Major Lazer and Anitta crank the heat in new track, ‘Make It Hot’

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Major Lazer and Anitta crank the heat in new track, ‘Make It Hot’Major Lazer Im Park 2016 13 Von 15

With Diplo’s signature Mad Decent Block Party just a month away, fresh material from the EDM goliath’s very own dancehall collective, Major Lazer, serves as a warm welcome to the impending festival season.

In what started as a project to repackage reggae and dancehall to the dance music masses, the Diplo-led trio—which also sports the talents of Walshy Fire and Ape Drums—has blossomed into an auditory melting pot of cultures, fusing musical and visual inspirations from around the globe. Major Lazer’s new single, “Make It Hot,” does just this, finding common ground among Eastern and Latin sound palettes all within a trudging moombahton beat.

Rio de Janeiro’s very own Anitta supplies vocals, which not only puts a much-needed sheen on the amalgamation of sounds present, but slathers the summer-ready beat with Major Lazer’s patented brand of grinding EDM swag.

Hosted at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on July 20 and 21, this year’s Mad Decent Block Party is headlined by Major Lazer, Billie Eilish, G-Eazy and Miguel. Tickets to the event can be found here.

Diplo gets saucy with Barstool Sports in pizza-themed lead up to Mad Decent Block Party

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Diplo gets saucy with Barstool Sports in pizza-themed lead up to Mad Decent Block PartyC0c61486 Af0d 434b 8f9d C1c49915a4ca Diplo 13

Diplo, the DJ-turned-pizza-authority recently joined Barstool’s Dave Portnoy as the first electronic artist in over 600 episodes of Portnoy’s One Bite pizza reviews. In the episode, Diplo drops his review of an artisan pie from Sotto 13 in New York, while Portnoy does the same, between an anecdote involving Diplo, the cameraman and, unsurprisingly, a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit after party.

The ‘za reviews are topped with a taste of what’s to come at the Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival. Splayed across July 20-21 at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, this year’s outdoor party needs not an ounce of bolstering, with headliners like Billie Eilish, Miguel, and Major Lazer on the roster.

TLDR: Diplo’s final thoughts on the pizza: Mad Decent.

Tickets to the Mad Decent Block Party are available here.

Photo Credit: Zoë Meyers/The Desert Sun

Diplo on addition of Ape Drums to Major Lazer, ‘It’s like John Mayer joining the Grateful Dead’

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Diplo on addition of Ape Drums to Major Lazer, ‘It’s like John Mayer joining the Grateful Dead’Major Lazer Press Photo 2018 Billboard U 1548

In recent weeks, Jillionaire quietly slipped away from Major Lazer and was replaced by Ape Drums for the group’s ramping performance schedule. The move came without much fanfare until the news officially broke on June 3. A few weeks ago, when Major Lazer began promoting the concept for their new Lazerism LP, Dancing Astronaut reached out to Diplo for comment on Jillionaire’s absence from the video. The request went unanswered until news officially broke—then Diplo reached back out to us to provide some more clarity on the situation.

According to Diplo,

“Jillionaire is always part of the team. Ape Drums is helping with production on some tracks (he’s done a few songs with us before) so he is going to tour with us as well…it’s like John Mayer joining the Grateful Dead.”

More details on Lazerism are expected to surface in the coming weeks, and Ape Drums’ stylistic influence within the dancehall group should begin to show. Over the years, group and it’s rotating members have always maintained a collective ethos, so even while Jillionaire is off on new pursuits, his place in Major Lazer seems indefinitely open.

Jillionaire officially departs from Major Lazer, replaced by Ape Drums

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Jillionaire officially departs from Major Lazer, replaced by Ape DrumsBabes Wodumo Major Lazer Min

Major Lazer is changing shape once again, following the departure of longtime member, Jillionaire. The dancehall trio took its current form in late 2011 with the exit of Major Lazer’s original member, Switch. Since then, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire helped Diplo propel Major Lazer into a hit-making machine, though now, ahead of Lazerism—presumed to be Major Lazer’s final LP together—Jillionaire has left to pursue other personal projects.

Replacing the Feel Up Records helmer in Major Lazer’s live lineup is longtime close affiliate of the group, Ape Drums. Jillionaire’s departure started to become apparent in a recent social media post hyping Major Lazer’s hotly anticipated new LP, in which he was clearly absent. Now, following Ape Drums’ live debut at Major Lazer’s Governor’s Ball performance this past weekend, Jillionaire’s retirement from Major Lazer is all but confirmed, thus marking the end of an era, and the beginning of an exciting new one for the legendary electronic group.

