There must be something in the water. First there was Control Machete (and of course Toy Selectah) then the whole 3Ball MTY explosion now Monterrey gives us Ezekiel. The young Mexican producer has been making waves in all the right places for his fusion of splintered “bass” styles (dubstep, trap, hip-hop, juke), creating fresh music that manages to stand out in the sea of bad imitations.
Yesterday, Paris based label Moveltraxx released Ezekiel’s EP “Life Begins at Night“. The producer has already been hyped by taste makers (including mentions from MTV Iggy and the Diplo blessing on his BBC Radio 1 show) and the EP lives up to the hype. The artwork might be questionable but the music hits the spot.
“Irreversible” is a hard hitting hip-hop with splinters of raving bass and spilling snares while hit “Drop Ur Ass” pushes the lines between Juke and Dubstep. “Last Rave” is the weakest on the EP (but put that down to personal preference) yet all is saved by final cut ”Aguacate”. Lots of attitude and swagger but some quality producing to back it up. The music grabs and hints at influences from the spectrum of bass music but manages to craft a sound that is original, captivating and sure to make an impact on a dancefloor. Exciting things to come. You can pick up the EP from iTunes, Beatport and Juno.
I first came across this project via D/J Rupture’s Mudd Up! blog. Back in November, Nrmal, a Mexican platform for the creative arts/music festival, invited six producers (Algodón Egipcio, Chancha via Circuito, D/J Rupture, Helado Negro, Mumdance & White Rainbow) to Monterrey to indulge in the music of the region. They each worked with Mexican don Toy Selectah and a host of legendary musicians from the area to create one track inspired by northern Mexico’s rich musical heritage; rebajada, cumbia,huapango norteño or polka.
The results are a fantastically diverse bag of productions around the same theme. Take Helado Negro‘s dreamy, reverb filled reflection ‘Dime’ next to Mumdance‘s “UK” (squiggling synths, hip-hop swag, big claps) version of cumbia accordeons or White Rainbow‘s epic ‘Swaggadrozo’ compared to Chancha‘s deep, dubbed out rebajada take on ‘Malandrazo’. You can hear a little bit more on the styles and from the producers on the project over at the Nrmal website, download from the whole thing from Bandcamp (FOR FREE) and if you fancy your hand at remixing them yourself, you can get a hold of the unmixed sound banks by sending an email to email@example.com.
Tribal Guarachero, or 3Ball, has been floating about the blog/global bass sphere for a while now and its latest exposure comes in the form of the latest Man Recordings podcast in which label boss Daniel Haaksman interviews Toy Selectah and the Monterrey Tribal collective of DJ Otto, Erick Rincon and Sheeqo Beat before a huge mix from all four DJs. 3Ball is a mixture of Mexican pre-hispanic rhythms and melodies and cumbia put to a slamming hard house beat at around 130bpm. The style hinges on its incessant tripping rhythm and its melodic simplicity. Bare boned, tribal dancefloor sounds which break away from traditional clubbing styles to form something new and fresh. The style became hugely popular with young people in the clubs of the northern city of Monterrey, before Mexican don Toy Selectah, an early champion of the sound, helped to take it global, introducing productions from Monterrey DJs Erik Rincon and Sheeqo Beat to dancefloors from Brooklyn to London, making 3Ball another global sound.
The amazing thing about 3Ball is the age of the producers: Erick Rincon, DJ Otto and Sheeqo Beat all about 18 years old. They represent the first generation of young Mexican DJs and producers who have the accessibility to affordable computer technology: bedroom DJs whose innovative music can be made global. The changes the internet and computers have made to music over the past ten years are huge, music can now be produced by anyone with a computer anda copy of Fruity Loops, put on the internet and sent around the world. This is what happened with 3Ball and the Man Recordings podcast is a fascinating insight into the style, its history and indeed its future. It remains to be seen as to whether the style will continue to grow outside of Mexico or if it will become another globall bass fad. It is certainly a very exciting and interesting musical development and the young age of the producers makes you wonder if they are making these sounds at that age, just what they will be producing in three years time? Recommended listening.