The Internet takes a lot of flack for ruining the record industry, eroding popular audio fidelity standards, and crippling listeners’ attention spans, but it does a lot of cool things to music as well. Things like helping a style of music borne out of one suburban Maryland basement party become a global—if admittedly niche—phenomenon in less than a year, as well as helping to document the process as it happens.
As a fascinating DC City Paper article informs us, the dance style known as Moombahton was created accidentally when DC DJ Dave Nada found out that a house party his cousin asked him to spin was full of reggaeton and bachata fans who probably wouldn’t dig the house and techno he had in his Serato. He tried to adapt by slowing the 130 BPM tracks down to a more reggaeton-ish 108 and ended up with a sound that not only made the crowd flip completely out but pointed at a viable stylistic hybrid. (The name is a portmanteau combining “reggaeton” and “Moombah,” the name of one of the cultishly popular Dutch techno track “Moombah” that Nada originially tweaked.) Within months Moombahton had found an international audience that includes everyone from Diplo to Waka Flocka Flame.
You can sample the sounds of Moombahton via Nada’s free digital EP here, but even if you aren’t a dance music fan the story makes for a fascinating read.