Major Lazer – Free the Universe album review

Repurposing sounds from various cultures has identified Major Lazer and put them in somewhat of an uncategorizable genre of their own. But 4 years after their debut album, Major Lazer has probably become more noted for their nationwide block parties than for their collaborative work, and their most recent album Free the Universe proves that justifiably so, as it is anything but Mad Decent.

The album is distractingly difficult to keep your attention and nearly impossible to get through. And after awaiting a follow up to 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People–Lazers Do, it’s unfortunate to have to come to terms with the possibility that Major Lazer’s long awaited sophomore album is nothing if not underwhelming. The project is a clear reflection of a lack of creative direction, last minute production team swap (DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have now teamed up with Diplo to replace former producer Switch), an inconsistent concept, and the notion that perhaps all the energy Diplo has amassed during the days of  “Look at Me Now” and “Run the World (Girls)” has long since dissipated when it came time to focus on his own work.

The lack of effort on this album is almost transparent. It is a repetitive medley of assumed island sounds with no real marriage between any of the album’s 14 tracks.  Not much has changed conceptually since the debut album, as Major Lazer still seems pretty adamant about their lazy attempt to recreate dancehall music for the fake-poor hipster (The Dirty Projector’s Amber Coffman is featured on “Get Free” and it don’t get more Brooklyn watering hole than that). But at least we can say Major Lazer knows who their audience is.

The album has more features than when Rick Ross was Deeper Than Rap. But unlike the former, Free the Universe falls short of utilizing these names in a way that adds to any of the songs. The first song “You’re No Good” features Santigold, (or did we mean 2006 Nelly Furtado?) but even throwing Jamaican dancehall heavy hitter Vybz Kartel on the track doesn’t completely save it from sounding too “Promiscuous Girl.” And strange enough, the album just goes downhill from there. It constantly takes abrupt turns and at some point even goes from turnt up to electro-indie. “Get Free” serves as that random stop sign you didn’t see coming and leaves you slamming on your musical brakes. It’s not bad. But Amber Coffman’s vocals never sounded so hard on the ears. Overtly stereotypical island lyrics and song titles are distracting (ie: “Jah No Partial”, “Bumaye,” really?), and songs like “Jessica” rely heavily on gentle reggae and doo-wop cadences that you can catch in any one of Bruno Mars’ misappropriated songs.

4 years should have left Major Lazer enough time to cultivate some ideas. All we can hope is that in the music to come they find some creative direction, get some inspiration and not rely so heavily on what they’ve already done in the past. And for the record: Give the dancehall a rest.

Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye) video

Take a look at Major Lazer’s official lyric video for “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)”, off their upcoming album “FREE THE UNIVERSE” out April 15th on Secretly Canadian/Mad Decent/Downtown Records. The video was released on POTATO; an electronic music network curated by A-Trak, Skrillex and Diplo.

“WATCH OUT FOR THIS (BUMAYE)” OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO

