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Free The UniverseAfter releasing their landmark LP Guns Don't Kill People Lazers Do in 2009,the heroic production
duo of Diplo and Switch found themselves boldly marching forwards toward the end of the aughts,
conquering major milestones. Now, as the sole executive producer of Major Lazer, Diplo continues
to spearhead the current dancehall revival movement with the upcoming release Free The Universe.
The recording includes exciting collaborations with Bruno Mars, Tyga, Flux Pavillion, Wynter
Gordon, Shaggy, Wyclef, Ezra Koening from Vampire Weekend, Dev and more. Spin called the LP's
first single Get Free featuring Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, a meeting point between
Jamaica,West Africa, and Brooklyn.
Diplo (AKA Wesley Pentz) has risen through the ranks and has asserted himself as one of the most
pioneering producers of the time. Through unending curiosity and exploration of the vast multitudes
of the world's musical heritages, Diplo has managed to seamlessly connect the global underground to
the audio mainstream. He is the Grammy-nominated founder, owner and head honcho of Mad
Decent records, which has not only garnered widespread critical and audience accolades since its
inception, but has also deservedly earned a hefty reputation as a vanguard of groundbreaking releases.1 You're No Good (feat. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim & Yasmin)
2 Jet Blue Jet (feat. Leftside, GTA, Razz & Biggy)
3 Get Free (feat. Amber of Dirty Projectors)
4 Jah No Partial (feat. Flux Pavilion)
5 Wind Up (feat. Elephant Man & Opal)
6 Scare Me (feat. Peaches & Timberlee)
7 Jessica (feat. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend)
8 Watch Out For This (Bumaye) (feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green)
9 Keep Cool (feat. Shaggy & Wynter Gordon)
10 Sweat (feat. Laidback Luke & Ms. Dynamite)
11 Reach for the Stars (feat. Wyclef Jean)
12 Bubble Butt (feat. Bruno Mars, Tyga & Mystic)
13 Mashup the Dance (feat. The Partysquad & Ward 21)
14 Playground (feat. Bugle & Arama)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
More Monsters and Sprites EPRuffneck (FULL Flex) video uploaded to YouTube 12/23/2011. Over 2.6 million views in less than two weeks.
The "remix companion" to Skrillex's successful EP Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites actually features two new tracks, including the opening highlight "First of the Year," which wonderfully shifts from the cute kind of fluff Boards of Canada might appreciate to a grinding dubstep monster threatening to turn the woofers inside-out. "Ruffneck (Flex)" is a dancehall-meets-jungle slammer in that Major Lazer style, then four mixes of the previous EP's title track finish things off with the best ideas coming from remixers Phonat (bringing back the sound of IDM in its heyday) and Kaskade (turning this stuff into bleepy, blissful house music).1. "First of the Year (Equinox)"
2. "Ruffneck (Flex)"
3. "Ruffneck (FULL Flex)"
4. "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (Dirtyphonics Remix)
5. "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (Phonat Remix)
6. "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (The Juggernaut Remix)
7. "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (Kaskade Remix)$20.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Apocalypse SoonMajor Lazer has announced their first official release of 2014, the Apocalypse
Soon EP. The new chapter begins where Major Lazer, led by Grammy
nominated Diplo, left off in 2013. Once again, Major Lazer has recruited
some of the biggest names in music to collaborate on the 5 track EP
including Pharrell Williams and Sean Paul as well as Machel Montano, RDX,
Moska and Mr. Fox.1.Aerosol Can (feat. PharrellWilliams)
2.Come On To Me (feat. Sean Paul)
3. Sound Bang (feat.Machel Montano)
4. LoseYourself (Feat.RDX & Moska)
5. DaleAsi(feat.Mr. Fox)$15.9912 Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
