Music June 23, 2009 By Todd Rosenberg
major2 Major Lazer
Downtown Records

major title1 Major Lazer

Baile funk, hip hop, electro breakdance, mash up, pop, and indie rock remixes – is there anything these guys can’t do? Diplo and Switch, two of today’s most innovative producers and the guys that brought you “Paper Planes” and Santigold, have once again proven there’s no genre they can’t conquer. After skating around reggae and dancehall on previous productions, Major Lazer is the duos’ headlong foray into the world of Jamaican music and also their first official full-length collaboration. Recorded at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios, the album not only captures some of the original reggae magic left there, but succeeds in forwarding that sound through deft integration of programmed beats and sampling. At times, electro takes over and relegates Rasta to mere words (like the frenetic lead track “Hold The Line”) while others, like the great “Can’t Stop Now”, take a more traditional approach to classic reggae with occasional “peek-a-boo” hip hop samples and dub effects. And credit is due to the vocalists showcased throughout (including Santi, Turbulence, Mr. Vegas and Amanda Blank), who take these productions even higher. It’s almost unfair how prolific and versatile Diplo and Switch are, and Major Lazer demonstrates they’re not only on point but one step beyond.