Major LazerMajor Lazer - Hold the Line
Artist: Major Lazer
Hails from: Philadelphia/London
Musical Style:Dancehall, Reggae, Electronica, Club/Dance
For Fans of:M.I.A.,Santigold, Simian Mobile Disco
Why You Should Check Them Out:
The dancehall side project of DJ/producers Diplo (Wes Pentz, of Philadelphia) and Switch (Dave Taylor of London), Major Lazer is infecting dance floors all over the globe. The endlessly creative duo—responsible for M.I.A.’s Grammy-nominated “Paper Planes”—combine forces to create some of the best jams of 2009.
Who doesn’t like a little wacky mythology to spice up their record collection? In order to best disseminate their latest reggae-inflected grooves, Diplo and Switch created the character Major Lazer—a Jamaican commando who lost his arms in the secret Zombie War of 1984 (never heard of it?). According to legend, US military forces rescued the “major” and fashioned him with prosthetic limbs formed from experimental lazers. Major Lazer, under cover as a dancehall club owner, enlists the help of—you guessed it—Diplo and Switch to produce his first LP.
In their own words, the group produces, “futuristic dancehall and digital reggae sounds crafted as a soundtrack to a not-so-distant dystopian future.” Major Lazer endeavors to defeat evil forces through partying and killer tunes—along with his rocket-powered skateboard.
Whatever the intention, the ensuing album, Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do, is a dancehall tour de force. Filled with big beats and electronic pulses, the album revolves around nasty basslines and crafty samples. The Major throws in plenty of found sounds, sex-laden lyrics and a little Auto-Tune zaniness for good measure. The record features an array of guests including Santigold, Nina Sky and Amanda Blank, as well as dancehall stars Mr. Lex, Ms. Thing, Mr. Vegas and Vybz Kartel.
To ensure proper defense against the supposedly encroaching monsters, vampires and zombies lurking just beneath the surface of our “civilized society,” you might just want to arm yourself with a copy.