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For years, Diplo has cemented his reputation as one of the most progressive, innovative producers in the independent music world through his work with artists such as M.I.A., Spank Rock, and Santigold. Major Lazer is his latest effort, a collaboration with UK fidget-house producer Switch and a bevy of guest vocalists. “Hold the Line” features the aforementioned Santigold as well as dancehall vocalist Mr. Lexx to great effect.
Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the first listen. However, Diplo and Switch’s production prowess became evident pretty quickly and I found myself being captivated by the curveballs the duo kept pitching. To wit: surf guitar lines; samples of neighing horses and glass breaking; the painfully familiar sound of a cell phone twitching in vibrate mode.
In less skilled hands, such a stable of unorthodox source material would make for a flaming heap of musical debris. Thankfully, Major Lazer know just what to do and from the teeth of the grinder is cranked this delicious space oddity of robotic dancehall. “Hold the Line” is propulsive enough to work bodies on the dancefloor and bizarre enough to make you take notice.