Erik "Riot Earp" King on Microgenres, Beatport, the Future of Moombahton, and Whether or Not Seapunk is a Joke

Categories: DJ Dossier

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Erik "Riot Earp" King
So what's the deal with Seapunk? Is it an actual genre?
It's like an Internet meme for music. I first heard about it from this band called Fire for Effects. And they have a few songs that are Seapunk. Imagine everything that you'd hear on various hip-hop mix tapes by surfing YouTube or whatever and let's make a collage of that. I feel like it's just an expression of Internet music.

What is Seapunk in your opinion?
Imagine '90s rave liquid style or like rave music with really housey piano chords and drum breaks. So imagine those kinds of things mashed in with a shitload of Internet meme sounds and water sounds. Like in the song I did I ripped a bunch of water samples. There's a sonar sound in there, there's whales in there. The track is called "Whales and Bongs." I ripped a bunch of samples of people ripping bongs and stuff like that. But that's really what it is, it's like tongue-in-cheek music. Like, it's very self-aware. It's not trying to be more than it is. That's what I like about it. It's not like it's trying to be the next newest thing.

So it's essentially an extended joke?
Yeah, but the people who are into it. It's like a lot of indie hipster shit right now, it's like a joke but these people at least are aware of it. Whereas a lot of other people are just in the dark. They're like, "Oh, this is a joke? This is my lifestyle." These other people are like, "My lifestyle is a joke but this is like the celebration of it." To me that's kind of like being self-aware of your dorkiness or whatever it is you are trying to do. That's different than fucking just wearing black and makeup for the sake of it, which is everything else right now.

Do you think moombahton is past its peak?
I think something that is still very infantile is past its peak. But I do think just like anything, things can blow up faster than they do and sometimes if it's not an organic thing people will abandon it. But there can be so many things that can be done with the moombahton genre. For example, just recently Mello and I did this song called "Carnavalito" which it's got these carnivale, Brazilian, Rio de Janero style drums. It's got this Bolivian flute that we used. And we used just a bunch of these pre-Hispanico Latin influences, there really isn't a lot of that style, and I think the more accessible stuff that's coming out right now that you're going to find in the top ten of Beatport actually may not exist in a few years. The same way baile funk is a really good example.

What do you mean?
It's a genre that came out of South America. It basically was created like Rio de Janeiro, it comes out of the ghettos and is basically made by the gangsters of that fucking city and that music got really big for a second and then it died down because everyone was taking a baile funk break and making quit edits at it, like out of any song, it didn't matter what it was. To a degree that's happening with moombahton. People can make edits, some of them are good. I like to think that I've hopefully made tasteful ones and other people sometimes make ones where you're literally just lining up two loops and a music program and it took you ten minutes to make.

What's the future of moombahton, your opinion?
I can see moombahton going back into the more niche of if you're into tropical-based genre you'll still end up playing it, the same way you used to play cumbia or baile funk or kuduro or whatever these things are. Do I think the really ravey things are going to be around? No, because that shit, it's made for kids and kid's tastes change really, really quick.

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