MAJOR LAZER: FREE THE UNIVERSE WORD TOUR

2/28: Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall -$

3/1: Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Hall-$

3/2: Chicago, IL – Congress Theater-$

3/3: Cleveland, OH – House of Blues-$

3/5: Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom-$

3/7: Carborro, NC – Cat’s Cradle-$

3/8: Atlanta, GA – Masquerade-$

3/9: New Orleans, LA – BUKU Fest-$

3/11: Dallas, TX – House of Blues-$

3/12: Houston, TX – House of Blues-$

3/19: Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre-^

3/20: Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue-^

3/21: St. Louis, MO – The Pageant-^

3/22: Kansas City, MO – The Midland Theatre-^

3/25: Vancouver, BC – VENUE

3/26: Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo-^

3/27: Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre-^

3/28: San Francisco, CA – The Independent-^

4/25: Paris, France – Bataclan-^

4/26: Rouen, France – Le106

4/27: Amsterdam, Holland – Paradiso

4/29: Utrecht, Holland – Tivoli

5/1: Sheffield, UK – The Plug

5/2: Oxford, UK – O2 Academy

5/3: Bristol, UK – O2 Academy

5/4: London, UK – Roundhouse

5/7: Brussels, Belgium – AB Hall

5/8: Zurich, Switzerland – Maag Halle

5/9: Milan, Italy – Magazzini Generali

5/10: Bologna, Italy – Link

5/11: Marseille, France – Cabaret Aléatoire

5/14: Prague, Czech Republic – Lucerna Music Hall

5/15: Warsaw, Poland – Palladium

5/16: Berlin, Germany – Berghain

Major Lazer postpones Free The Universe album for April

MAJOR LAZER POSTPONES “FREE THE UNIVERSE” FOR APRIL RELEASE

ALBUM PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE 2/26, INCLUDES INSTANT GRAT TRACK “WATCH OUT FOR THIS (BUMAYE)”, VIDEO COMING IN MARCH

MAJOR LAZER WORLD TOUR 2013 STARTS FEB 28

FREE THE UNIVERSE, originally scheduled to be released February 19th, will now be released April 15th via Secretly Canadian / Mad Decent / Downtown Records in North America. Starting February 26th you can pre-order the album through iTunes in the US & Canada http://smarturl.it/FTUPreOrder and immediately receive the third single “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” which features famed dancehall artist Busy Signal, along with The Flexican & FS Green. The group issued a statement on the postponement below:

“Our fans are the most important part of what makes Major Lazer what it is. It is with that consideration that “FREE THE UNIVERSE” will not be released this month as previously scheduled. We never want to disappoint our supporters but circumstances out of our control have made us unable to keep the intended date. For anyone disappointed, we are truly apologetic and we promise that this hiccup has only made what we have planned for the album stronger. We tried extremely hard to keep the date but it was ultimately decided that rushing the album would have been unfair to you and everyone who worked so hard on it. There will be information soon about the album pre-order and we are working with everyone to be able to deliver you a few songs prior to the release.”

In the mean time, check out Major Lazer on the FREE THE UNIVERSE 2013 WORLD TOUR, download the free remix EP,
LAZER STRIKES BACK Vol. 1, below. Keep an eye out for the 90’s dancehall-themed video for “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)”, more exclusive Major Lazer music and updates in the coming weeks!

DOWNLOAD LAZER STRIKES BACK Vol. 1 VOLUME 1

1. Major Lazer & Flux Pavilion – Jah No Partial (Jack Beats Remix)

2. Major Lazer – Get Free feat. Amber of Dirty Projectors (Cris Cab Cover)

3. Major Lazer – Original Don feat. The Partysquad (DGRC Remix)

4. Hot Chip – Look Where We Are (Major Lazer Extended Remix)

MAJOR LAZER WORLD TOUR 2013

THU 2/28 TORONTO, ON Sound Academy

FRI 3/1 ROYAL OAK, MI Royal Oak Music Hall

SAT 3/2 CHICAGO, IL Congress

SUN 3/3 CLEVELAND, OH House of Blues

TUE 3/5 NASHVILLE, TN Cannery Ballroom

THU 3/7 CARBORRO, NC Cat’s Cradle

FRI 3/8 ATLANTA, GA Masquerade

SAT 3/9 NEW ORLEANS,LA BUKU Fest

MON 3/11 DALLAS, TX House of Blues

TUE 3/12 HOUSTON, TX House of Blues

THU 3/14 AUSTIN, TX SXSW – TBA

FRI 3/15 SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX UME Festival

SUN 3/17 MIAMI, FL Ultra Festival

TUE 3/19 MADISON, WI Majestic Theater

WED 3/20 MINNEAPOLIS, MN First Avenue

THU 3/21 ST. LOUIS, MO The Pageant

FRI 3/22 LAWRENCE, KS The Midland by AMC

SUN 3/24 MIAMI, FL Ultra Festival

MON 3/25 VANCOUVER, BC Venue

TUE 3/26 SEATTLE, WA Showbox SODO

WED 3/27 PORTLAND, OR Roseland

THU 3/28 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Independent

SUN 3/31 SAO PAULO, BRAZIL Lollapalooza

FRI 4/5 BUENOS ARIES, AR Quilmes Rock Festival

SAT 4/6 SANTIAGO, CH Lollapalooza Chile SUN 4/7 BOGOTA, CO Festival Estereo Picnic

