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Wave-making M.I.A. induces chaos despite a modest crowd at Tower Theater

Back when Rihanna was still a bubbly pop star and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana, there was another female rebel emerging on the scene, completely changing the game – and that was M.I.A. Emerging in 2004 with Piracy Funds Terrorism, an underground mixtape collaboratin with Diplo, M.I.A. really broke with the release of the stellar Arular in 2005. Before her, there was no female bridging the gap between rap, electronic and worldly beats, and a decade and a slew of controversial moves later, the British-Sri Lankan rapper is still here making waves.

On Friday evening M.I.A. made a stop at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby in support of her most recent album, Matangi. With some musical flops in recent years, I was hesitant about what the show would bring, especially given the thin crowd who showed up (to put it politely). Despite this, the Tower’s standing-room general admission area filled up nicely, and the energy in the room increased dramatically as M.I.A.’s start time drew closer, the mixed crowd of young fans chanting her name incessantly. Head to toe in a neon orange solid-colored sweatsuit, with hood up and shades on, M.I.A entered the stage, sat down at a table facing the crowd, and all hell broke loose.

With a lighting set-up nothing short of epileptic, and two dancers by her side all night, M.I.A. opened with the politically fueled track “The Message” off of Matangi. To my utter delight, the set was a fair mix of new and old music, the old including “U.R.A.Q.T” and “Amazon” from the 2005′s Arular, as well as “Bamboo Banga” and concluding with the easy crowd favorite “Paper Planes” from 2007′s Kala. The crowd reached major heights with the performance of “Y.A.L.A.”, a track from Matangi and a heavy favorite from the album, which is also featured on a Nissan commerical. M.I.A. was clearly vibing off of the energy of the room, who had all pushed up as close to the stage as humanly possible, shown when she invited all girls on stage for mixes of “Bad Girls” and “Born Free.”

The young, selfie-loving crowd provided palpable energy, and 38 year-old Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam matched it with power and flare, even stage diving into the center of the pit to everyone’s rampant delight. Despite the show ending by 10:30 p.m., it could have been the wee hours of the morning. All in all, no matter who or how many she’s performing for, M.I.A.’s still got it.

Below, check out a roundup of some of the best Instagrams from the show. Continue reading →

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Listen to two hours of Diplo DJ awesomeness

diplo Diplo and “friends” recently did a two hour BBC Radio 1Xtra mix for New Year’s featuring tracks from Drake, Bauer, Aluna George, Flosstradamus, Duke Dumont, Disclosure, Jay-Z, Storm Queen, Benga, Young Jeezy, DJ Fresh, and others.

The session, originally broadcast on BBC on December 29th continues to showcase Diplo’s fantastic ability to mix music from various forms of dance music – from hip-hop and rap to different styles of EDM and Caribbean music. Listen to the party-rocking, booty-shaking mix below.

Track List:
Baauer – Yaow!
Baauer – Harlem Shake
YeahYeahYeah’s – Heads Will Roll (Kid Kamillion Trap Edit)
RL Grime – Satisfaction (RL Grime Remix)
A$AP Skrillex – Wild For The Night
Kanye West – Bound 2
Baauer x Just Blaze – Higher
DJ Fresh Vs Diplo – Earthquake Feat. Dominique Young
Flosstradamus – Rollup (Baauer Remix)
Dada Life – Boing Clash Boom (Major Lazer Remix)
Flume – Sleepless (The Ninetys Remix)
Sub Focus – Tidal Wave feat Alpines (Flosstradamus Remix)
Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E – Need U (100%)
Disclosure – White Noise ft. AlunaGeorge
Avicii vs Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One
DJ Snake- Birthday Song (Parisian Vision) (Ft. 2 Chainz)
Destructo – Higher (Brodinski Remix)
Clockwork- BBBS (GTA Remix)
GTA & Diplo – Boy Oh Boy
TWRK – BaDINGA!
DJ Snake – Bird Machine feat. Alesia
Drake feat. Majid Jordan – Hold On We’re Going Home (Phat Deuce 110 Edit)
Alunageorge Attracting Flies (Baauer Remix)
Rihanna – Stay (Branchez Bootleg)
Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This (Benzi & Esentrik Remix)
Rocko – UOENO (DJ Wonder x Childish Major Remix)
Jay-Z – Tom Ford x Tom Ford (Benzi Mega Hybrid Edit)
Tinie Tempah – Trampoline
Benga – Yellow
Calvin Harris -Sweet Nothing feat. Florence Welch (Diplo + Grandtheft Rmx)
KNIFE PARTY – LRAD (HEROES x VILLAINS Remix)
Meowski666 – Meow Machine
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (Major Lazer Remix)
Major Lazer -Watch Out For This (Bumaye) ( Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Tomorrowland Remix )
Hardwell & GTA & Trendsetter – Wild Animals
Galantis – Smile (Kaskade Remix)
Daft Punk ft. Panda Bear – Doin’ It Right
Mapai – Don’t Wait (Kingdom remx)
AlunaGeorge – Best Be Believing (Shadow Child Remix)
Katy B – 5AM (Route94 Remix)
Tamia – More (J-LAH Remix)
BREACH – Jack (Cory Enemy & Luke Shay Remix)
Storm Queen – Look Right Through (MK Dub III)
Toyboy & Robin – Jaded
Showtek ft. We Are Loud! & Sonny Wilson – Booyah – Party Favor Trap Remix
The Knocks & Treasure Fingers – My Body (J-LAH Remix)
His Majesty Andre – Sunshine ft Anna Lunoe (Main Course MCR-007)
Drake – Worst Behavior (THUGLI Remix)
Young Jeezy – RIP (ENFERNO RMX)
AlunaGeorge – You Know You Like It (DJ Snake Remix)
Major Lazer – Bubble Butt ( Dj Snake Remix)
Yellow Claw – DJ Turn It Up
Mat Zo – Lucid Dream
Wave Racer – Rock U Tonite
Disclosure – You & Me (feat. Eliza Doolittle) [Flume Remix]
King Krule – Easy Easy

