When electronic dance music guru Dave Nada fathered moombahton in 2009, the Los Angeles resident gave rise to an explosive music sub-genre that has swept the world’s dance clubs like a monstrous firestorm. Nada’s original style, which marries melodramatic Dutch house to laid-back raggaeton, has since spawned generational offshoots of cultural significance now spiced with elements of Latin, classical, blues, jazz, rock, funk, rap and other secular and cosmopolitan tunes. “There are lots of cumbia and hip-hop mixes these days,” said west coast turntablist DJ Shapeshifter. “That’s what I play.” While the sexy sounds of this nouveau trend continue to transmogrify into what has become a colorful coat of many arms, here is a select list of where to hear this music as it develops.
1745 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
www.avalonhollywood.comFrom CBS’ radio programs in the 1940s to the Beatles’ first West Coast performance in 1964, this Spanish colonial theater paved the way for quite a few gifted personalities. Today, it’s L.A.’s No. 1 nightclub destination for the more celebrated freestyle producers of electronic dance music. This incomparable state-of-the-art location, near Hollywood and Vine, showcases the mind-blowing wizardry of such revered turntablists as German trance music DJ Markus Schulz; English big beat DJ Paul Oakenfold; and American electro house DJ Dave Nada. Musical geniuses infusing the veins of their fans with non-stop beats, coupled with its first-class audio-visual production value, this sophisticated venue does not have a problem attracting up to 2,000 guests to its dance floor on a weekend night. This favored club also offers a full range of beverage and food services with space to accommodate some 200 seated diners. It may be difficult to warm the bench for long with the with world-renowned artists developing their own fever-pitched variations of moombahton, seemingly preternaturally, right before one’s eyes. Avalon Hollywood is a place where the most-requested DJs on the planet, including moombahton’s Nadastrom, take their audiences on a trend-setting, out-of-this-world adventure of conscientious ingenuity and vicious bass-line-dropping, hip-grinding fun.Related: Best Clubs With Go Go Dancers In Los Angeles
9039 W. Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
www.keyclub.comWhenever music producer Dillon Francis is not rocking a world tour or vibrating the floor at sold-out shows in places including LA’s El Rey Theatre, moombahton fans will find the famed electronic dance musician on the roster at this venue that has also hosted singer-actress Tina Turner, multi-instrumentalist Tom Petty, rapper-singer Kanye West and traditional pop artist Tony Bennett. Formerly known as Billboard Live, this dance club, which shoots up three levels, has continued to diversify by providing a sizzling stage for the latest influential trends, including moombahton and the new music genre’s innovative adaptations. Francis is recognized globally as one of the pioneers of moombahcore, a technique that fuses Dutch house and reggaeton with elements of hardcore techno and South London’s dubstep. This wicked combo creates other-worldly sounds and a euphoric sensation that tends to promote a rapture-type atmosphere throughout this typically packed location. Enjoy a full-service bar and food menu here as well. In the wake of his 2012 extended play release of “Something, Something Awesome,” Francis became the first moombahton artist to reach the highest level on Beatport’s Top 5 list, thereby becoming one of the most-requested artists at Key Club. Other sub-genre performers who have no trouble booking this noteworthy concert hall include the ultra-popular Skrillex — a dubstep DJ who was named MTV’s electronic dance music’s Artist of the Year in 2011 — and fellow dubstep musician and bass beat producer 12th Planet.
3040 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
www.clublosglobos.comSince being established in 1937 as L.A.’s inaugural American Legion hall and reportedly becoming the first legal rave party place in the country a few decades later, this two-story nightclub continues to keep pace with the world’s rapidly evolving music culture. This Silverlake venue features two stages, perfect for when moombahton creator Dave Nada takes an impromptu stage dive while his partner, Matt Norstrom, punches a barrage of vicious, in-your-face beats through the nightspot’s premier sound system. Open seven days a week and located east of Hollywood, Los Globos showcases both local and nationally recognized DJs and performing artists that teeter on the brink of the unimaginable and wild. New wave lovers may get lucky enough to to see Nadastrom on the same night as beat-maker 2 Deep and Beta Control, the music producer who is now promoting moombahrock, an electrified concoction of Dutch house, reggaeton and hard rock.
6021 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
www.vanguardla.comSimply stated, Vanguard is an emotionally fulfilling, rock-steady beacon of light that has hosted some of the world’s more revered producers of electronic dance music. Stars including Grammy-winnning record producer and master turntablist DJ Jazzy Jeff; English electro-house producer and accomplished remixer D. Ramirez; and Donald Glaude, a highly demanded house music artist who is ranked consistently on DJ Magazine’s list of the world’s Top 100 DJs grace this stage. Adorned with a 25-foot apex and 17-foot walls in its main ballroom, this ornately embellished structure of distinction stands in a class all its own. With a romantic balcony that overlooks a cherry-wood dance floor and a stage enveloped by a semi-circle of large video screens, Vanguard has everything to do with all elements of music, from house and trance to electro and the infectious sounds of moombahton. When he’s not touring with legendary rapper LL Cool J, expect to find DJ Z-Trip — a pioneer of the famous mashup movement — shoving some earth-shattering beats through the venue’s ear-piercing sound system. Other notables include Italian progressive house DJ Benny Benassi, whose 2002 hit, “Satisfaction,” has since been resurrected and is now played as a moombahton remix. At Vanguard, it may not always be about creating new music, but developing trendy methods to keep good music alive and flourishing.
6356 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
www.cinespace.infoA top-tier entertainment center, this venue is where diehard electronic music fans will find some of the more hardcore performing musicians spinning moombahton/hip-hop remixes. Offering a lounge, restaurant, cinema and dance hall, Cinespace is an adventure unto itself. Whenever DJ Whiskey Pete is riding the club’s control panel, expect the floor to animate like an electrical storm as he whips party goers into domination with red-blooded slabs of electro house, drumstep and his moombahton variations. A featured personality at this club, this songwriter is one of the industry’s more recognized vocalists in the dance music genre and on radio broadcasts that promote moombahton/hip-hop. Visit this down-to-earth location to see James Amato and Bulmatron, who are both prolific electronic dance music producers that possess the ability to metaphorically slap their audience into submission with the hypnotic and repetitive beats of moombahton/hip-hop, dubstep, complextro and trap. With an interior that resembles a maze, Cinespace is where many avant-garde artists, including Lady Gaga, have performed to test a new music style before a live audience.
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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers the glittering nightlife and bustling music scene in Los Angeles, among other topics of social interest. Some of her contributions to the entertainment industry have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Samples of her unique writing style can be found on Examiner.com.