The dembow beat—the rhythmic building block of reggaeton and modern dancehall—has taken on new forms in the last couple of years. Like the iconic "Ha" sample that peppers vogue house, it's worked its way into the fabric of global club music. Rizzla, Endgame and Kamixlo have interpolated dembow in recent releases, while #KUNQ producer False Witness has woven it into most of his discography. The latest example is Texas duo Santa Muerte, who launched their label Majía with the excellent Oraciones.
Simplicity is key to the EP's first two tracks. They both ripped speedy vocal hooks from recent reggaeton hits, and their squeaky clean production is on par with commercial rap. "Trembla," a collaboration with French producer King Doudou, is both somber and triumphant, with rainy synths drifting over a big, meaty beat. Produced with Bronx artist El Blanco Nino, "Pal Piso" is just as tense. Warped church bells and Terminator FX are backed by a Jersey club kick that won't take no for an answer. "TAK," featuring Kala, is the gnarliest of the bunch, built from metallic drums that rattle like a caged animal. Imaabs' remix of that tune plays up the drama with an extra coat of distortion and some clever sound design, rounding out an exciting debut from this promising new label.
02. Pal Piso
04. TAK (Imaabs Remix)