Tonight's Moombahton Massive party at Grand Central marks the first of two back-to-back, Hard-sponsored nights at the venue. As that name indicates, the entire late-night party is devoted to the breezy, 110-ish-bpm bass sound that's currently burning up the underground the way dubstep did a few years back before it broke big. But if all of the iterations you hear of moombahton that night take the sound in vastly different directions, that's the way Dave Nada, the genre's accidental creator, wants it.
"For me, it's a mid-tempo, global bass sound with a tropical vibe," he says. "It's the elements of Dutch and tropical house music, slowed down and sounding awesome at a slow bpm, then mixed that with reggaeton and other Latin dancehall music. It's still the fusion of all that elements.
"But now, really big producers and artists from the dubstep and house music scenes," he adds, continuing. "It's kind of this sound and vibe that a lot of people are picking up on, not just in the club but then on the studio. It kind of reminds me how Baltimore club was about ten years ago, where you had R&B-type Baltimore club stuff and the electro stuff and all other sounds."
As legend has it, Nada created moombahton in 2010 by slowing down DJ Chuckie's track "Moombah" when his younger cousin's friends weren't feeling the house records he was spinning for them at a basement party. (The result sounded a lot like reggaeton, which gave the budding genre its last syllable.) But what really set off moombahton as a genre was the internet. The rise of the genre is a completely '00s story.
Yes, Nada and Matt Nordstrom, his partner in the duo Nadastrom, started playing the new tracks heavily around their D.C.-area base. But it is really a sound that has grown out of the internet, social media, and file-sharing more than a scene based around a physical place.
Many of its top producers are far-flung, and some of the newest names making the rounds are too young to even get into a proper club. That sense of almost global participation -- as well as a fresh sonic palette -- continues to attract newcomers into the fold.
"Producers love the fact that there's so much space in the tempo, as opposed to half-time dubstep and double-time house, juke, and whatever," Nada says. "It's this range people hadn't thought about, and when you have a tempo of about 108 or 110, it does leave room for space, and also, it's just a fun tempo to dance to."
But listeners shouldn't peg Nada necessarily as a moombahton-only guy. With Nadastrom, he continues to explore different sounds from across the electronic spectrum. "We love all kinds of music, and since the beginning of Nadastrom, we've never really locked down one signature style, whether it's electro-house or minimal techno or club or moombahton," Nada says. "We have a handful of remixes we're about to release, and they all sound very different. They're all within the range of 108 to 110 bpm, but we definitely don't limit ourselves when it comes to production."
Nadastrom, at the Hard Miami Moombahton Massive. With Diplo, Dillon Francis, Buraka Som Sistema, Craze, Tittsworth, Toddla T, and others. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $25 in advance; age 18 and up. Click here.
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