*** [ dub / reggae / HK underground ] *** Hong Kong's Premiere Music Blog *** [ exclusive DJ mixes ] ***
Saving the best until last is surely some sort of cliche, but Major Lazer have managed to do exactly that with the sixth, and presumably final, installment of their Lazer Strikes Back series. The Last Chapter gives Mungo’s Hi Fi (7 tracks) and So Shifty (4 tracks) seemingly free reign over the Free The Universe catalog; a wide spectrum of influences are covered, with some solid results. Mungo’s dubs first, and instantly dominates, moving from opener “Mash Up The Dance,” with its simmering-then-exploding modern dancehall, to “Bumaye,” with its crisp yet heavy moombahton. The latter is connected by a horn line to “Watch Out Fi Ska,”which then also reprises the opener’s vocals. With elements in flux, the groove takes the lead. For “Sweat,” on the “Honky Mix” it’s thick brass and sparse bass; on the “Garage Dub” it’s controlled steppers into bass-line-driven funky chorus. This leads into “Smooth Sailing,” with Mr. Williamz on a surprisingly frank and introspective tale of moving on from a broken heart. A rocksteady throwback, its melody-driven vibe shows a softer side of both vocalist and producer. Mungo’s final contribution is “Get Free,” which, along with fellow massive track “Jah No Partial,” receives a sufficiently catchy revamp. The former successfully removes the electro kitsch in exchange for a somewhat subtle 8-bit vibe while the latter introduces a massive bass line amidst a proper dubstruction, effectively making So Shifty’s mark on the album. Might be the best version of the Johnny Osbourne update yet… 
 
The rest of the album glides by, with melodic self-help motivational tool “Reach For The Stars” narrowly avoiding cheesy oblivion. This glossier tone allows “Playground” room to stretch - big-room bass, auto tune and falsetto into the female lead vocal, a vibe continued by catchy pop closer “Keep Cool.” Ultimately the Major Lazer x Mungo’s collaboration makes Vol. 6 memorable, though So Shifty arguably produce the finest single track. Free stream and download via Soundcloud:
 

 
[Tracks reviewed in the order posted on Soundcloud, actual order is reversed upon downloading. You can decide which order you enjoy more and then base your own review off of that.]
 
Saving the best until last is surely some sort of cliche, but Major Lazer have managed to do exactly that with the sixth, and presumably final, installment of their Lazer Strikes Back series. The Last Chapter gives Mungo’s Hi Fi (7 tracks) and So Shifty (4 tracks) seemingly free reign over the Free The Universe catalog; a wide spectrum of influences are covered, with some solid results. Mungo’s dubs first, and instantly dominates, moving from opener “Mash Up The Dance,” with its simmering-then-exploding modern dancehall, to “Bumaye,” with its crisp yet heavy moombahton. The latter is connected by a horn line to “Watch Out Fi Ska,”which then also reprises the opener’s vocals. With elements in flux, the groove takes the lead. For “Sweat,” on the “Honky Mix” it’s thick brass and sparse bass; on the “Garage Dub” it’s controlled steppers into bass-line-driven funky chorus. This leads into “Smooth Sailing,” with Mr. Williamz on a surprisingly frank and introspective tale of moving on from a broken heart. A rocksteady throwback, its melody-driven vibe shows a softer side of both vocalist and producer. Mungo’s final contribution is “Get Free,” which, along with fellow massive track “Jah No Partial,” receives a sufficiently catchy revamp. The former successfully removes the electro kitsch in exchange for a somewhat subtle 8-bit vibe while the latter introduces a massive bass line amidst a proper dubstruction, effectively making So Shifty’s mark on the album. Might be the best version of the Johnny Osbourne update yet…

 

The rest of the album glides by, with melodic self-help motivational tool “Reach For The Stars” narrowly avoiding cheesy oblivion. This glossier tone allows “Playground” room to stretch - big-room bass, auto tune and falsetto into the female lead vocal, a vibe continued by catchy pop closer “Keep Cool.” Ultimately the Major Lazer x Mungo’s collaboration makes Vol. 6 memorable, though So Shifty arguably produce the finest single track. Free stream and download via Soundcloud:

 

 

[Tracks reviewed in the order posted on Soundcloud, actual order is reversed upon downloading. You can decide which order you enjoy more and then base your own review off of that.]

 

NYC-based Mischief dwells in the murky underworld of moombahton and bass: synths swirl, drums pound at multiple speeds simultaneously, and the vocal samples are no less hypnotizing.  The Moombaswag Mixtape features an nice selection of remixes from Queen to The Jungle Brothers, Big Sean, and Jay-Z alongside original tracks from the likes of ill.gates and Mischief himself.  Oh, and then all types of moombahtronic madness, with tracks from Zedd, Afrojack, Skrillex, and Diplo getting the electro-shuffle treatment.  Originals, including the fresh banger “Into The Trap,” and additional mixes are available via Mischief Music:

NYC-based Mischief dwells in the murky underworld of moombahton and bass: synths swirl, drums pound at multiple speeds simultaneously, and the vocal samples are no less hypnotizing.  The Moombaswag Mixtape features an nice selection of remixes from Queen to The Jungle Brothers, Big Sean, and Jay-Z alongside original tracks from the likes of ill.gates and Mischief himself.  Oh, and then all types of moombahtronic madness, with tracks from Zedd, Afrojack, Skrillex, and Diplo getting the electro-shuffle treatment.  Originals, including the fresh banger “Into The Trap,” and additional mixes are available via Mischief Music:

Domino takes an interesting position in the moombahton world, choosing to remix a variety of tracks: some from the pop universe and others much more electro.  His latest moombahventure is No Doubt’s “Rock Steady” (Moombahska Remix), with Gwen Stefani’s voice emerging from a hazy shuffle before the track descends into glitchy-bass.  The production on Riot Earp’s “Shai’ll Be That” (Jamaican Meth Remix) is full-on warbling electro-synths that make for a dark and dirty future dancehall track.  Other remixees include Die Antwoord, The Gorillaz, and Paper Diamond, all available on Soundcloud.

Domino takes an interesting position in the moombahton world, choosing to remix a variety of tracks: some from the pop universe and others much more electro.  His latest moombahventure is No Doubt’s “Rock Steady” (Moombahska Remix), with Gwen Stefani’s voice emerging from a hazy shuffle before the track descends into glitchy-bass.  The production on Riot Earp’s “Shai’ll Be That” (Jamaican Meth Remix) is full-on warbling electro-synths that make for a dark and dirty future dancehall track.  Other remixees include Die Antwoord, The Gorillaz, and Paper Diamond, all available on Soundcloud.