TUE 4/9 LAS VEGAS, NV 1Oak

SAT 4/13 INDIO, CA Coachella

SAT 4/20 INDIO, CA Coachella

WED 4/24 HAMBURG, DE Übel & Gefährlich

THU 4/25 PARIS, FR Bataclan

FRI 4/26 ROUEN, FR Le 106

SAT 4/27 AMSTERDAM, NL Paradiso

MON 4/29 UTRECHT, NL Tivoli

WED 5/1 SHEFFIELD, UK The Plus

THU 5/2 OXFORD, UK O2 Academy

FRI 5/3 BRISTOL, UL O2 Academy

SAT 5/4 LONDON, UK Roundhouse

TUE 5/7 BRUSSELS, BE AB Hall

WED 5/8 ZURICH, CH Maag Halle

THU 5/9 MILAN, IT Magazzini Generali

FRI 5/10 BOLOGNA, IT Link

SAT 5/11 MARSEILLE, FR Cabaret Aléatoire

TUE 5/14 PRAUGE, CZ Lucerna Music Hall

WED 5/15 WARSAW, PL Palladium

THU 5/16 BERLIN, DE Berghain

HARD HAUNTED MANSION RETURNS TO THE SHRINE AS A TWO DAY FESTIVAL, FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th AND SATURDAY OCTOBER 31st HALLOWEEN LINEUP INCLUDES JUSTICE, BASEMENT JAXX, DEADMAU5, 2MANYDJS, CROOKERS, THE BLOODY BEETROOTS, A-TRAK, MAJOR LAZER, MODESELEKTOR, BURAKA SOM SISTEMA, DESTRUCTO, ZOMBIE NATION AND MANY MORE

HARD HAUNTED MANSION RETURNS TO THE SHRINE AS A TWO DAY FESTIVAL, FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th AND SATURDAY OCTOBER 31st HALLOWEEN LINEUP INCLUDES JUSTICE, BASEMENT JAXX, DEADMAU5, 2MANYDJS, CROOKERS, THE BLOODY BEETROOTS, A-TRAK, MAJOR LAZER, MODESELEKTOR, BURAKA SOM SISTEMA, DESTRUCTO, ZOMBIE NATION AND MANY MORE

HARD, the dance party impresarios who’ve brought you HARD New Year’s Eve and HARD Summer Fest have heard the fans requests and announced their line-up for this year’s HARD Haunted Mansion, a massive dance party taking place this Halloween at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Recognizing that one day just wasn’t enough for a lineup this good, HARD Haunted Mansion has been extended into two days of the world’s most premier DJs and electronic dance artists.

The lineup for this year’s HARD Haunted Mansion is a veritable who’s who of contemporary DJs known for consistently pushing the boundaries of dance music forward. Headlining act Justice, a duo that needs no introduction, have become synonymous with a movement in maximal electronic music that defines the current era. UK-based veterans Basement Jaxx are paying a rare US-visit to drop their brand of classic-yet-innovative house music in anticipation of their fifth studio album, Scars. Joining them are heavyweights such as Deadmau5, 2ManyDJs, Crookers, A-Trak, The Bloody Beetroots, Modeselektor, Major Lazer, Buraka Som Sistema, Zombie Nation, Steve Aoki, Destructo, Don Rimini, Shinichi Osawa and more. Anyone who appreciates a phenomenal dance party will not want to miss the most electric event in the country this Halloween weekend.

