Mad Decent Block Party (at Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Major Lazer, Zeds Dead, Flosstradamus, SBTRKT (DJ set), Skream, and more
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
This event is all ages
Place: Known Universe
Years after the zombie apocalypse ravaged the galaxy, Major Lazer went into isolation after bringing peace and order to Earth. With the help of a mysterious shadow government called Cinco he was cryogenically frozen as a safeguard for the future's wellbeing. Despite a great many years of pursuing peace on the planet, a new threat began to loom on the horizon and the commando was brought out of sleep by the Committee of Five. This intergalactic group faced an opponent that only Major Lazer could defend against: his former superior and commander General Rubbish. Rubbish had come out of deep space hiding with a new weapon…Terror Lazor and was set out to enslave and capture all of Earth's allies to seize inter-galactic planetary control and then destroy Earth. With dwindling resources to defend Earth and it's allies, the Committee of Five brought Major Lazer out of cryogenic slumber. He was assigned a partner, the female assassin known only as Knife Fight. Together they set out to FREE THE UNIVERSE, beginning on the fortuitous date of February 19th, 2013.
After releasing their landmark LP Guns Don't Kill People… Lazers Do in 2009, the heroic production duo of Diplo and Switch found themselves boldly marching forwards toward the end of the aughts, conquering major milestones. From 2009 to 2011, the twosome toured extensively across the United States and the world, selling out shows and performing at some of music's major festivals, including Coachella, Pitchfork, Sasquatch, Outside Lands and Falls Music & Arts Festival. In 2010 Major Lazer released Lazerproof, a free download mixtape with pop sensation La Roux, and Lazers Never Die, an EP featuring two new tracks and three remixes, including one by Thom Yorke. Undoubtedly, one of the foremost breakthroughs for Major Lazer during this time was the production collaboration with Beyonce on her massive hit "Run the World (Girls)", which sampled their track "Pon de Floor. Beyonce directly sought out Switch and Diplo, recognizing the fact that the duo was creating authentically innovative music and further cementing their status as a production team worthy of worldwide mainstream attention. As 2011 turned to 2012, Switch determined it best to pursue his own path, leaving Diplo in full control of Major Lazer.
Now, as the sole executive producer of Major Lazer, Diplo continues to spearhead the current dancehall revival movement with the upcoming release Free The Universe. The recording includes exciting collaborations with Bruno Mars, Tyga, Flux Pavillion, Wynter Gordon, Shaggy, Wyclef, Ezra Koening from Vampire Weekend, Dev and more. Spin called the LP's first single "Get Free" featuring Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, "a meeting point between Jamaica, West Africa, and Brooklyn." The second single from Free The Universe, "Jah No Partial", dropped on October, 22nd 2012.
Diplo (AKA Wesley Pentz) has risen through the ranks and has asserted himself as one of the most pioneering producers of the time. Through unending curiosity and exploration of the vast multitudes of the world's musical heritages, Diplo has managed to seamlessly connect the global underground to the audio mainstream. He is the Grammy-nominated founder, owner and head honcho of Mad Decent records, which has not only garnered widespread critical and audience accolades since its inception, but has also deservedly earned a hefty reputation as a vanguard of groundbreaking releases. As Major Lazer, he recently retreated to Jamaica to team up with producers Ariel Rechtshaid and Dre Skull on the upcoming Snoop Dogg album Snoop Lion "Reincarnated". Major Lazer was also featured on the title track from No Doubt's latest comeback album with famed dancehall artist Busy Signal and released an official remix for Hot Chip's "Look At Where We Are".
DC and Hooks are Zeds Dead.
They first hooked up in 2004 and formed Mass Productions. Influenced by the digging in the crates sampling school of hip hop, Mass Productions released one independent album in the summer of 2007 entitled Fresh Beetz. It was their first and only release.
