NAAFI’s ‘Pirata 3’ Mixtape Is a Wild Ride on the Reggaeton Rave Machine

Lead Photo: Photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez for Remezcla
Photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez for Remezcla
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There’s not a chance the NAAFI guys are stepping out of the spotlight anytime soon. Fresh off their Los Angeles debut as part of the recent RBMA Radio re-launch events, they surprised us with a new installment of their Pirata compilation series. Pirata 3 gathers 28 (!) bootlegs, unofficial remixes, and edits from NAAFI friends and family.

Pirata 3’s minimal artwork, a signature Mexican Jihad piece, shows a police baton over a white background. It’s a powerful graphic representation of what we’re about to face: a brutal assault of beats. Some of the producers involved here are NAAFI mainstays like Lao, Paul Marmota, Imaabs, Zutzut, Lechuga Zafiro, and Omaar, as well as affiliates Santa Muerte, Spaceseeds, Traxmatik, and more. You will mostly find reggaeton-inspired flips, but also some references to funk carioca, trap, and plenty of special FX sounds.

The compilation opens with a track Lechuga Zafiro prepared for his recent set at NAAFI’s Cumbre Latinx party in Mexico City. It’s an edit of Gente de Zona and Marc Anthony’s “La Gozadera,” and it perfectly sets the tone for the whole tape. Lao turns Justin Timberlake’s hit “My Love” into a dark and austere club track, while Zutzut gives Erykah Badu’s “Phone Down” a makeover you can totally grind to. Wisin and Daddy Yankee’s “Saoco” sounds closer to breakcore after getting chewed and spit up by Tayhana, and Imaabs crushes Alejandro Paz’s “El House” and takes it to punishing extremes. You get the idea.

If you’re in the NYC area, Imaabs is participating in a conversation about intersectional club politics tonight organized by Remezcla and Club Etiquette. It’s going down just days away from his set at MoMA PS1’s Warm Up, alongside Branko, Milka la Mas Dura, Maluca, and more.

Stream the whole tape below, or download it at NAAFI’s site here.