If you’ve ever heard baile funk, heavy-dub reggaeton or kuduro, you’ve encountered tropical bass, and I doubt you stood still. Tropical Bass or Global Bass encompasses a sprawling mega-genre of electronic music with several designations within it — all of it, though, amounts to that wonderfully dirty, bassy, all-night dance marathon goodness.
Sergio Elmir, music journalist and co-host of CIUT’s Dos Mundos radio program, breaks it down this way:
“Tropical Bass is an umbrella term. We use it to describe all the music we play: Digi-Cumbia, 3ball (Tribal), Moombahton, Baile Funk [AKA Funk Carioca] , Reggaeton/Dembow, etc. It’s basically music inspired by things like Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Reggae/Dancehall but infused with electronic elements to create bass-heavy, forward thinking Tropical music.”
As the Dos Mundos DJs (eLman, along with Linterna), the crew and their Funkete and radio show have become local references for this global bass movement. Elmir explains how tropical bass differs from its northern-based cousins:
“Tropical Bass is like the distant cousin to grime/Baltimore/dubstep, etc. — all these musical styles fall under the World Music 2.0 category, an emerging genre that describes the evolution of traditional world music in the digital era.”
Anupa Mistry’s article in the Toronto Standard put the music into a local context this way: “The Uma Nota Festival is where organic traditionalism collides with contemporary digitized sound, with one aim: to make you dance.” (He said, she said.)
The Dos Mundos DJs are heading to Colombia not long after the Saturday night World Electro party, which brings that tropical bass heavy and hard-edged with extra South-meets-North America flavour in the mezcla.
“In Latin America, all these sounds are still underground. They’re not mainstream and in most cases people who go to Latin America are still looking for an ‘authentic’ experience and lean towards more traditional sounds. Tropical Bass is a youth-driven movement, it’s the next generation of artists/DJs/producers who may not be pop right now — but they’re gaining the respect of heads from all over the world.”
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And for a live act and a Canadian one that’s also a full-on world citizen, look no farther than Boogat. His new and recently reviewed EP Pura Vida looks well-posed to make exactly the example Elmir describes above.
“Boogat is an exciting figure because he brings a really unique talent to the game. He’s a rapper, who’s spent years in Montreal’s hip-hop scene before meeting Ninja Tune recording artist Poirier. Together they’re changing the game and putting Canada on the World Music 2.0 map. He’s also a bilingual MC and an accomplished vocalist for several different projects, so experience-wise, he’s at that level. There aren’t that many MCs in the movement that stand out, but Boogat’s talent and personality have put him on the radar for DJs/producers/MCs from Montreal to Mexico and beyond.”
Boogat himself had lots to say in Mistry’s article for the Standard, including these gems on tropical bass jams: “There’s a really cozy and cool atmosphere at tropical bass parties … People dance like crazy; they just react to the energy of the songs and DJs. It’s a scene that’s really grounded on the quality of the music.”
Some more artists, labels and producers that inform the tropical bass world include, according to Elmir: Toy Selectah, Los Macuanos, Javier Estrada, ZZK Records, Uproot Andy and Geko Jones + Que Bajo, DJ Orion + Peligrosa, Cocobass Records. And in Canada watch for: Lido Pimienta, Gameboy + Will Ede, Boogat , Uladat, Huelepega Sound System, El Nosotros.
Along with DJ Jerus Nazdaq, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil native living in Toronto, Dos Mundos and Boogat promise a hard-hitting, all-night Saturday tropical bass throwdown. World Electro lives at Uma Nota (meets) Funkete — your Toronto chapter of the global bass scene.
Get ready to DANCE! Baila!
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