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Stream Diplo’s Mad Decent Christmas compilation, A Very Decent Christmas

Diplo-Xmas How about a little twerking underneath the mistletoe this year? Below, listen to A Very Decent Christmas, featuring some pumped up holiday jams by Diplo, DJ Snake, Gent & Jawns, Juyen Sebulba, Astronomar, Kennedy Jones, and more. Our favorites? “Frosty Bounce,” “Turn Up Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and Mitch Murder’s soulful slow jam ballad, “Don’t Let Me Spend Christmas Alone,” featuring Santell.

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Download Diplo’s remix of Grizzly Bear’s “Will Calls”

Photo by Tom Hines
Photo by Tom Hines

Diplo has worked his remixing magic again, and this time it’s with indie-rockers Grizzly Bear on the song, “Will Calls.” The original version of the song was recorded before the band started their official tracking for Shields, released earlier this month on Shields Expanded and Shields B-Sides. Diplo’s remix is a slow build into the groove that totally respects the vocal from Grizzly Bear’s lead singer, Ed Droste, and the beat skitters soulfully in a way that “My Love” by Justin Timberlake does. Download or stream it below.

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Diplo announces a new EP, Revolution featuring RiFF RaFF, Action Bronson and Travis Porter

REVOLUTION-ARTWEB Diplo has announced the release of Revolution, a new six song EP, coming out on October 8th on Mad Decent. The followup to Diplo’s Express Yourself EP features a star studded cast including Travis Porter, RiFF RAFF, Action Bronson, Mr. MFN eXquire, Mike Posner and others. Listen to “Biggie Bounce” below.

TRACKLIST
1. Biggie Bounce (feat. Angger Dimas & Travis Porter)
2. Revolution (feat. Imanos, Faustix & Kai)
3. Crown (feat. Boaz van de Beatz, Mike Posner & RiFF RAFF)
4. Rock Steady (feat. Action Bronson, RiFF RAFF, Mr MFN eXquire & Nicky Da B)
5. Revolution (feat. Imanos, Faustix & Kai) [Boaz van de Beatz Remix]
6. Biggie Bounce (feat. Travis Porter & Angger Dimas) [TWRK Remix]

Purchase the EP here

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Recap: Scenes from the Mad Decent Block Party

Photo by Rachel Barrish | raddrhapsodies.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | raddrhapsodies.com

The traditional Philadelphia-throned Mad Decent Block Party took place this past weekend at the Great Plaza at Penns Landing. Owner of Mad Decent and DJ, Thomas Wesley Pentz (aka Diplo) began the block party in 2008 when it used to actual take place on an actual block. Now with bigger artists and more of a demand, the parties have expanded across the country (and the world, if you include Toronto). During this Mad Decent tour, headlining act for every party included Major Lazer and rotating acts like Zeds Dead, Flosstradamus, and Riff Raff, among many others on the Mad Decent label.

A sold-out Philadelphia show brought out a variety of people, and when I say variety, I mean that is the most real sense possible. Because the show was all ages, there were people there ranging from probably 15 to 40 years old.

The day was beautiful and the sun was shining as people wearing neon colors of pink and green scattered down onto the waterfront. Girls wearing less to nothing except black duct tape or handmade crop tops; people’s arms and bodies covered in beaded bracelets aka “candy”, and carrying around cartoon backpacks of characters like Lilo & Stitch or Spongebob Squarepants.

This cultural spaceship that landed at Mad Decent has emerged worldwide since the EDM (Electronic Dance music) scene became so prominent. DJ’s, rap, and electronic music that come along with dance moves like twerking and breakdancing.

Who’s to say how long this craze will last among the all of the cultural fads that seem to come and go, but EDM seems to be stepping out into the future as a definitive piece of music culture.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Khari Mateen, Plow United, Diplo

khar

Local musician / producer Khari Mateen tossed in a cover of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” to celebrate the season.  Mateen gives the Porgy & Bess aria a funky make-over with staccato string parts and chunky beats.  Fun fact – the lyrics to “Summertime” were written by DuBose Heyward, a relative of local singer-songwriter Heyward Howkins.  Stream and download the cover below.

Two Folkadelphia Sessions this week – first up, an endearing acoustic performance by Laura Stevenson, followed by a rocking & rolling set from Brooklyn’s Plates of Cake.  The spectrum of music represented by these two sessions is Folkadelphia’s mission in action, i.e. presenting a braod definition of what it means to be “folk music.”  Stream and download two tracks below and dig in to the rest here.

Continue reading →

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Download a new remix by Major Lazer (playing Mad Decent Block Party 7/27)

Major Lazer

Electronic dancehall party starters Major Lazer just dropped a free remix of “The Fog” by Machel Montano. Spearheaded by Diplo, the EDM group released its new album, Free the Universe, in April and featured a ridiculous variety of artists, from Ezra Koenig to Bruno Mars to dancehall artists like Busy Signal. Major Lazer is embarking on a nationwide tour headlining the Mad Decent Block Parties. The very first Mad Decent Block Party was in Philadelphia (when the label was still based in Philly), and the day-long event returns to Penn’s Landing on July 27th. You can find more information here.