By Lupe Duran |Staff Writer|
Major Lazer hit the music scene with their new album, Free the Universe. It surpasses the mainstream sound and may be just what Diplo’s online record label, Mad Decent, needs as it emerges from a near collapse.
The trio (Diplo and DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fir) have definitely revolutionized the music scene with this album and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Considering a year ago, Mad Decent was on the verge of folding until American DJ and producer Baauer came to the rescue with a hit that took everyone by storm.
“The Harlem Shake,” Baauer’s dance-track that went viral seemingly overnight, was released under the label. Many, including Diplo, agree Mad Decent is here today because of that hit.
In an interview last year with the Huffington Post, Diplo commented on Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” saying, “Honestly, that record was the thing that saved the label, because a year ago we were going to fold because we couldn’t figure out how to make money.”
Yes, the label did find Mad Decent a way to keep their heads barely above water by giving music away for free, a practice that Diplo felt gave curious listeners a taste of the music before buying it.
For a limited time, hooked listeners could later purchase the music on iTunes, but ultimately much credit of the label’s success goes to Baauer.
Judging by the positive reaction on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the 14-track album has successfully combined the popular dub-step sound with the not so familiar, but none the less intriguing, sound of moombahton, a fusion of house and reggaeton sound.
“When I first heard this album I wanted to just switch to the radio,” said student Jane Siriyani. “After a while you start getting into it. It takes a little getting used to.”
This album may not be for everyone and be prepared to listen with an open mind for full enjoyment.
Describing a similar sound is almost impossible but if we had to, it’s sort of a mix between the difficult to understand Shaggy and the smooth mellow feel of Chris Brown.
Just about every song has a unique feel. “Scare Me,” has such a fun beat that it can be enjoyed by all ages. But be warned- the lyrics contributed by featured song artist Peaches are incredibly sexually explicit.
“Get Free,” featuring Amber Coffman has one of the mellowest beats on the album and the easiest to get lost in the music.
If you listen closely, however, the lyrics are far from mellow and actually give the listener insight into the feeling of being trapped within your government and longing to “get free.”
Artists like Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, to Tyga and Bruno Mars are featured on the album.
Perhaps once you listen to Free the Universe, you’ll be hooked and go out and buy the album or download it. However, if listening to it in your car or through your earphones isn’t enough, Mad Decent has something more for you.
Maddecent.com has posted announcements about its annual block party, which features live performances by the Mad Decent crew as well as other artists- if you liked the album it may not be a bad idea to check the site out.