Moombathton Massive is TONIGHT at U Street Music Hall … let’s take a look at what to expect:
By now, as a hip/aware DC resident, you’ve at least heard of moombahton, the reggaeton-meets-slowed down house music hybrid genre invented by Dave Nada in 2009. Maybe you know the creation story by heart, maybe you’ve occasionally purchased or downloaded a few tracks. For a few of you, you’ve been to a Moombahton Massive event at U Street Music Hall, and while you had an amazing time, the idea that it was so hot in the venue that the walls were sweating may have you on the fence for ever wanting to return. And of course, there are those of you for whom moombahton – in having a tempo somewhere between rap and dance, and in being allowing a two-step dance style – allows you, as well as every single one of your friends (whether gifted dancers or not) to have transforming “EDM” experiences on a monthly basis.
For me, moombahton has exceeded all of that, and is literally a way of life. Alongside the many jobs I hold and tasks I complete in life, I co-founded Vamos Promo, a PR and marketing firm that almost solely works with artists and projects aligned with moombahton. I host a weekly online radio program too, the Vamos Hour, at 11 AM EST every Wednesday on Listen Vision Recording Studio’s WLVS Radio (a station with 80 hours of broadcasting every week for which I am the director). 2013 may be the sound’s breakthrough year and star making space insofar as mainstream notoriety and developing a new era of DJ heroes. Hence, the Moombahton Massive events at the now world-renowned U Street Music Hall are the kind of moments in the history of pop culture that you would ideally want to attend. Thus, I’ll be providing monthly previews of the event – especially of the guests – to ensure that as a partier know who’s spinning, why they’re spinning, and possibly an idea of the wildness and great vibes expected.
February’s Massive is an entirely local-based affair, featuring producers and DJs with deep ties to the DC Metropolitan area. As always, the skills and talents of genre inventor Dave Nada as well as his cohort Matt Nordstrom – who combine to create Nadastrom – will be in the building. Dave’s history as a local punk icon, blended with years of living in Baltimore and sitting under the learning tree with Baltimore club legends like Scottie B and KW Griff while being a resident at the legendary (now defunct) Taxlo party are important too.
Add in a love of everything from hip-hop to tech house, and you get the diverse blend that makes Dave working in moombahton so ideal. So much of moombahton is about slowing something down in order to investigate its vibes and improve them. Aiding in that process is Matt Nordstrom, a DC-area native and Grammy nominated producer and engineer whose history with house titans Deep Dish speaks for itself. Having such a studied and nuanced understanding of acoustics and sonic quality makes Nadastrom tracks – especially big winners like their remixes of crooner Alex Clare’s “Too Close” and “Up All Night” those unmistakably great “hands-in-the-air” moments for which nights like this were made.
Key to moombahton’s progression as a genre is DJ Sabo. In fact, it was his October 2009 release on Latin culture-meets-dance imprint Bersa Discos (Bersas Discos #6) that served as a tremendous influence to Nada and Nordstrom in the genre’s earliest days of development. Sabo’s unique blend of funk, bass, soul and Latin style is key to the sound. The dichotomous notion of heavy finesse is key to his style, making his sets the moments when you ideally want to hold someone close for loving, or to wildly twerk the night away.
Billy the Gent and Long Jawns are a story of two area folks done good. Billy’s a Cali-to-Richmond-to DC transplant, Long Jawns (aka Long Phung) his homie from his time in VA, and now production partner. The key to everything Gent and Jawns is melody and mayhem. In moombahton, they’re the creative force behind “Vibrate,” the crunching bruiser of a danceable-yet-crunk sex anthem that greatly assisted from moombahton’s initial spread from the underground to the festival circuit. Now, as a combination, the duo are extremely in the favor of Diplo and his Mad Decent label. With a now steadily growing number of collaborations, remixes and their own releases with the label (and otherwise), their rise is as quick ans it is impressive and deserved. 2013 already has them out of the gates hard. Both their collaboration with Nadastrom, “Snake Juice,” from the popular Moombahton Forever EP, as well as their contribution to trap’s viral takeover, “Turn Up,” have reached anthem status almost instantaneously.
Waldorf, MD native Jen Lasher – aside from being proposed to by her fiance Dave Nada while standing on top of the DJ booth at U Hall during a Moombahton Massive – is a top DJ with a track record of excellence in spinning house, dubstep, hip-hop and now, moombahton. In a genre full of dudes being dudes and often acting in a most bro-tastic manner, Lasher brings grace and fury from the fairer sex into the scene. During her often incredibly hard and heavy sets, don’t be surprised to see her pick up a microphone and start singing or rapping, the spontaneous energy of her style making for incredibly fun moments.
DJ Madd OD may be the least US mainstream renowned of the folks spinning at this month’s event, but the perpetually in-the-studio DC resident’s sounds certainly won’t keep you off the dance floor. As the touring DJ for Latin rap superstar Fuego, Madd OD gets to drop moombahton in front of enormous crowds on a regular basis. From Bolivia to Guatemala, as well as Spain and numerous other countries, he’s allowed moombahton to leave an indelible global impression.