Walshy Fire of Major Lazer announces debut solo album, ‘ABENG,’ shares lead single, ‘No Negative Vibes’

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Walshy Fire of Major Lazer announces debut solo album, ‘ABENG,’ shares lead single, ‘No Negative Vibes’Unnamed 2

While he may be best known as the Master of Ceremonies for Major Lazer, Walshy Fire is also a producer and DJ of his own accord, and now he’s ready to put forth his debut solo album, ABENG, along with the LP’s first single, “No Negative Vibes.”

The title of the album refers to an instrument crafted from an animal horn that was taken from Ghana to Jamaica. Slaves would use this instrument to communicate over long distances in a way only people within their community could understand.

This title is quite profound provided that Walshy’s presence in Major Lazer gives the group real authenticity. Diplo and Switch (two American DJs) started Major Lazer back in 2008, but Walshy was born in Kingston, Jamaica, a city where Major Lazer draws heavy musical influence. After the extreme success of “Lean On“, Walshy and Major Lazer began touring all over the world including Africa, which had an acute effect on him as a producer.

“The intention [of ABENG] is to make the Caribbean and Africa have a conversation that is louder, and in the same studio or the same stage, at the same time,” Walshy says. 

Just as the abeng traveled from Africa to the Carribean, the music of those two regions have shared influence for decades, evolving into styles like dancehall, soca, and reggae. On “No Negative Vibes,” Walshy has included vocal work from fellow Jamaican artist Alkaline and Nigeria’s own Runtown for a pleasant, uplifting slow jam.

ABENG will be out June 7 on Mad Decent.

Wuki enlists Ship Wrek for another infectious homage to Daft Punk on ‘Techno Logic’

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Wuki enlists Ship Wrek for another infectious homage to Daft Punk on ‘Techno Logic’Wuki Live Credit BOO AZ

WUKILEAKS is the (now-not-so-hidden) gem account for DJs across the Internet—a project that started approximately three years ago by Kris Berman—better known as Wuki. The Denver-based producer started off with mash-ups of Busta Rhymes, the Six Flags-famed “We Like To Party” theme, and more, all of which instantly exploded into DJ sets everywhere. One year ago, Berman fused Major Lazer‘s breakout hit “Pon De Floor” with Daft Punk classic “One More Time.”

Now, Wuki gives fans a new take on another masked-robot classic, teaming up with Ship Wrek on “Techno Logic.” The rising LA-based duo are making a ton of noise with their distinct brand of house, adding that flare to the grooved-out bass-line on this new collaborative homage to the French visionaries. Of course, listeners are also welcomed by utter craziness from Wuki under the beloved Daft Punk sample.

Catch Wuki on a packed summer itinerary, hitting Electric Forest on June 29 after a string of shows in Australia, followed by a performance at Yellow Club in Bangkok before stops at Red Rocks (August 10 with Alison Wonderland) and Electric Zoo August 30.

Stream Major Lazer’s surprise Do LaB set from Coachella 2019

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Stream Major Lazer’s surprise Do LaB set from Coachella 2019Babes Wodumo Major Lazer Min

A cornerstone of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival experience, Do LaB‘s carefully curated stage, rallies expert electronic acts for a high caliber lineup within the festival’s larger billing. Central to Do LaB’s diverse annual lineups are a slew of surprise guests, whom Do LaB situates among its showcased acts. In the past, Do LaB has breathed life into the age-old, highly applicable aphorism, “expect the unexpected,” by bringing the likes of SkrillexMajor Lazer, and Richie Hawtin to Coachella’s Do LaB stage for unanticipated live sets.

Do LaB continued its tradition of large-scale, surprise-guest revelation at Coachella’s recently concluded 2019 iteration, wherein Major Lazer took the decks during Weekend 1. As per Major Lazer’s musical usual, the soon-to-disband group’s set is rife with the tropically inflected dancehall sound that originally rocketed the electronic trio to sonic superstardom.

Photo credit: Adam Elmakias

Major Lazer share their first single ‘Can’t Take It From Me’ from final upcoming studio album

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Major Lazer share their first single ‘Can’t Take It From Me’ from final upcoming studio albumBabes Wodumo Major Lazer Min

Since teasing their fourth and final studio album Music Is The Weapon, Major Lazer have stayed relatively quiet up until now. The dancehall trio consisting of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire have finally released their first single “Can’t Take It From Me” enlisting vocals from Bob Marley’s grandson, Skip, and returning to their signature blend of Carribean-inspired dance music. Major Lazer announced the group would be wrapping up all activities and dissolving back in September 2018, having celebrated their 10 year anniversary. Front-man Diplo promised that their last album Music Is The Weapon would consist of “a bunch of stuff you haven’t heard like that we made the last ten years.”

