Courtesy of Nadastrom
Pairing the infectious syncopation of dancehall and reggaeton's dembow beat with the siren-call frenzy of Dutch house became the foundation for what he termed moombahton. "It sounded like reggaeton's weird little cousin," Nada, who operates under the banner Nadastrom with friend Matt Nordstrom, tells Spinner's RPM.
Digging up records that would sound good around 108 to 110 BPM -- a slower tempo than house, dubstep or other club genres -- and re-editing them with long intros, dramatic builds and more percussion and vocal elements helped Nada refine the new sound. "Initially, we played it out and watched crowds lose their mind and dance to this whole new sound and from there it took off."
By mid-2010, in response to two EPs released on T&A Records, the new genre's influence had spread dramatically, with an influx of producers making original moombahton songs. "Check Soundcloud, then come talk to me about whether moombahton is just records being 'slowed down,'" laughs Nada in response to encountering early skepticism from within the DJ community.
"At that time in dance music and club land it was house, and dubstep was just starting to get popular, but 130 was a pretty live-or-die tempo," he explains. "Moombahton gave DJs room to start working in other genres again and slowing things down. Toddla T even said, 'Oh man, now I can start working dancehall back into my sets.'"
Reggaeton was a D.C. club staple in the early 2000s, he adds. And so it goes that citizens are proud of moombahton, which can be heard on prime-time commercial radio in that city. Dave clarifies: "It was born in D.C., but spread worldwide." Amsterdam's Munchi and David Heartbreak out of Brooklyn were early proponents of moombahton. And Diplo, Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia and even Skrillex -- who Nadastrom recently toured with -- have all incorporated moombahton into their sets.
Currently touring clubs across North America in support of Nadastrom's new EP, 'Moombahton Massive IX,' Nada points out that you won't just hear them flexing their own sound: "We can use it as jumping off point to go into styles like reggaeton, dancehall, tribal guarachero, or even cumbia and kuduro." It all goes back to the music's original purpose, he explains, "to reinforce the ideology that there are no limits or boundaries."