There was a time when moombahton was fresh, new, exciting, and relatively unknown as a genre. Those who made it were EDM up-and-comers, also-rans, hopefuls, wanna-be’s, and never-quite-were’s, and the sound reflected their unique passions and twisted visions of what the mainstream should look, sound and feel like. Much to the chagrin of me as a journalist covering those early days, it was always a case of the sound doing the talking more than the creators themselves. Now, it’s 2013 and moombahton is in television commercials, promotional videos, being played on main stages at festivals and, well, being made by people who are superstars, legends, household names, and mainstream heroes. However, the OG moombahtonistas have arrived with a counterbalance to moombahton’s mainstreaming.
Within moombahton’s development, the Latin vibe – arguably the not-so-secret weapon of moombahton’s underground-to-mainstream rise – was lost. Phoenix’s DJ Melo and Pickster One now produce as the tandem Kingman Fire, and in attempting to re-kindle the Latin spirit of moombahton’s wild and free classic era, they’ve released a free compilation of new material (and in some cases, unreleased club set winners) entitled Moombah De Los Muertos. Of course, when I emailed with Melo regarding the compilation, though everything in moombahton had changed, one thing had not. Everything you need to know is in his response: “We did this as a free gift for the heads, so not really looking for praise or whatnot. Just wanna get it heard and covered as much as possible.”
With a crew of producers including mainstream dance-known entities like Pickster and Melo, Sabo, Happy Colors, Mendez, Ricky Vaughn, and Jon Kwest, as well as moombahton underground legends like Washington, DC’s Madd OD and Locomotive, plus a crew of rising and less renowned talent like Noizekid & Addictiv, Danny G, Kapo, Dany F, Dale Earnheart and No Joda, this collection truly has something for everyone.