DifferentologyOne of the leading artists in the ragga soca movement, Trinidadian soca superstar Bunji Garlin is also one of the genre's few crossover artists, having made an impact internationally with Major Lazer, the Soul Train Awards, and even the television show Greys Anatomy all in the mix. Born Ian Anthony Alvarez in Sangre Grande, Trinidad, he took his name by combining something flexible (a bungee cord) and forceful (Garlin being a type of gun) and kicked off his career just as a dancehall-influenced strain of soca music was taking hold. Known as ragga soca, the aggressive, digital genre fueled Garlin's 2000 debut, The Chronicles, a thoroughly modern album which also featured soca legend Alison Hinds. The singer would win Trinidad's Ragga Soca Monarch competition that same year, as well as the next, while 2002 saw him win the International Soca Monarch award and release his first album for the VP label, Revelation. In 2006 he made news with his marriage to fellow soca artist Fay-Ann Lyons, while 2007 saw him kick-off his international push with the aptly titled Global, an album that featured guest shots from reggae artists T.O.K. and Freddie McGregor. Bunji avoided releasing another album for years, but many of his singles turned into massive, influential hits, especially the 2013 release Differentology. The anthem was picked up by Major Lazer for a remix, was featured on an episode of the hit TV drama Greys Anatomy, and landed Bunji a nomination for Best International Performance at the 2013 Soul Train Awards.LP 1
1. Red Light District
2. Carnival Tabanca
4. Differentology (Ready for the Road)
5. Truck On D Road (Remix)
6. West Indian Jungle
2. Differentology (Ready for the Road) (Major Lazer Remix)
3. Carnival Tabanca (Viking Remix)
4. All O' Dem
6. Over the Hills
7. Gi Dem Dey$17.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Future BrownOften dubbed a "supergroup", each member of Future Brown is a seasoned artist across genres. Fatima Al Qadiri, a Kuwaiti musician and visual artist, last year debuted her LP Asiatisch to critical acclaim via the infamous Hyperdub. LA-based Daniel Pineda and AsmaMaroof have been producing and DJing as Nguzunguzu for the Fade To Mind crew and worked with rappers Le1f, M.I.A and R&B singer Kelela. J-Cush, runs Lit City Trax from NYC, a label providing an outlet for urban music from every corner of the globe including the late Chicago footwork legend DJ Rashad. Presenting vocal collaborators with strains of sonic ideas they would never encounter otherwise, Future Brown manage to catalyze a cosmopolitan, experimental approach to contemporary urban sounds. Future Brown caught early attention with their breakaway track featuring Chicago's rising star Tink. The first producers outside of her city to champion the young vocalist (who is now working on her debut album with Timbaland and AndrÉ 3000), the epic 'Wanna Party' now bookends the album with another Tink collab, "Room 302". Other vocalists include grime's Ruff Sqwad members Rapid and Dirty Danger, Kelela, Yung Chop's 8TMG MCs and Stargete'sproteges Sicko Mobb. Timberlee (reggaton star and Major Lazer collaborator) even graces the album, as well as rapper Shawnna. Performatively Future Brown have backed up their sound with full concept installations at MoMA's PS1 Gallery alongside DIS Magazine as well as Miami's Art Basel this winter. On radio they have gained fans regionally as varied as BBC Radio1 and DJ Pharris at Power 92 Chicago.1. Room 302 [ft. Tink]
2. Talkin Bandz [ft. Shawnna and DJ Victoriouz]
3. Big Homie [ft. Sicko Mobb]
4. No Apology [ft. Timberlee]
5. Vernáculo [ft. Maluca]
6. Dangerzone [ft. Kelela and Ian Isiah]
7. Speng [ft. Riko Dan]
8. Killing Time [ft. Johnny May Cash, YB and King Rell]
9. MVP [ft. 3D Na'Tee and Tim Vocals]
10. Asbestos [ft. Roachee, Prince Rapid and Dirty Danger]
11. Wanna Party [ft. Tink]$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sound Of ChangeThe Sound of Change can't come from external forces, it has to emanate from within. For Dirty Heads, evolution beyond their reggae-rock roots has developed over time and is manifested on their new album "Sound of Change." Due out summer 2014 via Five Seven Music, the album boasts some of the groups' most diverse and ambitious work to date. "Sound of Change" takes a literal meaning with the production of this album, as the band links up with Grammy award winning producer Supa Dups (Nina Sky, Bruno Mars), Buddah Shampoo (Ty Dolla $ign), Niles (of hip hop duo, The Cataracs), Ward 21 (311, Major Lazer reggae collaborators) and long-time friend and collaborator, Rome (Sublime).
