Since his first productions emerged back in 2010, Munchi has put his own spin on everything he's approached, bending moombahton into breakcore and creating moombahcore fusing skullstep and trap and making skulltrap, and curving bachata and merengue.... A voracious listener, he's been able to absorb sounds from across the diaspora - from reggeton and baile funk to Dutch bubbling and Chicago juke - and effortlessly engineer his own twist, creating tracks and mixes with a journalistic hunger for storytelling and contextual deconstruction, Blogger and musicologist Wayne Marshall even coined a separate genre for Munchi's diverse spread of genre-agnostic productions back in 2010: Munchiton. Since then, Munchi has worked with M.I.A. and Pharell Williams among others, and remixed everyone from Skrillex to Nguzunguzu, Noisia to Buraka.
"I Love Mambo" was put together in 2010 for Dave Quam's notorious It's After The End Of The World blog. It was Munchi's first proper mixtape, and matched a handful of his original productions with his favorite tracks from the Dominican Mambo canon, that had evolved throughout the 2000's after merengue... even got more stripped down with live instruments replaced with digital sounds with the use of daws like fl studio. Munchi was fascinated by this music at the time, downloading everything he could get his hands on, scraping the internet's darkest corners for "the cheapest, cheesiest, dirtiest, most Fruityloops-ish" tracks. He laments that this era has come and gone, leaving "polished, pretentious and almost soulless" reggaeton to dominate the landscape. "At least when the rhythms were extremely raw you could feel the energy and spirit in it," he says. "It felt like it was alive and breathing." Listening now, the mix sounds as raw, fresh and vital as it did back then, brushing the dust off an often forgotten and certainly misunderstood moment in the history of Dominican music. At any moment the tracks sound so brittle they could collapse completely, only to be bolstered by a swift beat flip, vocal chop or cheeky bass drop. Over the course of an hour, Munchi accompanies us on a thrill ride through a genre that's left an indelible mark on dance music throughout the Caribbean and further afield.... "I Love Mambo" serves as a critical missing link. Munchi's "Detonao EP" is a collection of unreleased material recorded in Rotterdam between 2008 and 2010, and is among the most experimental, minimal and uptempo material Munchi has put his name to. Here he purposefully approximates the kind of jerky, plasticated speed dance that used to dominate the Dominican scene, offering his own spin on the mambo sound. Each track is unsettlingly clean, assembled from detuned toybox pianos, radio sting voices and cheap, groggy horns: opening track 'Damu Mambo' crashes into view thru hollow clunks, horror movie voices, pained air horns, glass smashes and rolling snares before ceding to looped vocals and "X-Files" whistles. In the wrong hands, this chaotic assemblage would be as playable as nails on a chalkboard, but Munchi's genius lies in his ability to massage almost anything into a coherent groove. There are even parallels to be drawn with Portugal's wiry batida sound, and Tanzania's hi-nrg singeli (just check those pacy percussive sounds on 'Comenzo El Party'). There's a sense that Munchi is aware of everything existing in the same continuum, shuffling through Dutch bubbling scrapes and bassline womps on 'Luis Esta Seguroski VIP', and mind-altering 'Percolator' trills on the hypnotic 'Ayoba Mambo'. A history lesson and wild-eyed cultural mashup that'll leave you breathless, "Detonao" is proof that Munchi is operating in a league of his own.