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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kid Cedek: Atlanta's moombahton-to-trap transplant

Kid Cedek planned big this year for New Year's Eve. It was the day he dropped his Circus Freaks EP online, and later that night (4 a.m. to be exact) he took the stage during QUAD @ Spring 4th Complex's "Crushes New Year's Eve" party as one of seven headlining DJs. Essentially, he wanted to do everything at once.

Back in June 2009, Kid Cedek (born Merchicedek Reyes) moved to Atlanta from his native DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area. As he made his rounds at the local venues, including Opera, MJQ, and Graveyard, he distinguished himself from other DJs by incorporating the sounds of a still-burgeoning genre into his sets. Just months after Kid Cedek moved South, Mad Decent's Dave Nada (David Villeagas) was spinning at a Maryland basement party when he slowed and screwed a Dutch house track from about 130 beats per minute to 108. Nada called it moombahton and a new sound was born.

Kid Cedek could have moved back and added to moombahton's presence in the town where it was hatched. Instead, he brought it to Atlanta. At Buzz, his monthly party at Sutra with Sin Diesel, he used moombahton to string together mainstream hits and web-released mixes, including those by Nada himself. He founded his own moombahton label, Rot10 Musik, and his own promotional company, Moombah ATL. Then, he became the city's best emigrant-turned-essential local DJ.

But as 2012 progressed, Kid Cedek found himself increasingly coming face-to-face with much larger audiences: Beatport and SoundCloud listeners, who were just as hungry for new mixes as he was eager to create them. Some of his more recent releases hint of how he hopes to attract, and maintain, their attention. A minute into Circus Freaks (which also features local duo Street Lurkin), he cues what sounds like ambulance sirens in overdrive, firing off at perhaps ten times their normal speed. This, while working with moombahton's looser grooves, is how he's constantly searching for new ways to get hearts racing.

With his most recent mixtape Be the Rave Presents: Kid Cedek, his own "Moombahton Mashive" mix unwinds to a more forceful beat, then familiar barks of verses - the intro to Waka Flocka Flame's "Rooster in My Rari." The longer Kid Cedek sticks around Atlanta, the more he finds himself reckoning with sounds of the city. He announced the release of Circus Freaks with an MTV Hive debut of "Clownin' in Da Trap," and in January, and another one of his tracks will be featured on Trap-A-Holics' Certified Trap: Reloaded 2, the sequel to this year's compilation.

Kid Cedek plans to relaunch his monthly DEF ATL nights, at a venue to be determined in February, the same month he's dropping an as yet untitled EP. And coming after performances in New York City and D.C., he's looking to start touring abroad as well. At times in which artists and producers can, and often do, chase after sounds from faraway regions if not distant times, Kid Cedek is flaunting distinctly regional sounds from places where he's actually lived and partied.

Read about more artists to watch in 2013.

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