While the final LP does not yet have an official release date, Major Lazer and especially Diplo has kept busy in the meantime. Diplo teased the return of Major Lazer’s animated FXX series, announced his inaugural The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party, and released his first single under newly-formed country project Thomas Wesley.

Photo Credit: Adam Elmakias

North Coast confirms new venue and 10-year anniversary lineup: Bassnectar, Major Lazer, and more

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North Coast confirms new venue and 10-year anniversary lineup: Bassnectar, Major Lazer, and moreNorth Coast Music Fest

For its watershed 10th installment, Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival has secured nearly 30 musical guests over a new two-day format for Labor Day Weekend, August 30-31.

Topped by Bassnectar and Major Lazer, “Summer’s Last Stand” is keeping its roster strictly electronic this year, appealing to its increasingly central audience in years passed. Additionally, after a career-long run at Union Park, North Coast is relocating to Chicago’s waterfront, specifically the picturesque, man-made peninsula, Northerly Island, at The Huntington Bank Pavilion.

The 2019 undercard runs deep, with bolstering from Tchami, Jai Wolf, Big Wild, Anna Lunoe, and i_o, to name a few of those poised to deliver performances between the two-stage setup. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 26 at 12pm CST.

More information on North Coast is available here.

NORTH COAST 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY LINEUP

(ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

Align

Anna Lunoe

Bassnectar

Big Wild

Birthdayy Partyy

Dee Mash

Dirty Monkey

Elevatd

Flux Pavilion

Ford.

GoodSex

Gorgon City (Live)

i_o

Inzo

Jai Wolf

Jauz

Kyle Walker

Major Lazer

Melvv

Ookay (DJ Set)

SG Lewis

Snakehips

SoDown

Stratus

Tchami

Trampa

Wooli

Yung Bae

Photo Credit: Keith Griner

Diplo presents The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party, led by Billie Eilish, G-Eazy, Major Lazer, Miguel

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Diplo presents The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party, led by Billie Eilish, G-Eazy, Major Lazer, MiguelDiplo Mon MVMT18 Bryan Mitchell 199

What Diplo wants, Diplo gets, specifically the first-ever Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival. If the length of the name tells us anything, it’s that the seminal Mad Decent festival is sure to be one hell of a doozy, as the newly minted event’s lineup confirms. Billie Eilish, G-Eazy, Major Lazer, and Miguel head the festival, which will manifest as a fine balance of highly sought electronic acts and equally illustrious hip-hop artists alike.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Kodak Black, Pusha T, and J.I.D. round out the festival’s hip-hop inclusions, while Dillon Francis, RL Grime, Zeds Dead, REZZ, Ekali, Troyboi, Baauer, and Whethan comprise some of Diplo’s dance picks. The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival also casts glances at talent from genres beyond the electronic and hip-hop spheres, to draw the stylistically malleable Quinn XCII, R&B’s Pink Sweat$ and Jesse Reyez, and Finneas out.

Needless to say, the inaugural Mad Decent Block Party branded affair is a must attend for many reasons, primary of which—at least, for dance music fans—is Major Lazer’s occupancy of a headlining slot. Diplo previously intimated that Major Lazer will likely dissolve after delivering their fourth—and probably final—album together, in a January interview with Complex. As such, The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival might well be one of Major Lazer’s last large-scale performances.

The unveiling of The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival’s lineup comes just after Mad Decent Block Party Festival tweeted out a video with a particularly suggestive caption on April 5: “IT’S HAPPENING.” While the far from subtle warning altered past attendees of Diplo’s multi-city Mad Decent Block Party party series to be ready for a followup announcement regarding the fate of a MDBP festival, Diplo’s presentation of a full-fledged lineup has presumably taken many by surprise, given how quickly it succeeded the preliminary Twitter hint that a MDBP festival was in the works.

The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party will descend upon Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for two days of fun, come July 20-21. Tickets to the festival will go on sale at 10 a.m. EST April 12.

Diplo presents The Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party, led by Billie Eilish, G-Eazy, Major Lazer, MiguelSuper Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party

Photo credit: Bryan Mitchell