“…the hottest ticket in town on one of the year’s biggest party nights” – LA TIMES

HARD HAUNTED MANSION 2009
Friday October 30th and Saturday October 31st
Shrine Expo Center
2 days, 2 stages, 16 hours of music!!!
Limited Capacity
8pm – 4am

FRIDAY
Deadmau5
2ManyDJs
A-trak
The Bloody Beetroots
Mixhell
Destructo
Don Rimini
Danger
Harvard Bass
Staccato
**Special Guests

Saturday
Justice (DJ set)
Basement Jaxx (DJ set)
Crookers
Major Lazer
Modeselektor
Buraka Som Sistema
Steve Aoki
Zombie Nation
Shinichi Osawa
Classixx
**Special Guests

TICKETS ARE LIMITED!!!!
Individual daily tickets (pre-sale $60), VIP (21+, pre-sale $125) and limited 2 Day discount passes ($100) available through Groove Tickets and various retail outlets.

For more tickets and more information, please visit: WWW.HARDFEST.COM

Major Lazer iPhone App

Major Lazer finally has their own iPhone app, and it was totally worth the wait. It’s super innovative and fun. It’s got the ability to remix portions of the Major Lazer LP, “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do”, and makes all kinds of crazy sound effects. Check this ting out.

iZotope, Inc. and Downtown Records have collaborated to bring a new edition of the popular iPhone and iPod Touch music app, iDrum, to the iPhone and iPod touch.

iDrum: Major Lazer lets you instantly remix elements from the new album, Guns Don’t Kill People ..Lazers Do, produced by dancefloor innovators Diplo and Switch along with lazer-armed commando Major Lazer. With a huge arsenal of dancehall drums, laser blasts, instrument hits, sound effects and vocal samples, iDrum: Major Lazer is the ultimate zombie-fighting accessory. Take control and re-arrange rhythms, drums, effects and more from songs on the album. Or use the raw drums, effects and instrument sounds to make your own musical creations. iDrum’s simple interface lets you build beats layer by layer by tapping the touch screen. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made a beat before–with iDrum, you can create music with simple shapes and color combinations that let you visualize the rhythm.

“mi use di Major Lazer iphone ting fi remix my chune dem an done di dance. so run guh get it, zeen?” – Major Lazer

* Unique Major Lazer sounds ward off vampires and zombies, now with 20% more zombie-fighting power!
* Use actual sounds from Major Lazer to make music on your iPhone or iPod touch
* Includes 10 customizable kits that include elements from songs on the album
* Take control of the rhythm of every drum sound and sample
* Remix rhythmic patterns from the album or start from scratch to make your own creations
* Bring sounds in and out of the mix to change the music
* Tap the touch screen to play and record your own musical patterns
* Customize patterns to create your own unique beats

Purchase iDrum: Major Lazer as well as the new album on iTunes – bit.ly/ituneslazer

About Major Lazer
Major Lazer is a Jamaican commando who lost his arm in the secret Zombie War of 1984. The US military rescued him and repurposed experimental lazers as prosthetic limbs. Since then Major Lazer has been a hired renegade soldier for a rogue government operating in secrecy underneath the watch of M5 and the CIA. His cover is that of a dancehall night club owner from Trinidad and he enlisted the help of long-time allies and uber-producers, Diplo and Switch, to produce his first LP. His true mission is to protect the world from the dark forces of evil that live just under the surface of a civilized society. He fights vampires and various monsters, parties hard, and has a rocket powered skateboard. For more information, please visit http://www.majorlazer.com.

About iZotope, Inc.
iZotope is a research-driven audio signal processing company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Its hardware products, software products, and audio technology are used by millions of people in over 50 countries, from hobbyist musicians to GRAMMY Award winners. iZotope focuses on developing innovative audio technology for professional and consumer applications. This core technology is presented to customers in its award-winning product line and through its extensive licensing program, which now includes an iPhone middleware SDK. For more information, please visit http://www.izotope.com.

Major Lazer bio and Major Lazer tour dates

DIPLO & SWITCH READY MAJOR LAZER TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE!

GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER DIPLO AND PARTNER SWITCH BRING FULL LENGTH MAJOR LAZER ALBUM TO THE MASSES JUNE 16th ON DOWNTOWN RECORDS

The world is likely not ready for the arrival of Diplo & Switch’s musical machination Major Lazer; a renegade commando with a lazer arm and a rocket-powered skateboard who fights the spoils of Vampires, Zombies, Pimps, Mummies and other unsavory forces of evil. The first album in years of original material by these two highly regarded producers, the music is Diplo & Switch’s interpretation and homage to the songs and sounds they have discovered through the years.. The identity of Major Lazer was created by the two producers as a conduit to express their affinity for Jamaican music. The album references dancehall, ska, reggae, dub, calypso, and soca music recontextualized via Diplo and Switch’s club friendly background.

“It’s like digital reggae and dancehall from Mars in the future, pop culture run through a Jamaican filter!” exclaims Diplo.

On June 16th, Downtown Records will release GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE…LAZERS DO, the debut LP from Major Lazer, executive produced by Grammy-nominated masterminds Diplo & Switch. The album features performances from premiere Jamaican vocalists Vybz Cartel, Ward 21, Fambo, and Busy Signal, to name a few and embodies a soundtrack of a hard, technological future world that Major Lazer is fighting to protect. Diplo & Switch, known legends for their dance floor commando tactics, recorded the album at Tuff Gong and other studios in Jamaica.

MAJOR LAZER ENLISTS DIPLO & SWITCH FOR FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF DUTY

FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR BEGINS JUNE 13th IN NEW YORK CITY

DEBUT ALBUM GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, LAZERS DO OUT THIS SUMMER ON DOWNTOWN RECORDS

Major Lazer (the Jamaican commando who lost his arms in the secret zombie war of 1984 and had them replaced by lazers) lands on US soil this June with some help from his friends and Grammy-nominated producers Diplo and Switch. Presenting stateside audiences with the futuristic dancehall and digital reggae sounds crafted as a soundtrack to a not-so-distant dystopian future, clubs everywhere will be thwarting oncoming evil forces through the liberating tunes on Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do.

“Basically when we are kneeling by our bed praying to Jah, this album is what we are asking for.” – THE FADER

Tour Dates:

6/13/09 NEW YORK, NY SOBs

6/18/09 BOSTON, MA HOUSE OF BLUES

6/19/09 PHILADELPHIA, PA ELECTRIC FACTORY

6/20/09 WASHINGTON, DC ROCK AND ROLL HOTEL

6/24/09 VANCOUVER, BC COMMODORE BALLROOM

6/25/09 SEATTLE, WA NEUMOS

6/26/09 SAN FRANCISCO, CA THE GRAND BALLROOM @ REGENCY

6/27/09 LOS ANGELES, CA LA MEMORIAL COLISEUM & EXPO

7/10/09 AUSTIN, TX AUSTIN CITY MUSIC HALL

7/11/09 DALLAS, TX HOUSE OF BLUES

8/07/09 CHICAGO, IL CONGRESS THEATER

MAJOR LAZER ENLISTS DIPLO & SWITCH FOR FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF DUTY FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR BEGINS JUNE 13th IN NEW YORK CITY

MAJOR LAZER ENLISTS DIPLO & SWITCH FOR FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF DUTY FULL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR BEGINS JUNE 13th IN NEW YORK CITY

DEBUT ALBUM GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, LAZERS DO OUT THIS SUMMER ON DOWNTOWN RECORDS

Major Lazer (the Jamaican commando who lost his arms in the secret zombie war of 1984 and had them replaced by lazers) lands on US soil this June with some help from his friends and Grammy-nominated producers Diplo and Switch. Presenting stateside audiences with the futuristic dancehall and digital reggae sounds crafted as a soundtrack to a not-so-distant dystopian future, clubs everywhere will be thwarting oncoming evil forces through the liberating tunes on Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do.