The feel-good vibe associated with their sound was not forgotten. Sonically, "Sound of Change" amps up the groundwork laid by previous albums. Fine-tuned alternative choruses work harmoniously with hip-hop influenced production that seams the songs together. Universal themes of compassion, reflection and happiness are at the core of "Sound of Change." "We wanted the songs on this album to touch on the things we deeply care about and the people we are inside" front man Jared (Dirty J) Watson asserts, "but then we want to address the other side - when the weekend comes and we need to let go and just rage." Who can't relate to that feeling?
Vocalist/Guitarist Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B) is constantly looking to connect the dots between the live show with the album tracks, often mentally mapping out the live elements as the songs are being recorded. For the touring cycle surrounding the release "Sound of Change" the band plans to bring a live show that will energetically compliment each new track. Dirty Heads have racked up their miles bringing that live experience to fans across the globe for over a decade. "Now that our lives are touring we get to see the world," both Watson and Bushnell agree, "we're taking stories and vibes from around the world and making this album is the culmination of that."
The band's breakout 2008 album "Any Port In The Storm" included the chart-topping hit track "Lay Me Down" which features current Sublime frontman, Rome. The track had an incredible run for eleven weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts, laying a solid foundation for their follow up sophomore album "Cabin By The Sea" which was released in 2012. Dirty Heads then began their musical metamorphosis with their 2013 acoustic album "Home - Phantoms Of Summer," allowing time for their metamorphosis embodied in "Sound of Change." Their previous work featured contributions from talent such as Del The Funky Homosapien, Matisyahu, Rome (Sublime) and guitar legend Slash.
"Sound of Change" is a melting pot of all the band members' experiences and musical persuasions, addressing both serious and lighthearted subject matter in their signature way. On the lighter side of the spectrum, "Burn Slow" (Produced by Rome, featuring rapper, Tech N9ne) showcases the hip-hop oriented side of the band. With anthemic choruses and a feel-good aura, Watson boasts the song is the perfect soundtrack for those times when you're "having a good time, going out with friends and realize that sometimes you just need to chill." The retro sound and sexy lyrics of "Hear You Comin," highlights Watson's soaring vocals in its hook. The first single, the metaphorical "My Sweet Summer" (produced by Niles from The Cataracs) is, in reality, a song for all seasons. An undeniable groove underlines the lyrical lament. The title track "Sound of Change" is the key manifestation of the artistic maturation of the band. "The world is always changing political and social outlooks and on a broader scale, look at the changes within yourself" Watson reflects, "the song is about embracing the change life is going to bring no matter what, because that change is inevitable." Though there is diversity on "Sound of Change," as a body of work, it is cohesive in a way only Dirty Heads can achieve.
As a full six-piece unit, frontmen Watson and Bushnell are joined by keyboardist/vocalist Shawn Hagood, percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa and bassist David Foral. This lineup is hell-bent on grabbing new ears with "Sound of Change." Their own journey can be heard within the album- all you have to do is sit back and listen.1. Sound Of Change
2. My Sweet Summer
3. Medusa (feat. Ward 21)
4. Burn Slow (feat. Tech N9ne)
5. Franco Eyed (feat. B-Real of Cypress Hill)
6. End Of The World
7. One Hand
10. Hear You Coming
12. Dark Days
13. Running For Your Life$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
True RomanceOver the past few years, Charli has released a series of singles and mixtapes, toured the globe supporting the likes of Coldplay, Santigold, Sleigh Bells and Justice and garnered champions from practically every tastemaker blog and magazine on both sides of the Atlantic. She's had 2.5 million views on YouTube, 470k views of new video for 'You (Ha Ha Ha)' (in one month) and over 630k total plays on Soundcloud. It's hard to believe someone so young could achieve so much. Through it all her main focus has always been on making the best possible album she could. This was made possible by working with some fantastic collaborators who helped hone her vision for a dark, emotional pop record including Ariel Rechtshaid (Usher, Major Lazer, Solange), Patrik Berger (Lana del Rey, Robyn) as well as hotly tipped blog favourites Blood Diamonds and J£zus Millions.
