Boomkat Product Review:
Thrilling Venezuelan hard dance pressure from Pedro Elias Corro, AKA DJ Baba, inventor of “Raptor House” - widely recognised as the first purely Venezuelan electronic music genre, here served steaming hot via DJ Florentino’s Club Romantico. An unmissable workout for hips and party bodies on the line from Arca to De Schuurman, Nick León to Príncipe - don’t miss it.
Galvanising prevailing attentions around c.21st Latin dance music, ‘Club Romantico Presents…The Godfather of Raptor House’ extends an incendiary introduction to Pedro Elias Corro, aka DJ Baba, and his conception of the Raptor House style hybridised from aspects of ‘90s dance music and sped-up rhythms.
Hailed as Venezuela’s first purely electronic music genre, Raptor House - or Changa Tuki as it was pejoratively known - emerged as the de rigueur sound of Catia in the western part of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Crucially driven by the hybrid productions of visionary dynamos such as DJ Baba and DJ Irvin, and replete with it’s own dress code (red trousers and sleeveless shirts, bleached ‘tache, and Air Jordans) it represented the sound of Caracas in a parallel to myriad regional working class club subcultures across the globe, and would come to international attentions via the likes of Buraka Som Sistema and Arca, both known to deploy the virulent style in DJ sets by the end of the ‘00s. By 2008, DJ Baba reached a point where he felt he had to put the sound on a back burner but he is now back to let you know that Raptor House is a proud chapter of his life - one that spans a catalogue of 500+ tracks and counting.
As one of the greatest champions of reggaeton and its diasporic spectra, DJ Florentino here illuminates DJ Baba’s input to Raptor House for new ears and longtime obsessives, rinsing dozens of tracks in a powerful 1 hour mixtape that builds on Club Romantico’s releases by Sangre Nueva and Bitter Babe & Nick León. In its pyroclastic flow of urgent tresillo rhythms amped by electro- and hard-house styled synth tones, we hear the perseverance of DJ Baba against snotty perceptions of the hard-ass sound as “scally” music from outside his ‘hood, much in the same way gabbers were denigrated in Holland, or, as memory serves us correctly, a lot of UK dance music was treated until popular perceptions changed around a decade ago, and tastes embraced the heat right under their noses.
The session is no doubt a deadly party mix, and, on another level, a brilliant study in the evolution of regional dance music as a fierce expression of folk and subcultural character, as much as the timeless need to get wild.