Kelman Duran feeds reggaeton rhythms through a compressor on his debut album, 1804 KIDS, which is a reference to the Haitian Revolution; in 1804, after a 12-year uprising, the island won independence from its colonial oppressors.
On the L.A.-based Dominican artist's single "Solos," which features New York producer Mess Kid, he turns a song about unrequited love (Dominican-Puerto Rican singer Ozuna's "No Quiere Enamorarse" — s/o to my colleague Nazuk for the ID) into something more urgent. The vocals are sped up to the point of a squeal. Spread atop a swelling, choral synth line, "Solos" — Spanish for "alone" — has a spiritual undertone.
"Most of these rhythms come out of RAIL UP, a monthly [L.A. night] dedicated to Afro-Caribbean sounds," Kelman Duran told The FADER. "The title of the record is 1804 KIDS; a gesture alluding to the Haitian Revolution. The Haitian Revolution is something I think got passed down to us — to everyone in the Caribbean, that is. I think this is what interested Simone Trabucchi from Hundebiss in putting out the record; the constant reference to something that is at the point of being lost given the conditions of what it means to be Black in the Dominican Republic."