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Shows of the week: Freestyle Extravaganza, Porchistas and Friends, Tom Brislin

BRISLIN

Once upon a time, there was a musical subgenre called freestyle, and it was a heck of a lot of fun, especially if you liked to dance. Arguably, freestyle hasn’t gone anywhere — it’s just been absorbed and digested, like so many other subgenres, by pop and club music, and you can dust for its fingerprints at the disco. Nevertheless, freestyle had its heyday and moment of focus in the mid-to-late-’80s, when it was inevitable that hip-hop, electropop and Latin music would collide. Most of the notable practitioners of the style came from Spanish-speaking neighborhoods in New York City, and there were many Floridians involved, too. But the main impresario of the freestyle movement was Sal Abbatiello, an Italian-American clubowner and label chief who was one of the linchpins of live hip-hop in ’80s New York. Continue Reading →

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