac present… Culipandeo: The Moombahton Mixtape

Moombahton is perfect summer music. The chopped-and-screwed house elements and Latin percussion transport you to beach parties in tropical locales, complete with sand between your toes and a rum drink in your hand. But most of all, moombahton is built for that favorite summer pastime: dancing. With that in mind, TGRIOnline is pleased to present Culipandeo, a moombahton mix by rising selector and moombahton connoisseur DJ A-Mac.

Dave Nada and A-Mac have been 1A and 1B when it comes to the developing genre. A-Mac’s take on the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll” was one of the first moombahton jams to catch fire, and the Calgary DJ continues to dominate the sound, dropping nine of his own edits on the mixtape. A-Mac’s skills don’t just lie in remixing, but in finding hot tracks and coaxing out a moombahton groove, as he does with the NROTB remix of Drop the Lime’s “Set Me Free” and the Highschool remix of Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better.”

The mix will keep you dancing for nearly an hour and hits the touchstones of the young genre. Tracks by the man himself (“KRS Moombahton Edit”, “La Gata Plastica”) are included for good measure, but the highlight just may be when Modjo’s “Lady” melts into Timbaland & Magoo’s “Drop.”

Call it what you will – el culipandeo, the booty shake, the hip roll – moombahton makes you dance. So cop it, crank it, and move it this summer! And be sure to show the DJ some love: find A-Mac on Facebook, Soundcloud, Myspace, and Twitter.

Download Culipandeo: The Moombahton Mixtape

Tracklist for Culipandeo: The Moombahton Mixtape

1. Opulent Sound – Stickin Moombahton Edit
2. Momma’s Boy vs MikiX the Cat – At Night **
3. Smalltown Romeo – Boom (Sammy Bananas Boombahton Mix)
4. Jacuzzi Club – Theme Riddim
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll **
6. Drop The Lime – Set Me Free (NROTB Carnival Remix) **
7. Dave Nada – KRS Moombahton Edit
8. Tom Deluxx Mat the Alien Moombahton Edit
9. Munchi – Metele Bellaco
10. N.A.S.A – Watchadoin (DJ Alvaro remix Uncle Jesse Moompatron Edit)
11. Hot Chip – I Feel Better (Highschool remix) **
12. Dave Nada – La Gata Plastica (Sabo Remix)
13. Dave Nada vs Dj Jean – MoombahLaunch **
14 . A-Mac – Hooo your crew
15. The XX – Crystalized (Lorcan Mak remix)**
16. Sabo & Cassady – La Curura
17. Mastiksoul ft. Carla Carlim – Baila Bonito **
18. Modjo – Lady **
19. Timbaland & Magoo – Drop **
20. DJ Dus – Pussy Marijuana Cumbow

** = A-Mac Moombahton Edit

DJ A-Mac Keeps 'Em Dancing

If you’ve been paying attention to the moombahton movement, you’re already familiar with DJ A-Mac. Remixes by Calgary’s fastest rising selector have shaken asses from coast to coast and across continents. Next to Dave Nada, A-Mac is the producer with the firmest hand on the nascent genre.

When I interviewed A-Mac in March, he tipped us off to Smalltown Romeo, the DJ supergroup that dominates the Calgary electronic music scene. The triumvirate is comprised of Smalltown DJs Pete Emes and Mike Grimes and disco producer Wax Romeo, and is a force to be reckoned with. The Smalltown DJs’ Hai Karate party has rocked crowds for over a decade, and the duo also owns a clothing and record boutique, Giant 45. So it’s no surprise that when the guys decided to release a series of mixes for Giant 45, A-Mac was one of the first musicians tapped.

A-Mac’s mix is an hour of non-stop house and electro goodness, demonstrating his range as a DJ and cratedigger. It forgoes tracks-of-the-moment for modern takes on classics, like Luciano’s remix of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” or the Plastic Operator’s Tom Petty-referencing “Wont back down vs. Night Fall.” Other highlights include bits of electro-rockers Body Language (“Sandwiches”) and queen of bounce Sissy Nobby (“Lay Me Down”) remixed by Alaska in Winter and L-vis 1990, respectively.

The mix is a cohesive, grooving party-in-a-box. No track feels out of place or forced. By the time the mix concludes with 1967 #1 “The Letter” by blue-eyed-soul group the Box Tops, you’ll be a sweaty mess, yearning for more. Somebody, anybody buy A-Mac a ticket to U Hall and book him for a Red Friday. Soon.

As a bonus, A-Mac has released his moombahton remixes for download on his SoundCloud. And there’s more where that came from: stayed tuned for a TGRI exclusive moombahtoon mixtape this summer!

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.