New band of the day – No 1,179: Munchi

Meet Rajiv Munch, the 22-year-old maestro of moombahton – a genre born way back in the mists of, er, 2009

Hometown: Rotterdam.

The lineup: Rajiv Munch (music, production).

The background: We're writing today's New Band in a state of anxiety and mild panic because it concerns a new(ish) subgenre of dance and we know there are people who monitor these things with an Orwellian attention to minutiae and will be ready to pounce and trounce if we so much as get a tiny scintilla of a detail wrong, such as our risible suggestion that this is a new(ish) subgenre of dance. In fact, when the Guardian first ran an article on said subgenre, moombahton, in April 2011, some readers were quick to chastise the journalist for his lamentably late arrival at a party that had already been going for about a year. So we can only imagine their guffaws of derision when they see us stumble into the room several metaphorical hours later, just as everyone's ready to pack up and go home (although we fully accept that moombahtonistas, as they are known, don't even think about going to bed before lunchtime).

But still, here we are, celebrating the emergence into the light/mainstream of moombahton, a genre born way back in the mists of time (roughly, late 2009/early 2010), one bearing a name that conflates Moombah (the title of a remix of a track by Silvio Ecomo and DJ Chuckie) and reggaeton (that perversion of/diversion from reggae that finds Jamaica in a geographical tussle with Latin America and fuses salsa with dancehall). And our excuse for doing so at this juncture is the arrival of the scene's boy wonder and charismatic focus. Meet Dutch 22-year-old whizzkid Rajiv Munch, no relation to Edvard even if he does have plenty to scream about – he recently had a seizure caused by an intracerebral haemorrhage, despite no prior condition, and spent nine hours in a coma and 11 days in hospital recovering.

Not that any of this has affected his ability – he's got mad skillz, has Munchi, with the intricacy of Skrillex, the sonic heft of Diplo and the flexibility of a Pharrell. In his remixes and his own music, he's proving capable of creating havoc in the world of moombahton that Skrillex does in dubstep or Soulja Boy does at the "trap" end of rap – we heard one track by him that sounds like Todd Terry's mighty Can You Party being fondled by Shabba Ranks (we've been informed by experts that key elements of the genre include the bleeps of Dutch house, only slowed down, and the beat from Ranks's Dem Bow, so phew). But then he'll go and do so something so smoov and deep commentators have coined a neologism within a neologism in its honour: moombahsoul.

Munchi was apparently inspired to write the aforementioned track, Hope, by Fleetwood Mac's Gypsy, and it's not out of the question: we swear we heard Ableton-enabled samples of 10cc's I'm Not in Love and Yello's Dr Van Steiner at various points in other songs. We also heard bits that made us think of juke, or the innovations of DJ Screw. We heard something else that suggested dubstep, only dubstep being hybridised with house if house was infected by calypso on acid. We then heard sirens and squiggles, something that sounded like a fax machine doing the watusi, a rhythm like soca being mangled by techno-metal, a piece of music that would make a great theme tune for Terminator if James Cameron recast the machine hero as a dreadlocked rasta, and a pulverising beat that brought to mind a Caribbean island under siege from an alien invasion. If we were managing his career, we'd be steering him away from moombahton, towards soundtrack composing.

The buzz: "The best booty-shaking rhythms on the planet" –

The truth: Today moombahton, tomorrow Hollywood.

Most likely to: Skrill the competition.

Least likely to: Drop the moombahton.

What to buy: You can hear Munchi music here.

File next to: Dave Nada, Dillon Francis, Skrillex, Shabba Ranks.


Friday's new band: Willis Earl Beal.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
New band of the day – No 929: Nero
This DJ duo combine drum'n'bass and dubstep with elements of 90s house and trance to create an unlikely sonic alliance

Paul Lester

13, Dec, 2010 @5:07 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 1,160: Youngman

If they ever did a dubstep week on The X Factor, Youngman could be a guest mentor

Paul Lester

30, Nov, 2011 @5:16 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 1,315: Stubborn Heart

This post-dubstep duo mix sensitive vocals and synth noise. Think Hurts meets Skrillex

Paul Lester

24, Jul, 2012 @3:59 PM

Article image
New band of the week: Georgia (No 56)
Meet the former would-be professional soccer star turned purveyor of impressively brittle post-grime pop

Paul Lester

05, Jun, 2015 @10:58 AM

Article image
New band of the day – No 1,084: Deptford Goth

Daniel Woolhouse's winning mix of spectral R&B and dubstep pop is worth a listen – just don't expect Bauhaus meets Burial

Paul Lester

15, Aug, 2011 @4:19 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 901: Phaeleh
This melancholy chap's songs of quiet despair match the solemn splendour of fellow Bristolians Massive Attack

Paul Lester

03, Nov, 2010 @4:48 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 917: Girl Unit
Londoner Philip Gamble is keeping the flag flying for freaky sonics with his winning blend of dubstep, juke and drag

Paul Lester

25, Nov, 2010 @5:23 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 822: Magnetic Man
These dubstep DJs and producers have joined forces to form a supergroup that is, sadly, less than super

Paul Lester

09, Jul, 2010 @3:30 PM

Article image
New band of the day – No 671: Joy Orbison
Listening to this dance music producer is like tuning into a pirate radio station and hearing the perfect comedown playlist

Paul Lester

17, Nov, 2009 @4:05 PM

Article image
New band of the day – Delilah (No 999)
We've nearly covered 1,000 new bands, but we're not there yet. Not until we've introduced you to Paloma Stoecker

Paul Lester

06, Apr, 2011 @4:33 PM