There are likely few things more enjoyable than creating a thing–whether by slapping a hashtag in front of a genre name you made up and watching it grow, taking a clip from a misunderstood radio request only to witness a host of remix mutations crop up, or building off dialogue with a scene hyper-local to a particular place–then casting it off for public consumption to see whose attention it might catch, or new productions you might inspire.
Whether riffing off cultural moments or altogether creating their own (enter “salsa choke” into the Youtube to see how much it’s grown over the past 12 months), this is a sampling of some of our favorite moments in 2014.
Latin Jersey Club
Mijos of the dance floor, this one is for you.
Latin Jersey Club represents one of the most visible sounds to emerge from the east coast of the US, making a connection to hyper-local beats. Already super prevalent in the most current of current DJ sets, Jersey club was described quite accurately by Remezcla’s Marco Gomez as “sampling the latest in hip hop, R&B, and pop, and chopping up the hooks and vocals into a bouncy, quick breakbeat pattern– a sound that’s been proliferated by artists like DJ Sliink, Uniiqu3, and their crew, the Brick Bandits. As the style has gained traction, clubs around the world have been booking Jersey Club DJs, bringing the sound to wreck dance floors near and far.”
Many of the most prolific producers of the sound are well under 18 years old, with DJ 809, DJ Cueheat, DJ T Marq, and DJ Niyah holding down the most visible spots in the Soundcloud circuit. These producers are managing to keep up with the latest on Top 40 radio, while also extending to work with cuts of dembow, salsa, bachata, and other urban styles to put a uniquely Latino spin on the club strain.
For more, head over to Welcome To Latin Jersey Club: Bounce To These Fundamental Tracks.
You’ve most likely already been acquainted with salsa choke if you caught the Colombian national football team taking their supa fresh dance moves to the Copa Mundial this year. Salsa choke finds its heart in Cali, Colombia, the accumulation of a hybrid genre that’s in dialogue with Afro-Pacific styles of the region like marimba, chirimia, and Cali’s own salsa scene, but also attuned to the latest in hip-hop and perreo meditations.
There’s the scene’s defining moments, like “Chichoky” from CJ Castro and Integración Casanova’s “La Tusa,” or genre mutt cases like Mucho Flow out of Cali flipping the signature toy flute line from Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle Wiggle,” or Junior Dj Mix’s “Oh Siii,” which merges salsa urbana with the early ’90s Bam Bam riddim. Because we love you, we’ve even included an instructional video for some basic pasos in case your game needs a refresher.
For more, check out Welcome to Salsa Choke: 7 Tracks Reinventing Colombia’s Salsa Urbana.
“¿Son Reebok, o Son Nike?”
The cultural apex known as the “¿Son Reebok, o Son Nike?” phone call–which also turned into one of our favorite Internet jokes of the year–spawned some glistening bootlegs this year, with clippings making their way into Lyon la Diferencia’s hyped-up dembow. For the less-obsessed, we combed through the most unofficial of the unofficial remix depths for our favorites chopping the original recording into some unexpected forms–reggaeton, cumbia villera, tech house, deep house, house house, tech villera, cumbiatón, and more things that we’re not sure are really things.
2014 could be looked back at one of those years where this ‘EDM’ trend sunk its a fangs a little deeper into pop culture, what with the festivals, and this newfangled “Jungle Fever” trend, and the Diplo-ization, and the blah blah blah. In actuality, we’re not really concerned with all that. House music, disco, techno, and an endless list of subcultures rooted in electronic music have been here for years before, and aren’t going anywhere regardless of when attention drifts to the next thing.
With some of the left-field Latam innovators going back to their more controlled roots, there’s plenty of producers taking the cue to Weird It Up, making some tracks that don’t really hide their intention to get bizarre, with a hint of dark humor. Let’s take the serious out of the house music, the high prices off the covers, the elitism out of the scene, and go back to the roots of it all– having a good time.
Bachata had quite the year, more firmly securing its place as a fitting soundtrack for turning up ever so elegantly with your special. While we’ve seen the genre make its way into the underground’s sample banks, the artists at the top of the game have not exactly been quiet about their presence in the pop culture lexicon, with Romeo Santos alone selling out a weekend-long stay at Yankee Stadium earlier this summer, performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and crooning in Spanish on the Tonight Show.
As we documented in our #FUTUREBACHATA list, the genre is no stranger to remix culture. We can go as far back as at least 1991, with a sample clipped from Juan Luis Guerra’s “Bachata Rosa” subtly mixed into Italian political hip-hop group AK47’s “Niente da festeggiare.” Now bachata is being newly flipped, sliced, and diced in some equally unexpected places, as heard below.
For more, head over to #FUTUREBACHATA: 6 Tracks Taking Bachata Into The Underground.