Boom....Ba tink TINK
March 6, 2007 2:15 PM   Subscribe

What's that ubiquitous backbeat on Latino radio?

So I've started listening to El Zol: Noventa Nueve Punto Uno, a spanish language radio station, on my drive to work. (DC area) It seems like every other song has the same beat in the background:

Boom .......Ba tink TINK
Boom .......Ba tink TINK
Boom .......Ba tink TINK
Boom TINK Ba tink TINK

(Obviously, given the above, IANAM or in any way musically gifted)

Where does this come from, originally, and why is it so common?
posted by leotrotsky to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do you mean the Dem Bow / Reggaeton beat?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:29 PM on March 6, 2007

FWIW, I have no idea what reggaeton is but I found what is presumably an example of a reggaeton beat (wait until 1:58). Is this it?
posted by zek at 2:36 PM on March 6, 2007

All I have to add is that I've been thinking of asking this very question myself. I live in a neighborhood with a number of Hispanic residents (in New Jersey), and have been hearing this beat coming out of the windows of apartments and passing cars for at least the past year or so. I know exactly what you're talking about--though I'd represent it as:

Boom. Ba-dinkTINK!
Boom. Ba-dinkTINK!
posted by Prospero at 2:50 PM on March 6, 2007

Best answer: Sounds like Reggaeton. Sorry I don't have a sample to play right now, but it is definitely ubiquitous on latin radio.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 2:53 PM on March 6, 2007

Best answer: Any Reggaeton song uses this formulaic beat. It's the most plagarized form of music since pop-trance and industry hip-hop in the early 2000s
posted by stratastar at 3:12 PM on March 6, 2007

Response by poster: That's it. Thanks all!
posted by leotrotsky at 3:29 PM on March 6, 2007

posted by Roach at 3:31 PM on March 6, 2007

Apologies for butchering the spelling above. There are sound samples at the bottom of the Wikipedia page.
posted by Roach at 3:33 PM on March 6, 2007

Best answer: If it is the Dem Bow / Reggaeton beat that you're talking about (and I think it is, based on your description) then the combination of the drum machine bass drum and snare comes out this way:

x..xx.x. (like programming a drum machine, with x's as hits and '.'s as rests that are the same length as the hits)

Here are the two drums separately:

x...x... (bass drum)
...x..x. (snare)

This is an Afro-Cuban rhythm called the habanera that has been circulating around the hemisphere in different variations since it was a dance craze in the mid-19th century. It is found, in different forms, in Brazilian music (coco de embolada, forró, and other styles) as well as other kinds of Latin music. It was one of the first beats that began to mess with the European time sense in square rhythms such as polka at the time, expressing an african additive metronome sense. Part of what makes it so catchy and danceable is that each cycle can either be felt in even measures (1 & 2 & 1 & 2 &), or as additive rhythm 3+3+2 (1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2).
posted by umbú at 3:40 PM on March 6, 2007 [3 favorites]

I just finished making a "history and spread of Jamaican beats" mix, and reggaeton (Daddy Yankee - Gasolina) is one of the derivatives I have at the end. The mix also has the original "Dem Bow" by Shabba Ranks.
posted by nekton at 5:07 PM on March 6, 2007

Yeah, I lived on the Lower East Side for a while, and before I learned what reggaeton was, I swear I thought that everyone on my block was into the same band. And that they only had one song.

I'm not the biggest fan of reggaeton myself, but I will admit that it's fun to play drums to and makes the girls wiggle their asses.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:35 AM on March 7, 2007

Nekton, you don't happen to want to put that on Mefi music, do you? (hint, hint!)
posted by wzcx at 10:05 AM on March 7, 2007

In Santiago, Chile, I constantly hear what sounds like the same moron drive by, listening to the same two seconds of the same song. It's eerie, in a way.
posted by signal at 8:14 AM on April 18, 2007

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