“Basically when we are kneeling by our bed praying to Jah, this album is what we are asking for.” – THE FADER

Tour Dates:
6/13/09 NEW YORK, NY SOBs
6/18/09 BOSTON, MA HOUSE OF BLUES
6/19/09 PHILADELPHIA, PA ELECTRIC FACTORY
6/20/09 WASHINGTON, DC ROCK AND ROLL HOTEL
6/24/09 VANCOUVER, BC COMMODORE BALLROOM
6/25/09 SEATTLE, WA NEUMOS
6/26/09 SAN FRANCISCO, CA THE GRAND BALLROOM @ REGENCY
6/27/09 LOS ANGELES, CA LA MEMORIAL COLISEUM & EXPO
7/10/09 AUSTIN, TX STUBB’S
7/11/09 DALLAS, TX HOUSE OF BLUES
8/07/09 CHICAGO, IL CONGRESS THEATER
10/31/09 INGLEWOOD, CA THE FORUM

Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do Downtown Records, June 16

Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do Downtown Records, June 16

Major Lazer is a Jamaican commando who lost his arm in the secret Zombie War of 1984. The US military rescued him and repurposed experimental lazers as prosthetic limbs. Since then Major Lazer has been a hired renegade soldier for a rogue government operating in secrecy underneath the watch of M5 and the CIA. His cover is that of a dancehall night club owner from Trinidad and he enlisted the help of long-time allies and uber-producers, Diplo and Switch, to produce his first LP. His true mission is to protect the world from the dark forces of evil that live just under the surface of a civilized society. He fights vampires and various monsters, parties hard, and has a rocket powered skateboard.

As part of a plan to subdue the forces of evil with a batch of futuristic dancehall bangers, the three encamped at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica to record the Major Lazer record. The product of this collaboration is Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do, a collection of tracks that draws from the rich dancehall tradition of Jamaica, the futuristic dance-floor-killing aesthetic of Diplo and Switch, and contributions from some of the biggest names in dancehall today. The record runs global pop culture through the filter of Major Lazer’s particular brand of 80’s-inspired digital dancehall, at once an homage to a bygone era and a look to the future of dance music.

Diplo (Philadelphia-based DJ and producer Wesley Pentz), incorporates such disparate influences as Miami Bass and Baile Funk into the high-tech ecclecticism of his productions. Known for his forward-thinking productions for MIA, Bonde Do Role and many others, and for the solo LP of cinematic, sample-based hip hop entitled Florida he recorded for the Ninja Tune imprint. Diplo is also the founder and owner of Mad Decent records, which has put out records by DJ Blaqstarr and Bonde do Role.

Switch (the pseudonym of British producer and DJ Dave Taylor) is the owner of one of the most progressive and respected underground dance music labels around, Dubsided. His work as producer is revered by critics, emulated by his fellow DJs, and sweated hard by dance floors on both sides of the Atlantic. Switch also permanently endeared himself to the bespectacled music cogniscenti with his contribution to Santigold’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut.

Grab the first single “Hold The Line” at Mad Decent – http://maddecent.com

Tracklist: Major Lazer – Gus Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
01. Hold The Line feat. Mr. Lex & Santigold
02. When You Hear The Bassline feat. Ms. Thing
03. Can’t Stop Now feat. Mr. Vegas & Jovi Rockwell
04. Lazer Theme feat. Future Trouble
05. Anything Goes feat. Turbulence
06. Cash Flow feat. Jah Dan
07. Mary Jane feat. Mr. Evil & Mapei
08. Bruk Out feat. T.O.K. & Ms. Thing
09. What U Like feat. Amanda Blank & Einstein
10. Keep It Goin’ Louder feat. Nina Sky & Ricky Blaze
11. Pon De Floor feat. VYBZ Kartel (Additional Prpduction By Afro Jack)
12. Baby feat. Prince Zimboo
13. Jump Up feat. Leftside & Supahype (Co-Produced By Crookers)

DIPLO MAD DECENT PARTNERS WITH DOWNTOWN MUSIC

DIPLO’S MAD DECENT PARTNERS WITH DOWNTOWN MUSIC

“Since it’s formation in 2006, Mad Decent has made a significant impact on the independent music community.”- ANTHEM MAGAZINE

