Monday, April 19, 2010

Music Monday: Major Lazer and Mos Dub

Last Music Monday Chief featured a couple of reggae tracks. Although I never fully embraced reggae music as much as my co-blogger, I spent my teenage years listening to ska music, a "cousin" of the genre. Every Saturday on 89.7 FM, WITR (R.I.T.'s college radio station) a DJ who went by the name, Mr. Bill, would continuously spin dub and reggae on the airwaves of Rochester, New York. After I left Rochester for college and became a DJ for my college radio station, I developed a nostalgic appreciation for Mr. Bill and looked forward to listening to reggae each Saturday as I drove. However, I was shocked to read in a recent Democrat and Chronicle article that Mr. Bill and his Reggae Sounds show had stopped abruptly. In honor of Mr. Bill I choose two reggae-ish tracks for this week's Music Monday.

The first track Major Lazer's "Keep It Going Louder" off the 2009 album, Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do. Major Lazer is a fictional character modeled after a Jamaican commando with a gigantic lazer for an arm after losing it in casualty during a zombie war. The group is actually comprised of two DJ's, Switch and Diplo who met after both working with M.I.A. "Keep It Going Louder" features Ricky Blaze but Nina Sky's vocals really brings this track together.

The second track I choose was a mash-up by New York DJ and Producer Max Tannone. Tannone previously released a mash-up album dubbed, Jaydiohead which mixes the vocals of Jay-Z over Radiohead instrumentals. However, I chose Tannone's latest mash-up project Mos Dub, an album featuring the vocals of Mos Def set over various reggae and dub tracks. "Johnny Too Beef" is a stunning example of a mash-up gone right, seamlessly integrating the vocals of Mos Def's "Beef" with The Slicker's classic, "Johnny Too Bad."  

While neither tracks would properly be described as reggae music, both encompass various elements of the genre. I can only hope that somewhere and somehow Mr. Bill continues sharing his love of music with others and would approve of these selections. Happy Monday!


  1. I usually ignore the DAsian's music recs, but I'm really digging that Mos Dub album. I was already a Mos Def fan, but the addition of some of my favorite reggae riddims is really cool. "Travellin' Underground," which uses Lee Perry's "Underground Roots" from Super Ape is an absolutely killer track, so check it out!

  2. Here's the link to download the album: