There’s little denying it, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has arrived and with it comes an army of bouncing, neon, fanny-pack clad young people quickly pushing it into the mainstream. Joining that army are popular musical icons like Rihanna, Usher, and The Foo Fighters who have quickly identified the trend and began collaborating with Electronic producers like Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Diplo, and David Guetta. World Audience founder and manager of the rock band, Avenged Sevenfold, Larry Jacobson said, “They (Avenged Sevenfold) were the last true rock stars, DJs are the new rock stars.”
One reason why EDM has become so vastly popular is the sheer malleability of the genre; it can be twisted and expanded to cover hundreds of different sub-genres all with fan-bases around the world. One such sub-genre originated in Washington D.C. as a happy accident in 2009, Moombahton (Pronounced Moom-buh-tone), has since been adopted by such top-billed producers as Mad Decent Record Label founder, Diplo, and heavy-bass wunderkind, Skrillex. As these musicians move more and more into the mainstream eye by winning Grammys, headlining festivals, and collaborating with established pop icons, so will the genres that they perform.
At 108 beats per minute, Moombahton is a much more slowed down version of it’s original counterpart, Dutch or Electro house music. It is often characterized with a heavy, spread-out bass line, quick builds, high peaks, and a two-step pulse kept in time with quick tribal-sounding drums. As a sub-genre it takes the Latin flavor of Reggaeton, mixes it in with European EDM influences, and often includes hip hop vocal sampling to tie it all together. With so many different stimuli it draws a diverse crowd of the aforementioned fanny-packs, baggy pants, skinny jeans, dreadlocks, and mohawks.
“Moombahton is the most exciting thing going on in dance music right now,” Said Chicago-based DJ Willy Joy behind thick-framed glasses, a producer of Moombahton himself. “It’s a wide open playing field and the rules haven’t really been defined yet, so you’re hearing all kinds of new and interesting ideas coming from previously unknown producers.”
With all this potential it is not a stretch to say that Moombahton could be that next sound that breaks into the mainstream, as Italian producer Ali Selecta of the Ackeejuice Rockers put it, “I see the scene of our moms listening to Moombahton while cleaning up!”
— Matthew Parsons, ENGL 301-02