Downtown Music is pleased to announce its newest joint venture with Philadelphia impresario Diplo’s label, Mad Decent. Grammy-nominated DJ & producer Diplo was first recognized as one half of the genre-defining DJ Crew Hollertronix and the mastermind behind his now legendary mixtape with M.I.A., Piracy Funds Terrorism. In 2006, Mad Decent opened its doors as a vehicle to break new artists discovered by Diplo from his travels around the world. From Brazil to Baltimore, artists such as Bonde do Role, Blaqstarr, Rye Rye, Crookers, Boy 8 Bit and South Rakkas Crew have come into the dance/hip-hop/electronic scene under Diplo’s watchful eye. Becoming a household name amongst the bloggerati and musical tastemakers, Diplo has created an environment with Mad Decent that supercedes the common role of record label and has become a cultural curator. Mad Decent now joins forces with one of todays most illustrious and lauded labels, Downtown Records, to bring even more great music into the hands and hearts of fans all over the world.

With the help of creative partner Switch and label manager Jasper Goggins, one of the founding partners of Turntable Lab, Diplo plans to take Mad Decent on an even greater global music journey. Upcoming releases from Mad Decent will include music from Philadelphia punk band Popo, London’s genre-less pioneer by way of dubstep Rusko and the first ever Mad Decent compilation, not to mention the hot and hugely hyped Diplo & Switch Major Lazer collaboration Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do, out June 16th on Downtown Records.

Josh Deutsch, Chairman & CEO of Downtown Records on the partnership: “I am extremely excited about Downtown’s partnership with Diplo and the Mad Decent label. Diplo is one of the most multi-faceted and innovative artists in music today. An artist, producer, DJ, tastemaker and cultural icon, Diplo’s influence and vision will continue to shape the musical landscape in the coming years. With Mad Decent, he has already created a forward-thinking label and culture, incorporating the best talent and creative resources with innovative business models that reflect a rapidly changing market. I am confident the Mad Decent/Downtown joint venture will afford Diplo and his excellent team the opportunity to continue to grow the Mad Decent brand in its own unique way, drawing on Downtown’s marketing, promotion, publishing and licensing resources to achieve tremendous successes.”

DIPLO & SWITCH READY MAJOR LAZER TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE! GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER DIPLO AND PARTNER SWITCH BRING FULL LENGTH MAJOR LAZER ALBUM TO THE MASSES JUNE 16th ON DOWNTOWN RECORDS

DIPLO & SWITCH READY MAJOR LAZER TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE! GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER DIPLO AND PARTNER SWITCH BRING FULL LENGTH MAJOR LAZER ALBUM TO THE MASSES JUNE 16th ON DOWNTOWN RECORDS

The world is likely not ready for the arrival of Diplo & Switch’s musical machination Major Lazer; a renegade commando with a lazer arm and a rocket-powered skateboard who fights the spoils of Vampires, Zombies, Pimps, Mummies and other unsavory forces of evil. The first album in years of original material by these two highly regarded producers, the music is Diplo & Switch’s interpretation and homage to the songs and sounds they have discovered through the years.. The identity of Major Lazer was created by the two producers as a conduit to express their affinity for Jamaican music. The album references dancehall, ska, reggae, dub, calypso, and soca music recontextualized via Diplo and Switch’s club friendly background.

“It’s like digital reggae and dancehall from Mars in the future, pop culture run through a Jamaican filter!” exclaims Diplo.

On June 16th, Downtown Records will release GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE…LAZERS DO, the debut LP from Major Lazer, executive produced by Grammy-nominated masterminds Diplo & Switch. The album features performances from premiere Jamaican vocalists Vybz Cartel, Ward 21, Fambo, and Busy Signal, to name a few and embodies a soundtrack of a hard, technological future world that Major Lazer is fighting to protect. Diplo & Switch, known legends for their dance floor commando tactics, recorded the album at Tuff Gong and other studios in Jamaica.

MAJOR LAZER ON MYSPACE