Mediopicky, one of the most compelling producers to come out of the Dominican Republic’s electronic scene in recent years, has just unveiled Apatheia: La envidia de Beethoven, a seven-track EP out now via Salsa Fegol. Behind this ambitious (and rather humorous) title, there’s a continuous exploration of Mediopicky’s versatility as a producer. Opener “Forma.do” features some of his own vocals, but is far more focused on the glossy, verdant rhythm. He takes a more substantive vocal role with “Mangame,” one of the most successful moments on Apatheia, evincing his chops as a rapper. With sharp but off-kilter production work, the song not only fits squarely into the international trap movement, but ends up offering a novel, uniquely Dominican spin, too (check that staccato hook). It’s a refreshing moment, as many trap-en-español artists revert to the genre’s tropes in their eagerness to be part of the sound’s evolution.
Apatheia also features two collaborative tracks with fellow Dominican rapper AcentOh, which are, unsurprisingly, directly tied to hip-hop tradition. The previously released “Patrimonio” bites hard, but it’s mellowed down by velvety synths and walks with drum breaks. “Guagua,” a fan favorite, feels welcome here. Even though it’s built on top of an old-school boom-bap rhythm, his flow and his rhymes about the struggle feel novel, especially when the merengue break bubbles under the surface.
On the instrumental side of the EP, “666,” whose diabolic title might refer to its gnarly bass, is an assault of funk carioca and moombahton references paired up with an unexpected trap finale. Its angelic brother is “Avocashi,” which juggles similar source material, but without the demonic undertones.
The Stoic term “apatheia” is typically defined as “free from emotion,” but one thing’s for sure: La envidia de Beethoven overflows with passion.