Fast Company have released their rankings of the 100 most creative people in business for 2013, a list of “the 2013 global leaders in technology, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports, and more.” Sitting at number 28 on the list is Thomas Pentz, the DJ, producer, and Mad Decent founder known as Diplo. Highlighted for his creativity in heading his own independent record label, Diplo is acknowledged for the global success of Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” and the antics that made it possible.
Mad Decent’s Jeffree’s imprint celebrates its 32nd birthday with a 5-track remix EP of Foxsky’s “The Whip.” Just like my five-year-old self – mainlining rails of pixie dust while playing Super NES – Foxsky’s original is an amphetamine-laced 8-bit monstrosity, one that kicks and screams at every game over. Diagnosed with ADD but never treated, Foxsky dabbles in a variety of genres, putting together a blend of dub and electro at a moombahton pace. The rest of EP is equally unique, enlisting ETC!ETC!, The Reef, Vass, and Udachi for remix duties. ETC!ETC! brings in the deep toms and trap flair, The Reef unleashes a hyperactive section of tribal percussion and newcomer Vass delivers a floor-shaking trap remix before Udachi’s puts a bmore spin on the track’s 8-bit aesthetic.
No one could have expected the “Harlem Shake” to blow up to the prodigious scale it did — from YouTube virility to the top of the charts. The success of Baauer’s ubiquitous single not only spawned a thousand internet spinoffs, it also incurred a lawsuit for copyrighted samples against Mad Decent. Both Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson pressed the label for compensation over the track’s use of unlicensed samples. Diplo, as the head of Mad Decent, has come to aid of the label’s blossoming trap star, settling the legal dispute with Delgado and Musson and clearing the “Harlem Shake” samples.
Mad Decent tore through 5 cities last year, and although Brooklyn ended early due to a massive storm, the label is returning for its third year of mayhem. Those of us lucky enough to reside in Calgary, Las Vegas, Toronto, Philly, Baltimore, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas, Detroit, New Braunfels, Los Angeles, and San Diego will get to party with Mad Decent and their rag tag band of misfits and party starters. No lineup has been announced yet, but judging from previous years the cast of this year’s tour will have more than a few surprises. Sadly, all good things must to come to an end and the Block Party is no longer free. This year early bird tickets are $20 and will be increasing in price as time goes on.
Diplo‘s latest effort “Keep It Gully” was previously only available on the Mad Decent Premium club, but now the Keep It Gully EP is available via iTunes and Beatport as well. The two track outing gives listeners two collaborations with the Australian producer Swick and the second cut “Dat A Freak” features vocals from TT & Lewis Cancut. The track, according to Diplo’s SoundCloud, is an “Egyptian twurk anthem” working in more experimental sounds that incorporate the Mad Decent record head’s worldly influences. Keeping an upbeat tempo on both tracks, the two producers continue to follow the dance hall influences Diplo has previously given listeners, while accentuate a love for new dance-worthy sounds.
After securing a spot in the internet hall of fame and a cover story on Billboard magazine, the young Brooklyn-based producer, Harry Bauer Rodrigues, better known as Baauer, has come under fire for the sample used in his breakthrough hit “Harlem Shake.” Hector Delgado, a former reggaeton artist known as Hector El Father, is responsible for the “Con los terroristas” (“With the terrorists”) sample while Jayson Musson, formerly of Philadelphia-based rap group Plastic Little, is credited with the “Do the Harlem Shake” vocal cut that triggers the track’s infectious break. Neither artist gave permission for their samples to be used and are both seeking compensation from Mad Decent and Baauer in light of the track’s explosive success.
Oddly enough, Hector Delgado’s sample was also used in a remix of Gregor Salto’s “Con Alegria” by two lesser known DJs back in 2010 but Mr. Delgado did not seek compensation from that incident – most likely because the remix in question did not achieve the level of success that Baauer’s original has.
Machete Music, a Universal Music Group label, is currently negotiating payment from Mad Decent.
For today’s GMM we’re rewinding to Major Lazer‘s inception, when the production output was made up of Diplo and Switch. At the time, the pair had just released Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do and structured the mix with one hour from Diplo followed by another from Switch. Mixing in classic reggae sounds and future classic Major Lazer productions, the two producers gave listeners insight into the origins of the rasta-inspired beats Diplo has now championed for the last 3 years. With everything from slow, airy productions to harder hitting tropically-infused outputs, Diplo and Switch treated listeners to the emerging sounds of electronic reggae making for another effortless genre cross-over for the Mad Decent label.
France’s DJ Snake is a versatile, Grammy-nominated producer, known more recently for his work with Lady Gaga. Despite any preconceptions that may incite, DJ Snake’s latest two-track output is a Mad Decent-endorsed release that should not be overlooked.
“Bird Machine,” featuring Alesia, is undoubtedly the bigger of the two tracks, and has already received support from Baauer, Dillon Francis, Knife Party, and Bassnectar. With its beckoning bird calls and smooth kick drum pattern, “Bird Machine” is trap gone avian, and frankly, it’s awesome. Though trumped by the airtime of “Bird Machine,” “Together” is also an impressive trap release. Beginning with a hardstyle build up, “Together” quickly changes pace into a scratchy trap section, although its true potential resides in its latter drop.
DJ Snake ft. Alesia – Bird Machine
DJ Snake – Together
Diplo and GTA have teamed up to produce “Boy Oh Boy,” their bucknasty rework of Missy Elliott’s infamous track, “Work It.” Starting off with a heavy hitting bassline that is accompanied by some fairly rampage-like synths, this remix slowly builds up to reveal that unforgettable hook we all know and love from Missy’s original record from 2002. In bringing their conjoined efforts together, the Mad Decent Madman and Miami-based producers have managed to completely trick out the decade-old hit and infuse it with some sultry moombah flavor. It looks like great minds do think alike.
Whether you’re a hip hop junkie or a complete house nut, we’re certain this remake will have something for you. With a release date still unknown, “Boy Oh Boy” will be making its way around sets before being unleashed for the public.
Baauer‘s “Harlem Shake” is receiving a serious revival after a group of boys took to YouTube to post a “Gangnam Style-esque” dance video. The track was released back in May and made waves within the dance music community, but it seems the “Harlem Shake” may be the next Internet meme as well. The “Harlem Shake v2 Version” was uploaded days go and quickly gained traffic (about 2 million views currently) that was followed by an influx of imitations. Today there are similar videos stacking up too many views to count, making it clear Baauer’s infectious 2012 summer anthem may sticking around for a little bit longer.