You wouldn't expect a car company to tout the benefits of something that goes slower than usual. But the latest offering from Scion A/V, the record-label arm of the automaker, is dedicated to moombahton, a slow-motion merger of house music and reggaeton. Originating in the D.C. area in 2010, moombahton went viral faster than you could say "Dem Bow riddim," but the music is all about the slow creep — tropical rhythms inching forward on tensed panther paws. Moombahton's so woozy, it makes dubstep sound like happy hardcore.
The free, five-track EP features cuts from Sabo, JWLS, Steve Starks and original moombahtoner Nadastrom, and it sketches a wide outline of the genre, from hard-braked house to the chirps-and-sizzurp sound of the music at its most mental. The record's biggest track, JWLS' "Ezekiel," is a badass rave banger that wails like an air raid over Carnival. Steve Starks' "Fr33ky in the Club" delivers grime's canned horn stabs over loping low toms; Sabo feat. Nadastrom & Nidia Gongora's "Timbiqui Hasta DC" is narcotic, electro-fied salsa; and Nadastrom's "Outside the Gate" is a sleepwalking minimal house number.
"Drop that Sh*t," by Sabo featuring Melo and Speakher, is certainly the EP's most hypnotic cut, pairing languorous acid lines with a Spanish-language voiceover that'd sound sensual even if she were purring about collateralized debt instruments. (Mainly, I think, she's murmuring about moombahton.) It sounds like a chopped-and-screwed version of one of Luciano's Ibiza-friendly Latin-house jams, and it floats about three feet above the ground. A sign that Scion's getting into the hovercar market?