Song You Need to Know: Uproot Andy and Nino Augustine, 'La Montamos'

New York DJ-producer Uproot Andy and singer Nino Augustine meld buzzing reggaeton and urgent afrobeats in “La Montamos.” It’s one of two Uproot Andy productions included on the compilation SMS for Location, Vol. 4, released earlier this month, which also features Sango, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pierre Kwenders.

“La Montamos” is little more than a fizzy riff on synthesizer and a staggering, zig-zag beat; Augustine raps with nimble force, hurtling over the chattering drums. The combination results in a no-frills, needle-nosed club missile. “For the production, I really wanted to combine the power of old-school reggaeton with swagger of modern afrobeats,” Uproot Andy tells Rolling Stone.

Augustine is of Panamanian descent, and “Panamanian music was at the center of the birth of reggaeton out of dancehall,” Andy continues. “Artists there have been interpolating afrobeats into Spanish versions since before it became so popular in the U.S., so I knew Nino would get [the concept of the song] from both sides. Plus, oddly, the French afrobeats scene takes a lot more explicit influence from reggaeton than the Lagos-London scene does, with artists like Aya Nakamura doing songs over full-on reggaeton style beats. So I thought it was another interesting connection to have an actual Spanish-language reggaeton song on a compilation that already has all these French and Congolese tracks.”

Uproot Andy’s other contribution to SMS for Location, Vol. 4 is “Lelo,” a track with Moonshine and Sarah Kalume; it’s softer than “La Montamos,” nodding to the 6/8 rhythms that pop up in Congolese afro-house.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

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