Although David Heartbreak is credited as the original purveyor of moombahsoul, the New York-based producer has taken a break from producing heartwarming 110-BPM ballads in favor of expanding his production repertoire. Luckily for fans of moombahton’s overtly sensual cousin (we all have one of those, right?), a collection of producers continue to make stirring mid-tempo dance songs in Heartbreak’s wake.
Enter Phi Unit and Cousin Cole, two fellow New Yorkers who released their first effervescent So Emotional mixtape in Decemeber 2011. To get a sense of the sound, think Frank Ocean over dembow snares, warped James Blake vocals amidst pop-friendly chord progressions, and chopped up iterations of the Fleet Foxes, all at the 110 beat-per-minute tempo range. Although some of the songs are R&B-friendly and all of them admittedly “emotional,” Phi Unit prefers the umbrella term moombahton to describe the project. “When we first did So Emotional, the tracks we were working on didn’t really fit into the moombahsoul vibe, like sampling ‘La Ritournelle’ by Sébastien Tellier or Fleet Foxes’ ‘White Winter Hymnal,’” he explains to Hive. “So Emotional is like a 2nd cousin to the moombahsoul series.” Still, their project departs from most preconceptions of the new dance genre. “A lot of people know moombahton for all of the heavy bangers, but we wanted to show that there’s a softer side to it,” Phi Unit adds. “It helps expand the genre and hopefully influences other producers to keep pushing the sound into unexpected directions.”
This week, Phi Unit and Cousin Cole return with So Emotional Volume 2 and an accompanying hour-long mix featuring tracks from the mixtape and more. Tackling remixes of Gil Scott Heron, Shontelle and M83 this time around, the second mixtape is more melancholy than the first, the remixed vocals resting above moodier funk and disco breaks and swooning synth melodies. Stream the So Emotional mixtape below, and download the individual tracks for free here.