Boomkat Product Review:
Boss DJ, Felix Hall racks up 56 keen reggaeton selections for the Paris-based Promesses label, legitimately emulating the slow, grinding heat of a Colombian ghetto rave.
Aside from his long-running and acclaimed NTS show, and his contribution to that recent Few Crackles set, this is Felix’s first official tape since the cult ‘Warning’ (2016) mix for The Trilogy Tapes. It locks a deadly focus on a handful of producers whose tunes are ubiquitous to Colombian ghettos, where, remarkably enough, Felix has had the pleasure of hanging out and soaking up the vibe which he pours directly into this mix. The whole thing is faithfully, hypnotically rude and raw as f*ck, and as close as you’ll get to a Medellín block party without preparatory jabs and a return plane ticket to Latin America.
Side A is largely produced by two artists from reggaeton’s Puerto Rican epicentre; Rafi Mercenario and DJ Nelson. Packing more snare sounds than we can count, Felix weaves thru 32 permutations of the tressilo drum pattern that’s become Latin America’s dominant unit of rhythmic currency, always keeping the pressure simmering and up close to enhance your perreo (the dutty, waist-grabbing dance style). Side B likewise pulls mostly from some 24 cuts by Venezuela’s Artillery Crew and Ecuador’s Yampi, distilling a detectably slower, heavier sound that, like the A-side, bears strong links to ‘90s and ‘00s Dancehall, but also favours licks of darker trap styles and devilish trance vamps that time stamp its modernism.
Expertly picked and pieced together with soundsystem-style stabs, Felix’s mix is a product of his enduring love for this style and its links to his core Dancehall knowledge, and should lead listeners to mine layers deeper into the heaving, dominant sound of the dembow rhythm and its permutations.