Published Jun 23, 2009If PR hype is to be believed, here is the work of a one-armed Jamaican commando with prosthetic laser cannon (who looks a lot like Funkadelic's Uncle Jam) who survived the secret zombie war of 1984. Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do is his soundtrack. Somewhere, globetrotting producers Diplo and Switch figure into this dancehall-fuelled summertime smash. According to Wesley "Diplo" Pentz: "the Major Lazer record is kind of like Kill Bill in a long line of samurai movies. Dancehall is always going back and forth to different places. I'm always interested as a DJ in music that reflects on itself."
With the surf-guitar driven single "Hold The Line" (featuring Mr. Lexx & Santigold) setting the pace, the disc is incredibly diverse yet utterly Jamaican. "The thing about dancehall is that it's already a postmodern music," marvels Diplo. "They take African or Indian rhythms or a fiddle or a banjo and make riddims out of those things. There's a straight Black Flag loop [on 'Lazer Theme'], and they just rocked it!"
Diplo went with the flow of Tuff Gong studio in Kingston, where the album was mostly assembled. "People are running through all the time - you might have someone randomly show up, so that's who you do the song with," he says. Many non-album tracks were generated in two years of recording, and some of them, like the hilarious "Zumbie" (featuring Andy Milionakis) are already blowing up large. Add to that a galaxy-traversing tour and copious remixes, and this Lazer has the firepower to kill dance floors dead.