Within seconds of hearing the first drumbeats, you are immediately immersed into the vibrant, tropical paradise that is Jamaica. As the seductive, yet soulful voice of Atlanta’s very own Cherae come into play, the Caribbean fantasy is fulfilled as the rhythm of the song open up to a full-on dancehall anthem. “Hey, DJ play my
All good things must come to an end — it looks like Major Lazer may be creeping towards a finale.
In a recent interview with Complex, Diplo suggested that Major Lazer will be coming to an end in 2019 after one last album, eleven years after the group was initially founded by himself and his former counterpart Switch. Dishing on a range of exciting topics, the news of the dancehall trio’s disbandment comes when their frontman announces a forthcoming commemorative collection to mark the group’s ten year anniversary that features,
“A bunch of stuff you haven’ t heard like that we made the last ten years. Next year marks our last album, so we got a lot of stuff in between now and then.”
The reason for the split? Simply, Random White Dude Be Everywhere. Diplo’s side projects — the Mark Ronson-assisted Silk City and Labrinth and Sia‘s collaborative LSD — are starting to come into their own as full-fledged projects, and work with a whole new generation of rappers has Mad Decent‘s head honcho busier than ever. Moreover, sometimes it just comes down to knowing when to hang it up. After dominating the charts and cementing their names in the streaming records books, bridging the gaps between pop, electronic, and dancehall, and representing electronic music everywhere from Cuba to Africa to India, there’s not much more for Major Lazer to do.
As with any genre, there are catchphrases that are unique to it and it alone. Emotional dance music is one such phrase that comes to mind. It’s one that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and certainly, it’s one that can be overused and overstated. Is this music actually saying anything, one might ask. But more importantly, does it matter? Opinions aside, the question of substance matters greatly for the French electronic duo, The Blaze.
In the duo’s cinematic breakthrough, their video for “Territory,” they challenge the concept of male fragility. The video opens with two men in tears, hugging, and it’s a reunion so pure that even its viewer, a total stranger, might too be moved to tears.
Moonlight Director Barry Jenkins, another challenger of the aforementioned, recently went on to tell The New York Times‘ Joe Caramanica that the first time he watched the video he “had an experience.” Jenkins continued, “It’s almost like a ballet in a certain way, the camera is so active. It’s participating in this dance,” — and there is actual dancing in The Blaze’s music, plenty of it.
As the duo’s fully embraced the musical project and used it as a means to challenge perception and the world we’re living in, they’ve announced their debut album DANCEHALL, named for the social space — not to be confused with the reggae sub-genre. DANCEHALL, instead, is a tribute to the birth of the spaces in the 1940’s. On “FACES” the two capture the fleeting, simpler moments on the dance floors, when the only way to listen to your favorite artist was to come together — bodies moving together as one.
“FACES” follows The Blaze’s “Heaven.”Alongside their first releases “Virile” and “Territory,” the sumptuous video, completes a triptych.
DANCEHALL is out September 7 via Animal63/Sony Music U.K./RCA Records.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Loyseau
Santigold has snap-released her dancehall mixtape, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, produced by Mixpak Records founder Dre Skull. In her first release since 2016’s 99¢ album, the project came together with old, unfinished beats from Diplo and Ricky Blaze.
Announced just one day prior, Santi White opted to go with a swift release strategy to mimic current music consumption trends. She told Rolling Stone, ““I don’t think people necessarily digest music in the same way. So I’m going to do fun stuff for a minute, a different way. I have another EP I’m about to do with someone else that’s going to be really fun and fast.”
The Philadelphia-native singer and producer carries a casual, cool, rhythmic tone throughout the project, primed for leisurely poolside kicking. It’s a swaggering summer reggae record, that manages to incorporate compelling social commentary atop sunny island grooves. To top everything off, she recorded the album while pregnant, finishing her last track and the album’s titular “Gold Fire” just a week before the baby’s due date. Santigold will also perform select dates on Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary tour.
Rihanna and her label, Roc Nation, are in the midst of completing an album devoted to singer’s Caribbean roots. Sources close to the project have also suggested she’s also working on a different pop-oriented album. For the last year, team RiRi has been searching for beats, collecting what sources say is close to 500 records from different producers for the dancehall album alone. One producer whose asked to remain anonymous told Rolling Stone, “They’re only choosing 10 records. They’ve been having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now. I’ve been flying to Miami, flying to L.A., cutting records nonstop for this project.” Apparently the Barbados-born pop queen’s A&R is still asking for records.
Many of the singers and producer’s who’ve contributed to the project believe Jamaican artists will benefit from the high-profile release. Producers listed as potential collaborators include Drake affiliates Supa Dups and Boi-1da, reggae artist Chronixx, electronic pop royalty Skrillex, and an army of others. The “Work” singer has been enlisting demos from top-tier Jamaican talent to further penetrate the American market. Dancehall may be seeing a steep rise in representation in pop music currently, though Rihanna’s upcoming work looks to seal that envelope. Nearly half of Spotify’s most played songs ever have a soca inspired rhythm — from Drake to Dillon Francis. With Rihanna’s team hard at work intentionally highlighting Jamaican producers, fans might be introduced to a whole new genre of popular music soon.
