Boomkat Product Review:
Upfront reggaeton bumpers from LA-based Dominican Kelman Duran, picked up for his debut album by Simone Trabucchi’s fantastic Hundebiss label - home to Lil Ugly Mane, Francesco Cavaliere and Jaws, among other notable outliers.
Revolving themes as diverse as unrequited love and the Haitian revolution, delivered in pitched-up autotuned vocals by NYC’s Mess Kid on Solos (based on Dominican-Puerto Rican singer Ozuna’s No Quiere Enamorarse) for example, the set expresses a sort of patriotism from an outsider perspective - both from the position of a Black guy in the Dominican Republic, and as a Dominican in the “sanctuary” city of LA during the Trump era.
That aspect follows thru in the “spiritual” tone of the album, with autotune and acres of reverb used to heighten the effect in a way recalling the use of autotune in North African arabic devotionals and street music and balancing out his rhythms’ putative prurience.
In other words it’s a killer set, emotive and heavily rugged where it matters, with fierce club gear such as the blown-out CULO, DEMBOW SUENA, the militant drill of Mobb Deep and the straight-sluggin’ Matarnos jostling shoulders and hips with Kamixlo or Florentino-like sweeties like 1984, PRIMERO, ULTIMO, the hymnal 6 De La Mañana and the tender burn of La Pared.