Latin American producers haven’t had any trouble adopting the sounds of future bass and alternative R&B. Just listen to recent works by Teen Flirt, J Δ Y E E M, Naked Geometry, or even some of the latest from El Guincho and you’ll notice that right away. What hasn’t been particularly easy is marrying those genres with typically Latin sounds in a successful way. That’s why Dominican producer José Alejandro‘s new EP AHH instantly clicks.
The three-song EP starts with the title track, which gives you a taste of the Caribbean rhythms and smooth beats you’ll encounter on the rest of the record. It begins with some typical pitched up vocal samples over a cloud of pads and bubbling, bright synths, and when the beat kicks in, it becomes a fine piece of modern hip-hop. So what else could he add to the mix to take it to the next level? Dembow breaks, of course. That’s what makes the song an instant rumba, and it works so well it’s ridiculous.
The next two tracks don’t necessarily keep up with the Latin flavor found on “AHH,” but they certainly retain its feel-good vibes. “Meaning” and its start-and-stop beat grab a few elements from trap and pop alike, resulting in a glossy track that finds his sound close to Ferraz’s work. “Vibes” closes out the EP. There’s a nostalgic-yet-uplifting quality to it, and even though its rhythm is understated, it is as contagious as the previous two. The steel drums used for the melodic lines and the chord progression transport us to a Caribbean beach, and we’re feeling it. Even though José Alejandro has been making electronic music for three years now – mostly electro and house – his AHH EP heralds a new era that sounds just right.