H/T: Rolling Stone
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Random White Dude Be Everywhere.
Diplo has been on an absolute tear lately. In the last two weeks, he’s dropped a radio-ready party cut with Lil Pump for Deadpool 2, he’s debuted an already highly acclaimed disco project dubbed Silk City with Mark Ronson, delivered a summer time jam with frequent collaborator MØ, oh… and scored the World Cup’s 2018 anthem with a comeback-primed Will Smith. But Diplo’s month-long flexing spree wouldn’t be complete without a Major Lazer giveaway, so now the trio have come through with a boisterous dancehall remix that’s perfect for Memorial Day Weekend poolside playlists.
Taking on Jus Now, Dismantle, and Busy Signal’s “Fire (Spotie)” anchored around he horn breakdown of OutKast’s seminal “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” Major Lazer inject the uninhibited dancehall belter with an additional burst of dance floor appeal and a wild modified jungle break. The original tune, which came by way of Trinidad-meets-UK duo Jus Now and Busy Signal, who famously lended vocals to Major Lazer’s groundbreaking “Watch Out For This,” is now getting a full circle remix from Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire, as the Mad Decent helmer just continues to be the summer’s gift that keeps on giving.
Featured Image: Rukes
Major Lazer released a new track to Soundcloud yesterday entitled “Go Dung” as a free holiday gift for fans. The track features Caribbean soca pop group Kes, who inject their signature Trinidad & Tobago rooted vocals into the track blessing it with palpable rhythm.
Major Lazer’s keen ability to pull from Caribbean cultural elements and install them into their own body of work has allowed them to pave their own path within EDM, and the group — comprised of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire — is likely to reach a new pinnacle in the genre with each successive release.
GTA have always kept to a strict “death to genres” code, and generally, they’ve been able to disguise their production style around a wide variety of different sonics. There’s no doubt however that the Miami exports have a strong penchant for trap music, and when they deliver, it tends to go hard –– case and point, their newest piece alongside Falcons and Stush, “Buyaka.” LA’s Falcons, UK-based rapper Stush, and GTA all found their first pairing on a remix of 2015’s “What We Tell Dem,” and now the group has rejoined on a brand new original product that weaves Stush’s dubby spits through a turbulent trap beat that impressively complements the three producers’ bombastic styles.
The new track, which found its debut earlier this year in Falcons’ Diplo & Friends mix, stacks up multi-layered percussion behind patois-laced versework before dropping into a knocking break with a punchy hook. Stush’s heavy rhyme format grinds over Falcons’ and GTA’s stomping beat, blurring the gaps between trap, dancehall and hip-hop. “Buyaka” comes with a fitting A-Trak cosign, landing by way of Falcons’ longtime home imprint, Fool’s Gold Records.
Amalgamating reggae, dancehall, and soca with electronic music, Noise Cans is here with his debut EP. The Bermudian producer has already released “No War,” and subsequently Yellow Claw’s remix of the track, which is also featured on the six-track compilation. While each track has its own distinct style, the one characteristic tying the album together is the upbeat energy pulsing through each track. Noise Cans joins the ranks of anonymous masked producers, with little being known about him other than the fact he is Bermudian.
Noise Cans commented on Masquerave.
“When creating this EP, I wanted to put together a body of work that included the core (my Caribbean culture) and touches of electronic and modern sounds that I’ve grown to love today, creating, to me, the perfect marriage.”
Just last week, Caribou‘s Dan Snaith sent fans into a frenzy with the release of a cryptic visual. Now, it seems fans will need to increase their anticipation as the artist has announced his second album under his club-focused alias Daphni is set to be released Friday, Oct.6.
Dubbed Joli Mai, the release is set to consist mainly of extended versions of tracks from Snaith’s recent Fabriclive mix, where most of the tracks created as short two or three-minute tunes for the mix. On the forthcoming release, they’re fleshed-out into full-length tracks.
“Vulture,” which had been teased last week in the cryptic visual and appeared on Midland’s Fabriclive 94 CD, will also be released for the first time in full.
To highlight the forthcoming release, Snaith went a step further and shared four new songs, “Face To Face,” “Carry On,” “Tin,” and “Hey Drum.” All four tracks are available to listen to in their entirety on the Daphni Bandcamp page now. “Carry On” has also been added to Spotify.
Joli Mai Tracklist:
02 Face to Face
03 Carry On
05 Xing Tian
08 The Truth
09 Hey Drum
11 Joli Mai
12 Life’s What You Make It
Joli Mai is out Friday, Oct. 6 on Snaith’s own Jiaolong label.