Friday, June 20, 2008

Reggaeton: Arcangel, Nejo y Dalmata

Something's bubbling in the reggaeton scene. The big names like Don Omar and Daddy Yankee are preparing new CDs, supposedly taking latin urban music to a whole new level (yet again). But the real new evolution is that those big names, instead of being the first to popularize a new sound, seem to fall behind on the surge of new talent releasing killer tracks at an unstoppable rate. A softer beat, 120 bpm club/tech pace, ravey synths - you can hardly call it a traditional dembow, but it's the sound of a new front of reggaeton artists. It's hard to see where the trend started (though Casa de Leones' superhit "No Te Veo" last year was certainly responsible for some big exposure) but wayne&wax links it to the early sound of DJ Blass - and to Lil' Jon digging up the rave in hiphop/crunk.

Some of the names that stand out in the constant flow of new releases are Jowell y Randy (also involved in the above-mentioned Casa de Leones), Ñejo y Dálmata (remember Dálmata from the gimmicky "Pasarela") and the very promising young talent Arcangel (who used to be a duo with De La Ghetto).

I had heard of Arcángel before, but it was the rave review of his album La Maravilla on Club Fonograma that really drew my attention to this Dominican phenomenon. La Maravilla was never officialy released though - when the album leaked weeks before its release date, Arcángel decided to distribute it for free on the web. Next week we'll have a full review of the 'official' debut Libre Albedrío (Free Will), produced by superstar duo Luny Tunes (it's been a while since we heard something good of them!). "Pa Que La Pases Bien" is a great example of what to expect - a catchy beat, a ceaseless lyrical flow and a voice as sweet as honey.

Arcángel - Pa' Que La Pases Bien mp3 myspace

"Algo Musical" is somewhat of a surprise hit - Ñejo's sluggish rapping is hardly an asset on the radio. But is it a coincidence that exactly Arcángel is collaborating on this track off 2007's Broke and Famous? The elektro sounds and the synth beat is even more prominent here. That "pa'lante y pa'tra" tempo change is super catchy too.

Ñejo y Dálmata ft. Arcángel - Algo Musical mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon

And the big names? A leaked Don Omar track ("Bom Bom") doesn't show any remarkable improvement over 2006's King of Kings. However, "Pose" off Daddy Yankee's forthcoming Talento de Barrio OST (accompanying the 'biopic' of the same name) shows he is trying to stay with the trend, although last year's El Cartel III album exposed Yankee as an artist hovering between new trends on one side, and gangsta rappin' for the old fans on the other side. Let's see what the future brings!

Arcángel - Pa' Que La Pases Bien

Ñejo y Dálmata ft. Arcángel - Algo Musical


Carlos Reyes said...

Yes I am VERY confused about the whole release of ¨La Maravilla¨, to be honest I don´t know much about it.

A friend who produces Vico C sent me the album months ago through email telling me he was the ¨next big thing¨, I listened to it, and immediately realized the incredible buzz among the urban industry.

Last thing I heard is that ¨La Maravilla¨is now called ¨El diario de un sonador¨and is the same album that was distributed for free + some new tracks, and actual cds were made and are on sale.

la salvaje said...

Love Arcangel!! I've been pushing Algo Musical off on anyone I can get to listen, I just think its really fun.
And Arcangel has the sexiest voice.I cant wait to see what he's got coming up next.

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