Outsourced Analysis #8939, Si Permítame: Reggaeton Currents

Tito writes:

What up Wayne,

Hope all is well. Felicidades on 3-2, you don’t look a day over 25.

So the other day I was listening to Tony Dize’s new album “La Melodia de la Calle” & one track struck me. The song “Permitame” feat. Yandel, which also happens to be the 1st single off the album is a completely different sound for Tony Dize & I would argue much of Reggaeton. The track is infused with Timbaland/Timberlake type sounds & I could envision someone like Justin Timberlake singing over this track & it being a hit.

I was wondering if you could lend your musical ear to the track & let me know what you think. I haven’t been on my Reggaeton game as much as I used to, my MA thesis is has been taking up most of my time, so maybe this track is something not out of the ordinary. Anyway, I find it musically intriguing & wonder if this American Pop style of Reggaeton (is it even Reggaeton anymore?) could possibly be a new wave of the genre? The track is getting a lot of play in PR & is making its way to the radio here in the states, I heard it the other day on “La Kalle” here in Chicago.

and before I could answer, he follows with


In the same vein, check out Daddy Yankee’s new track “Pose”

Here’s what I wrote in response:

Hey Tito,

These are some interesting examples. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. They definitely depart from recent orthodoxy in reggaeton (though perhaps suggest an emerging new orthodoxy). For one, they’re faster than a lot of reggaeton ca. 03-07; instead of around 100bpm, they’re closer to 120/130, so more like house/techno/club/dance tempo, which is — as usual — pretty consistent with contemporary hip-hop/r&b/pop. Also significantly, — perhaps in part b/c of the tempo — I don’t hear any “Dem Bow” samples; there’s still that ol’ boom-ch-boom-chick (which some might hear as a general “dembow” rhythm), but even then it’s less pronounced/consistent. And the type of synths in use on both tracks, that buzzy/tactile, mid-range wheeze — which perhaps is what suggests the work of Timbaland/lake to your ears — is pretty au courant, not just in hip-hop but all kinds of genres. I think that’s, to some extent, a matter of shared software, but it’s also an aesthetic thing: a return to “ravey” synths that may have been reinitiated, at least in the mainstream, by Lil Jon’s refitting of rave presets for crunk tracks a few years ago.

To my ears, once again, reggaeton shows itself very in touch with contemporary global/American pop trends, while maintaining a distinctive sonic profile all its own.


Ok, I really need to get that “raveyton” post in order at this point, to help put all this into context.

!Hasta pronto!