Ultra 2013: Major Lazer Sets Off a Strip Sesh
Diplo is undeniably a superstar now.
He is well known beyond the confines of EDM. He is producing music for pop stars. And he's got a face that brands want to use to hawk products. So, as expected, his side project, Major Lazer, is changing with him.
And plenty has changed about Major Lazer. Producer Switch is out. And live dynamo Skerrit Bwoy is also out, leaving after he found God.
But bwoy, we wish he hadn't. He seemed to bring a dancehall authenticity to the show. And for reasons unknown, lead dancer Mimi is out too. Her insane moves were always part of Major Lazer's live show highlights.
For Major Lazer's new album, Free the Universe, and all live shows, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have taken over Switch and Skerrit Bwoy's duties, respectively. But is this new ish as dope as the old?
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As good or not, Diplo and his reworked crew's Sunday performance on the final day of weekend one of Ultra 2013 did bring something ... Relief. The live stage had generated a consistently weak turnout all on Friday and Saturday. But when Major Lazer took the stage that the whole amphitheater filled up.
Not that we were surprised. Major Lazer is all about fun party music that appeals to a broad range of people because it's so accessible. But the twist has always been that Diplo and his rag-tag group of friends always incorporate Jamaican dancehall and riddim sounds into the mix.
On Sunday, though, Jillionaire and Diplo played a lot of hip-hop, dubstep, moombahton, pop, even merenge. But they gave us little of the earlier signature Major Lazer sound. Not that the crowd seem to mind.