Popping Bubbels Part 1

After my post last week I was pointed in the direction of what I suppose is a more authentic or old school example of “bubbling” (thanks, Helder Water). It seems to follow a pattern of appropriation some of us experienced growing up in the 90’s as the amen break was coming into its own.

DJ Moortje – I’m Back (1996)

Around the time some EDM producers, particularly in the UK, were reimagining the more aggressive side of dancehall reggae as a style which would come to be known as Ragga Jungle, it turns out Holland was busy coming up with its own reinvention of the sound. Instead of sampling breaks from old funk records, they tended to concentrate more on the rapidfire kick drum fills that are the hallmark of today’s bubbeling tracks.

Here’s what bubbeling dance looks like (1995)

Yes, the same culture which brought you Gabber and took Jumpstyle to the world stage also has a dedicated subculture of mostly black, urban partygoers who invented a style of music and dance around what sounds to me like the speeding up of dancehall reggae records.

Here’s the direction England was taking around the same time:

Shy FX & UK Apache – Original Nuttah (1994)


Big Tings a Gwan

There are a couple of exciting developments here in Portland I wanted to take a minute to share. The first is Coast2C‘s new radio program. When I first saw her play at S1 with Daniela Karina a couple of months ago, I was refreshed to hear a house mix that didn’t include the seemingly obligatory detours into trap and ratchet I’m so used to putting up with, even from performers I respect at places I like to go.

I was then thrilled to discover she’s a staple at the First Saturdays at High Dive that the organizer behind the now-defunct Discos Discos nights has been putting on at High Dive.

First Saturdays at High Dive are not to be missed if you like Cumbia, Reggaeton, House, and more…

Now you can actually catch her on KBOO FM Tuesday nights starting at midnight. Here’s a recent recording from that. Not many DJ’s here in Portland are playing sets this interesting:

The other thing I’m losing my shit about is that NAAFI is bringing members of their Mexico City collective to Portland on September 18 as part of the unstoppable Club Chemtrail series at Holocene!!!

Followers of my SoundCloud may remember when I began repping tracks by Zutzut during my time in the Dominican Republic. Turns out he’s part of NAAFI, and even though he’s not coming, I couldn’t be more stoked.

Bubblin Up

Friday’s post was incomplete. There is more to be learned by crawling down the rabbit hole that opens when you learn that Moombahton has it’s origin somehow intertwined with Dutch House. Specifically, tracks like the one that begat what is arguably DC’s most important contribution to EDM in the last decade can be found in a series of CDs published annually at the beginning of the current decade under the aegis of something called Bubbling Beats.

The cover art for the Bubblin Beats releases bears a striking resemblance to the Now That’s What I Call Music series

It is evident that one of the purveyors of Bubblin Beats is none other than world famous Dutch DJ, Hardwell.

Hardwell Live @ Tomorrowland 2014

So what does “bubbling” mean? We’re still working on that. So far the best we can do is that it has something to do with the Caribbean. If you dig into what Soundcloud tags and names of parties in Rotterdam can tell you, it appears that the West Indies have once again come to bear in the world of club music.

A quick search into what the internet considers “bubbling” turns up countless mixtapes like this one which seem to feature a selection of beat-heavy dancehall/bashment with the distinction of having the occasional MC rapping over on top of it in Dutch:

Bubbling Terug K-liber4life Mixed By Dj Mba

It may be relevant to note that Portland’s stellar Bubblin routinely fills clubs like Tonic Lounge and Holocene, despite drawing modest crowds as recently as four years ago for international acts like Roska and Dubbel Dutch

Here’s the latest from Bubblin organizer, Ben Tactic:

1. Jungle – The Heat
2. Sasac – The Chase
3. Gwen McCrae – My Feelings For You (Edit)
4. Prins Emanuel & Golden Ivy – Midnight Cruise Pt 2
5. Stevie Wonder – As (Whiskey Barons Rework)
6. Huerco S. – No Jack
7. Reva DeVito – Friday Night (Produced by Kaytranada)
8. Mark E – RnB Drunkie
9. Marvin Gaye – Heavy Love Love Affair (The Revenge Rework)
10. Boohgaloo Zoo – Testify (Soulphiction Boogie Version)
11. Late Night Tuff Guy – Dancefloor Baby
12. XL Middleton & Eddy Funkster – Night Time Is Coming
13. Marquis Hawkes – Roger Funk
14. Modern Amusement – Cold as Ice (Louie Fresco Remix)
15. Galcher Lustwerk – Put On
16. Max Graef – No. 5
17. Unknown – Unknown
18. Jayson Brothers – Monster Box
19. The African Dream – Make A Living

Return of the Partycrasher

Last month we shared with readers the enthusiasm felt by one of Moomahbahton’s a-list for a track by an artist who was fundamental to the development Dutch House. It turns out the former actually gets its name from a track by said artist. Here it is remixed by the artist generally credited with “inventing” the genre:

Silvio Ecomo & DJ Chuckie – Moombah (Dave Nada Remix)

A brief foray into the artist behind the original mix of Moombahton’s eponymous track reveals two things. The first is that he’s responsible for a syndicated radio show that comes out roughly every week and features material that will appeal to readers with more bigroom-friendly sensibilities. Here’s the latest edition:

DJ Chuckie – Dirty Dutch Radio Episode 64

The second thing is that it’s unclear how music like this led to the creation of Moombahton.

