OK, so let us not beat around the bush, let us make this short and sweet – Major Lazer are further proving why they are the not just the future of electronic music, but even possibly pop music for the 21st century.
Since their inception back in 2008, it is safe to say that Major Lazer (fronted by DJ and producer Diplo) have released some of the most upbeat, awe-inspiring, and downright groovy releases in recent memory. Even coming fresh of the success of 2013’s sophomore album ‘Free The Universe‘, you would have thought they would have at least had a breather, right? Do not be ridiculous, for they have dropped this guest vocal laden five-track EP, which acts as a window to all their influences, as well as providing a look as to how they have grown and expanded as a true force to be reckoned with.
Opening track ‘Aerosol Can‘ featuring Pharrell Williams, is a disjointed, minimalist, and percussion heavy track that has a similar beat to ‘Tamale‘ by Tyler, The Creator. Pharrell’s lyrical flow is absolutely spot on, and he manages to ride along with the beat with subliminal ease – which makes for a ridiculously fun, booty shaking club scorcher!
‘Come On To Me‘ featuring everyone’s favourite monotone Jamaican-born singer Sean Paul, actually is a real sweet standout track, which is inspired by the dancehall/reggaeton rhythm that is able to get even the most non-dance inclined of people at least tapping their foot.
Arguably the standout track on the EP, ‘Sound Bang‘ featuring Machel Montano is just a twisted slice of genius. A ukelele driven monster which is part calypso, part techno, part hip-hop, part reggae, with the slightest underlining of 90’s rave. In a sense, this could well be the most challenging form of ‘hip-hop’ that may have come out in the mainstream market for quite some time. But no matter what, this is a perfect blend of grass roots influences, which are performing with a master stroke of greatness.
Next track up is ‘Lose Yourself‘ with RDX and Moska, is a bit of a slow burner. The track builds and builds with a very basic flow and rhythm accompanied with some scat-like vocals, but when it builds to the drop it becomes almost like a metamorphosis of minimalist progressive house and EDM mixed with yet another Jamaican-blessed soul and swagger.
Last track on the EP is ‘Dale Asi‘ featuring Mr. Fox. Whilst it does not really pack as much of a punch as much as the previous tracks, it still warrants decent merit. With a predominantly trap-based groove, it meets a dancehall flavour that is all the more intriguing than it is convincing.
Throughout ‘Apocalypse Soon‘, the production is pretty much spot on. No notable flaws within the production by any means, it seems that Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire understand just how to attenuate and compliment every single attention to detail. One of the more notable preferences of production that was noticeable on this release was the way Sean Paul‘s vocals were produced on the song ‘Come On To Me‘.
Usually his vocals are very streamline, hardly any effects or productivity, and just quite… well, plain. On this track, there is a range of different production techniques in use with his vocals, that make him sound a lot more three-dimensional. This alone brings an entirely new element within his vocals. Masterful work!
The only flaws that can really be pointed out is the brevity and the slight inconsistency towards the end, and the EP as a whole just falls slightly short in terms of overall delivery with ‘Dale Asi‘. But for an EP release, this can be overlooked.
Major Lazer are always forward thinking in their musical delivery and production ethics, and ‘Apocalypse Soon‘ is just further testament just to how diverse, positively great, and fluent their range of influences and overall projection of their sound really shines through and through. Keep ’em coming!