Boomkat Product Review:
DJ Florentino’s Club Romantico make industrial dembow power moves with a bolshy new one from Arca & Rosalía collaborator Safety Trance, top-loaded with guest bars and beats by Virgen Maria, Iceboy Violet, DJ Sustancia, and Brodinski.
Doing for reggaeton what Nazar did with his rough kuduro sound, Safety Trance brings a rude urgency to tresillo templates in a fierce attempt to revive the sounds of a youth spent in ‘90s Caracas, Venezuela. Galvanising formative styles with a sense of deep South American gothic-industrial, the eight trax hew harder to styles you might associate with Salem, Skinny Puppy, or Nitzer Ebb as much as old skool reggaeton touchstones such as DJ Blass, Ivy Queen, Don Chezina or Baby Rasta & Gringo, and its wild sibling in the Surinamese bubbling sound.
The results are built for shock and awe in the club, streaked with upfront sawtooth synths and gnashed by steel-tipped snares that give the sexy torque of reggaeton a much nastier, febrile bias. Trimmed to breathlessly tight time brackets, the tracks here rain down from the tempestuous, pitch-bent pressure of ‘AAAEFX’ (is that a sample of Smoke City's 'Underwater Love'?) to the recoiling ‘X Cantidad’ (ft. Brodinski) via epic highlights in the seething performance of Iceboy Violet on ‘Save Me’ and the explosive ‘Caracas Bubbling Militia’, with echoes of the producer’s work on Arca’s ‘KiCk’ amped to industrial degrees on ‘Ratatata’ (ft. Virgen Maria), and ‘Tusi En El Pussy’ (ft. DJ Sustancia), and yoked back into the Endgame-like martial swivel of ‘Destruccion’.
No doubt it all sets flames to what has become an over-polished sound, exerting an imaginative sidespin touching the archaeological dembow survey of Club Romantico’s DJ Baba ‘The Godfather of Raptor House’ session that speaks vividly to the mutability and rich spectrum of Latin America’s virulent dance sound.