Here’s something completely unrelated for Laura who commented on my last post:

DJ Marfox – Beat and Break

On the to-do list:
How this ties in with the Night Slugs aesthetic and artists like Bok Bok
What this has to do with grime
How a grime artist turned me onto Kwaito

From Angola with Love

A couple of days ago, I featured a mix of what some have begun to refer to as Portuguese Bass. I won’t pretend to really have my finger on the throbbing pulse of what’s going on at the cutting edge of Lisbon’s suburbs and the ghettos of Luanda. All I have to offer is a chain of musical comparisons and observations. I will admit that none of this remarkably accomplished, yet still rugged and experimental material would be on my radar right now if it wasn’t for Buraka Som Sistema.

Buraka Som Sistema – Sound of Kuduro

A key word here is Kuduro. In 2010, reggaeteonero Don Omar teamed up with Portuguese-French pop star Lucenzo and put out Danza Kuduro, a track which, at least in Dominican clubs and dance parties, continues to get rinsed four years later. On YouTube it has almost 590,000,000 views.

Don Omar – Danza Kuduro ft. Lucenzo

While not the aggressive class of street-level production found in the mix from last last weekend’s post, it offers perhaps the only example recognizable to many Americans of a track driven by kuduro’s saturated, slapping sort of snare (or is that a handclap?) in a stuttering pattern that resembles a sped-up reggaeton.

Perhaps appropriately, some of the best Kuduro tracks are remixes of American top 40 hits and club tracks. Here’s DZC’s remix of Baauer’s 2012 viral sensation, Harlem Shake:

Baauer – Harlem Shake Kuduro Mashup 2013 (DZC Remix)

Of course it has original classics as well.

Nacobeta & Puto Português – Baba Baba

DZC Deejays – RhythmExplorer Mix Vol.3

Dizona Crew (DZC Deejays) is one of the most consistently impressive sources of African bass music to capture my attention in years. It’s a remarkable feat to have such quality control when you consider the sheer volume of output available from them and the frequency of releases.

The latest installment of the excellent RhythmExplorers series features 50 minutes of choice DZC material

The thing about DZC is that their musical trajectory follows the colorful, unscripted, raw trajectory that has always been a hallmark of electronic dance music but which, it seems to me, has enjoyed a revitalization thanks to the variety of channels and increased diversity of influences seen as the web, well into its third decade, finally begins to deliver on the promise of a truly global musical conversation between artists in the form of DJ Mixes, podcasts, remixes, refixes, flips, rubs and versus tracks.

Munchi – Pun Ain’t Dead (Emynd Remix)

While not an example of the kind of music DZC makes, Philadelpha producer Emynd’s track is a remix of Pun Ain’t Dead by Munchi, a Dominican musician living in Rotterdam. The original and remix feature samples from Puerto Rican rapper Big Pun’s track 100%, the hook of which is comprised of a sample from the 1973 track, El Día de Mi Suerte by salseros Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe. When did we start seeing tracks like this that span 3 genres and 4 countries?

More Current Than Thou

A theme a familiar to the citizens of Portland, Oregon and indeed to hipsterdom worldwide is the phenomenon of being into something “before it was cool”.

Q: Why did the hipster burn his mouth
A: He was drinking coffee before it was cool

The fact of the matter is that we are constantly drinking from a fire hose of media. The content that gets pushed out the most is most likely to be familiar. The volume you’d have consume to be the first person “into” everything that later becomes a fad makes it impossible. Even the most committed of us are surprised when it actually happens even once.

The sea is too mainstream for hipter Ariel

Frequent readers of Volumes of Bass will notice that we are usually anything but timely. We recently had the good fortune to stumble onto a dance phenomenon, however, which we were informed yesterday is having it’s day in the sun:

If you look at DJ Ripley’s comment in response, you’ll see that some of the kids featured in the documentary just performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. It turns out they even got a big write-up on NBC News, and whose unmistakable face is that behind the decks in the banner for the article? Why, it’s none other than DJ Edgar:

Cumbias I Have Known: Part 1

I recently had the rare privilege to be initiated in a new and mysterious world. It is one I expect I will explore in these posts many times over in years to come. That world belongs to the flashy and sometimes bewildering genre of Peruvian Cumbia.

Delfín Quishpe – Torres Gemelas (yes, I know he’s Ecuadorian, but he’s huge in Peru)

A partial translation of the lyrics:

When I went to New York
I thought I’d see my sweetheart
She lived in New York and worked in the Twin Towers
A call, I received it
It simply said “Goodbye my love”

Like much that comes from Perú, the personalities of its upper echelon are larger than life.

Delfín Quishpe feat. Wendy Sulca & La Tigresa del Oriente – En Tus Tierras Bailaré

In roughly the same way that Rock and Roll is celebrated in the English-speaking world, Cumbia runs like a common thread through much of Latin America, exhibiting a distinct character in every context where it has emerged.

Wendy Sulca – Cerveza, Cerveza

In the above 2007 video, the 13-year-old Peruvian cumbia star, Wendy Sulca cries out for “Beer, Beer”.

There is so much variety on the world of cumbia that one installment on the subject isn’t possibly enough. And while I have nowhere near the authority on the subject as I did when I tackled amen breaks, I won’t let that keep me from trying.

La Tigresa del Oriente – Nuevo Amanecer

Something heard in Peruvian cumbia which seems somewhat distinct is that it sometimes features harp as the instrument which carries the main melody (sometimes as many as three melodies are woven together in a single cumbia track). I suspect the instrument’s presence has something to do with the shared cultural heritage of Peruvian cumbia and Huayno.

Incidentally, harp is one of the sounds that came into vogue toward the beginning of the current decade in the world of house music:

Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got the Love (The XX Remix)

If this is your jam, the artist responsible is performing in Portland on August 21!

Because Toy Selectah is tha bomb, here’s his Guarachero refix:

Florence + the Machine x The XX – You’ve Got the Love (Toy Selectah Guarachero Refix)