As well as being an artist in her own right, Charli has written and featured on one of the biggest global breakthrough hits of 2012 for Icona Pop. I Love It created an absolute frenzy stateside, having blown up all over the world.
True Romance shares its title with an unbelievably well-cast 1993 movie written by Quentin Tarantino, who was reassembling cultural detritus way before mash-ups and microblogging. Charli XCX's approach to pop is similarly postmodern (how 90s does that sound?), pulling from moody 80s synth-pop, sassy turn-of-the-millennium girl groups, and state-of-the-art contemporary producers to create something distinctive and immediately memorable. She clearly understands the internet, having shared two original mixtapes and two influences mixtapes before her official full-length, but this carefully pruned set is no data dump. And there you'll see a glimmer of True Romance's most throwback aspect: its evident pop ambition, an overriding sense of an imagined mass audience for music that's radio-ready yet outsider-friendly. It's almost like Napster-- and the filler-crammed album sales model that preceded it-- never happened.
In fact, by the time Charli XCX was a teenage electro-house devotee, illegal file-sharing's early free-for-all had already given way to iTunes and other legal download services. Robyn had already released her self-titled comeback album. So it might be only natural that Charli XCX would keep the pre-bubble faith that people will pay for emotionally direct, bubblegum-catchy, yet stubbornly left-of-center songs about falling in and out of love. But the generous hooks on the previously released singles here, such as the gospel-kissed prechorus of the yearning Stay Away or the Santigold-savvy lilt of love-and-the-bomb brooder Nuclear Seasons, are extraordinarily welcome just the same. Even better are newer singles such as the gorgeously bitter You (Ha Ha Ha), which inhabits its cloud-rappy Gold Panda sample like they were made for each other, and the almost-as-gorgeously blissful What I Like, which recounts a still-young relationship with the cheeky frankness of Lily Allen or the Streets, and the sing-songy near-rapping of the Spice Girls.
The several songs on True Romance that hadn't previously surfaced in videos or other releases aren't quite as strong, but they're effective enough to suggest Charli XCX's best work might still be ahead of her. The Todd Rundgren-sampling So Far Away, with the sun-dappled lushness of the Avalanches, is a clear highlight; Charli XCX's vocals are usually plain-spoken, but the anguished break-up plea Set Me Free proves she can reach for Jessie Ware-like dramatics when appropriate. The pitch-shifting no one is forever intro added at the start of opener Nuclear Seasons probably should've been given its own track-- and later on the album it is, when the same backing vocal forms the base of the cloudy, broken-hearted Grins. Elsewhere, the haunted confession How Can I, while solid enough, is a reminder that Charli XCX's lyrics so far tend to fall relatively flat; when, on swooning finale Lock You Up, she sings, It hits me like a ton of bricks, she leaves the clichÉ untweaked.
And then there's Cloud Aura, a lovelorn, engagingly laid-back bit of groove that lets Grimes' Genesis video co-star Brooke Candy rap horribly about Chris Brown. Candy's guest verse previously appeared on 2012's uneven Super Ultra mixtape, and it was near-universally panned. It isn't any better now. But in an era when too many up-and-comers are all too eager to please, this stubborn refusal to back down displays another quality in short supply: genuine irreverence. The songwriting and production credits on True Romance include Usher's Climax co-conspirator Ariel Rechtshaid and I Love It collaborator Patrick Berger, among others, who also share some credit (and blame). But like 90s pop stars turned 10s pop sophisticates Justin Timberlake and BeyoncÉ, Charli XCX stamps her personality across the entire project, and True Romance suggests she'll be worth following for a while.
- Marc Hogan, Pitchfork1. Nuclear Seasons
2. You (Ha Ha Ha)
3. Take My Hand
4. Stay Away
5. Set Me Free (Feel My Pain)
7. So Far Away
8. Cloud Aura
9. What I Like
10. Black Roses
11. You're the One
12. How Can I
13. Lock You Up$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now