Nothing gives me more of a charge than finding the source of a sample “in the wild”. And this is about the last one I thought I’d ever get an ID for, but I think I have it. It’s that deliciously goofy “oh no” vocal sample that so eloquently punctuates Ynfynyt Scroll and C.Z.’s scorching zouk bass dancehall chiller, “Danca Grave”:
Today’s post is about something of equal import that we here at Volumes of Bass have been meaning to share. This Friday, October 24 is the second installment of Gran Ritmos. And guess who’s playing it this time? None other than Coast2c and Michael Bruce themselves. Check out this dope mix the latter just dropped to promote it:
If you enjoyed the phenomenal Discos Discos parties Bruce used to throw at Holocene, you’ll appreciate the continuation of those nights’ format at The Rose, a venue that always draws in interesting mix of clientele.
While the idea of a banning an entire genre of music in the digital era may seem laughable, it’s important to remember that the success of a ban isn’t measured by whether or not the thing being banned can reach its audience, but rather by whether the people trying to sell it can stay in business.
Africa Beatz Deejays – Tarraxo Sem Respeito
For an example of when this has been tried before, one need look no further than North America’s neighbor to the south, Puerto Rico. You may remember from earlier this month our discussion of the origin of that island’s most recent contribution to dance music, Reggaeton. In the mid-90’s when reggaeton mixtapes were beginning to gain traction among Puerto Rico’s youth, a politician named Velda González became the island’s version of Tipper Gore when she championed the cause of protecting it from the musics’s supposed social ills.
The Constitution says we all got a right to speak
Say what we want Tip, your argument is weak
Unlike the courts here in the States, the Puerto Rican authorities succeeded in establishing that reggaeton qualified as illegal pornography. To be fair, there was a visual element to the genre that was largely inspired by North American artists’ depictions of hip hop’s subject matter. And the Puerto Rican version stretched the limits of tastelessness to perhaps an even greater extent. (I’ll spare you the details, but if you peruse the video search results for Ranking Stone, you’ll get the idea.)
DJ Playero – 39 Respect
Regardless of its ethical merit, the ban on reggaeton was used to seize thousands of dollars worth of cassettes and CDs from stores all over Puerto Rico. At the time, you could be pulled over for having it playing in your car and forced to hand over the tape. While the ruling that made this legal was ultimately overturned, the response from the business community was to do the converse of what record labels in the United States found necessary in the PMRC‘s regulatory environment. Rather than putting labels on releases containing “objectionable” content, they took it upon themselves to label the stuff that wasn’t particularly vulgar and, in some cases, stick to only selling material of that variety:
Clean Lyrics label used to label reggaeton as such
While many did not stay there, a significant enough proportion did that parts of Panama City now have a majority black population. As is often the case when foreigners bring their music and culture to a new country, you saw an interesting blend of sounds which led to what some consider reggaeton’s closest relative, Reggae En Español.
Nando Boom – Dem Bow
In an amusing example of circular logic, a click on the link to the English-language translation for the Dutch wikipedia article on bubbeling takes the reader to the article on sandungueo. Known more widely as “perreo” or what we here in North America might call “bump and grind,” sandungueo is the style of dance most closely associated with reggaeton.
Latin Fresh – Ella Se Arrebata
Thus, by following a musical trajectory from the Caribbean to the Netherlands and a separate one from the Caribbean to Latin America, we arrive in the same tiny corner of cyberspace concerned not with balanced inquiry into what exactly these musical styles are but rather the scandal of all the pelvic thrusts that happen when they are played.
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…
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.
Munchi recently very conspicuously featured a track on his Facebook page by the one and only DJ Chuckie, proclaiming, “this is my shit!”
For those of you who ain’t know, Munchi IS MY SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Observe:
Munchi – Pun Aint Dead
Tell us with a straight face, that the 300th time you heard Eddy Lover champion reggaeton’s softer side, crooning ALGUUUUNA VEEEEZ, you didn’t pine for someone else (besides Nigga) to come along and progress the genre further into uncharted club music territory
La Factoria – Perdoname ft. Eddy Lover
What could possibly emerge to fill the void? Enter Moombahton.
Nadastrom & Sabo – The Union BBQ Mix
While this is the first mention of Moombahton inna disya website pon de intanet, it will most certainly not be the last.
Check out this nicely-balanced showcase of artists currently working in the genre. While it’s not exactly a who’s-who of the Moombahton‘s founding figures, that fact, and the truth that there are still this many good new examples to be found, are testaments to its veracity as a genre:
Various Artists – Original Moombahton Vol II
Here is a download of the Union mix:
And just for fun, here’s a Moombahton remix of an awful song that came out the year I graduated from high school:
Christina Aguilera ft. Redman – Dirrty (TMH & Nick Mathon Moombahton Bootleg)
My previous post contains a track by a Panamanian artist who has named himself a word that has its origin in a deep-seated legacy of oppression and is understood very differently outside the artist’s cultural context. While this is unfortunate, depending on your viewpoint, it may also be hilarious.
While it’s all well and good to sample the imagery, language, and music of cultures you don’t understand and use it for source material in your own projects, an educated artist is wary of the potential to embarrass him- or herself. Consider the following example:
Timbaland – Indian Flute
Despite Timbaland‘s undeniable mastery of production, he never really took off as the star performing over his beats. In addition to subjecting us to the indignity of having his nonsense syllables passed off to us as something more than the most basic, uninspiring form of creativity, the above track contains another, more subtle insult to the listener’s intelligence.
What’s the insult, you ask? The flute isn’t Indian. It actually comes from a track by Colombian folk singer, Totó La Momposina.
Totó La Momposina – Curura
Beenie Man demonstrates the proper use of the n-word in his track, Girls Dem Sugar (prod. The Neptunes):
For those of you outside the United States who don’t understand how offensive the word is to some people, check out the radio edit (“nigga” has been edited out of it): http://youtu.be/sW_ePQRvrKI
Six years ago, while living next to the rainforests of Guatemala’s altiplano, I discovered a reggaetonero who calls himself Nigga and who makes what I can only describe as Latin club music’s answer to Natalie Imbruglia (minus the brooding introspection). Observe:
Nigga – Te Quiero
Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
For some unfathomable reason, this sort of borrowing of racial identity is nowhere near as uncommon in the sordid world of untalented singing and rapping as it is in other spheres. An amusing example of some of North America’s more misguided attempts at this kind of appropriation can be found in Busta Rhymes’ “Arab Money”:
Busta Rhymes – Arab Money
It is in this puzzling undercurrent within United States hip hop that we find Nigga’s closest potential analog in choice of name. I’m referring, of course, to the inimitable Arab, henchman to the rapper who brought you such unforgettable favorites as “Crank That” and “Kiss Me Thru The Phone“.
Arab – 31st Floor
To make the trifecta complete, we need a Chaabi artist to adopt a name that pays tribute to some ethnic group from Latin America.
Here’s the video to Te Quiero:
And and for your enjoyment, Arab’s latest release:
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