In preparation for their 12-hour Art Basel showcase in Miami, NAAFI has blessed us with a 35-minute mix that highlights the group’s ability to draw from across the American continent to concoct something completely new.
A quick-hitting medley of their own tracks blended with edits and remixes from friends and collaborators, the mix serves as a reminder of what makes the region so great. Rough mutations of reggaeton and dembow riddims – which have earned NAAFI fans across the globe – sit right alongside warped cumbia reworks. Part of the reason NAAFI resonates is their ability tell their own kind of origin story with the grace of a novelist; the collective shines brightest when they combine pre-Columbian rhythms with the sounds that blast out of club speakers around the world.
Highlights from the mix include Imaabs’ recent rework of D.Enyel and Miky Woodz’ “Moet,” which appeared on this year’s bootleg tape Pirata 3. Gradually, the mix moves from frenzied peak to tranquil valley, where it remains until the reprieve is cut short by ominous and dizzying indigenous horn samples. The second half of the mix sees NAAFI pull even further into their deep catalog of edits; Zutzut’s reimagining of MC Bin Laden’s “Tá Tranquilo Tá Favorável” leads into OMAAR’s remix of Zutzut’s “Metele.”
As the mix wraps up, it becomes abundantly clear that NAAFI is, perhaps more than ever, a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem. With a stacked roster of producers given the freedom to roam through sound and format, NAAFI lays claim to a pool of music that is destined to keep CDMX on fire for years to come.
Red Bull Music Academy’s 12 Hours of NAAFI takes place tonight, Thursday, December 1 at Miami’s Coyo Taco. For more information, click here.