What The Fuck Is 'Moombahton'?

It's not a mutant strain of Moomins, but the newest wave of bass heavy electronic music taking over the clubs and it looks like it'll be the soundtrack to your summer.
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It's not a mutant strain of Moomins, but the newest wave of bass heavy electronic music taking over the clubs and it looks like it'll be the soundtrack to your summer.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Moombahton was a cross between the Moomins and another incomprehensibly named kids show. It’s not. It's the newest wave of electronic music that is packed with bass. It’s genuinely very catchy and I’m more than happy to have an excuse to gyrate while appreciating other women doing likewise. Creator of Moombahton Dave Nada’s story is infuriatingly simple, hinting to those attempting to earnestly craft genre defining music with constipated strain, that strain isn’t necessary. Moombahton’s humble beginnings were at a homecoming party for Dave Nada’s cousin in Washington DC. Midway through his set, realising that he, a Techno House DJ, was ill equipped for a crowd who wanted to violently thrust their bodies to Reggaeton, decided to think on his feet. He slowed an Afrojack remix of a track called Moombah to 108 bpm and mixed in Reggaeton rhythm Dembow. Then, as Nada says, “the kids went mental!”, he had discovered an instant success.

The general principle being: get a genre, slow it down between 108 and 110 bmp, incorporate a heavy dose of sex appeal and able bodied grinding twenty some-things in a bass driven format, and party.

Nada polished the concept in 2009, the general principle being: get a genre, slow it down between 108 and 110 bmp, incorporate a heavy dose of sex appeal and able bodied grinding twenty some-things in a bass driven format, and party. By 2010 he had produced a 5 track EP that stormed the music scenes across the States and Europe.

My first jaunt into Moombahton, was a Toddla T remix by Dillon Francis (one of the heavy hitters in the growing scene) and I'm now utterly smitten with it. It’s a sound that conjures up welcome images of intoxicated dancing on holiday, to a sunset backdrop with that guy whose name you can’t remember. My journey further into the genre has been a dizzy array of sceney names and who's who in the production and DJ spotlight. It became clear that this movement’s foundation is based on hundreds of Facebook “Likes” and blog posts from a bevy of adoring hipster types.

Early Moombahton tracks, however, have a tendency to sound an awful lot alike. The newer emerging instalments, rather than just comprising of an impressive array of edits and remixes, are starting to create original, new and intriguing music from scratch. Trendy-ites who are currently the most exciting artists to work with, like Diplo of Major Lazer and M.I.A fame are adopting a Moombahton style, in turn spreading the concept even further than the original instigators could have imagined. The rise of this being the main reason it's getting so much kudos from the musos. Its buzz has made it warmly received in the UK, with a heavy inclusion on Radio 1.

So there you go, Moombahton’s has become the unplanned pregnancy of music, that grows up to become the well adjusted, popular and really successful bastard that you’re a bit jealous of. Expect to see “MOOMBAHTON SWAG” or other such ironic captions, in neon sticker form on the pristine Macbook of some dickhead sitting in Starbucks, gazing wistfully at his fixie bike screensaver.

There will always be skeptics, and scorn filled mutterings of “not another sub section to house music”, but it’s worth forming your own opinion, if not to get the excitement of looming summer parties and festivals that promise to make Moombahton the soundtrack of your frolicking season.

Flying the Moombahton  flag for the UK is Club Popozuda at the East  Village Club.

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