In the summer of 2009, the two launched their second collaboration - Zeds Dead - turning up the bpm and aiming the bass-lines at the dance-floor. Soon after Zeds Dead (alongside the Killabits) founded a weekly party in Toronto called BassMentality. Guests have included Nero, Skrillex, 12th Planet, Borgore, Mary Anne Hobbs, Plastician, Netsky, and many more.
Two of the hardest workers in electronic music, Zeds Dead's tireless efforts have earned them an excellent reputation amongst a new generation of producers as artists without borders - genres hold no bearing over their music as they transcend style and form with ease. By pulling from a vast array of source material (Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues, Sublime), and molding it into their unique brand of dance-floor classics, They have established themselves as a dominant force in EDM circles and have received recognition and praise from tastemakers worldwide.
Flosstradamus, the oft-mentioned Chicago DJ duo comprised of J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) have been dominating the party scene nationwide with their tag-team DJ sets (3 turntables, 2 mixers) for just over a year and show no signs of slowing down. But let's get one thing straight, for the record: no more Wu-Tang requests, please!
Both established DJs in Chicago prior to their alliance as Flosstradamus, J2K and Autobot initially linked up while DJing a house party together in 2005, decided to start performing as a duo, and the rest is history. Gathering vast influences from their respective backgrounds in punk and hip-hop, Flosstradamus brought normally divided crowds together with their unique mixes of Baltimore club, hip-hop, house, obscure remixes, and juke. A monthly party soon followed ("Get Outta The Hood") at Chicago's Town Hall Pub, and within a year Flosstradamus turned a stagnant bar into the proverbial place-to-be, lines stretching down the block while sweaty kids crowd surf and get down inside. National press soon began to take notice, with features in URB ("Next 100 for 2006"), MTV (featured in "My Block"), and The Fader. Other recent accolades of note include 2006 appearances at SXSW, CMJ, Pitchfork Festival, Pop Montreal, parties for VICE, The Fader, Jane Magazine, DKNY, URB, and Puma, not to mention performances with Clipse, Common, and Rick Ross.
In the coming year, Flosstradamus plan to show off the rest of their multifaceted talent. Coming soon will be a full length Flosstradamus LP with J2K and Autobot on production duties, a mixtape with up and coming rappers The Cool Kids, and a European tour with A-Trak and Kid Sister.
SBTRKT (DJ set)
The enigmatic masked producer known as SBTRKT appeared on the scene in 2009 with two independently released 12-inches, and praise for his soulful blending of atmospheric house, syncopated dubstep and warped garage spread quickly throughout the international electronic community. Soon revealed to be the moniker of UK broken beat mainstay Aaron Jerome, SBTRKT was later commissioned for remixes by the likes of Basement Jaxx and drafted for collaborations with Sinden, Sampha and Jessie Ware to name a few. On June 27, 2011, Young Turks is slated to release his eponymous debut full-length.
Meet Skream: Croydon’s musical wonderkid. At 15 he discovered making music. Five years later he’s changed the course of UK urban music, having helped build the foundations of London’s most exciting new musical style, dubstep. But he’s barely started yet: because right now, Skream is an artist on fire.
Skream’s story begins in Croydon, in secondary school year 11. He wasn’t getting on with teachers and they weren’t getting on with him: but he was getting on with his music. But two friendships cemented then would start him onto the path to musical success.
First he met Benga, another talented Croydon kid who was starting to make music. Then he met Hatcha, soon to be one of the most influential and pioneering DJs in urban music. Around 2000 Benga and Skream set about building on the early dark garage flavours that were to be found on the pirate airwaves around Croydon. Through Hatcha’s sets at club Forward» and releases on the seminal Big Apple label, they were about to create a new phase of dubstep.
At first Skream specialised in one flavour of dubstep: dark. His clipped, techy minimal style became a trademark sound. Long before grime existed, it reflected dark murky streets and sinister nights, the sound of decaying London and its frustrated communities, stuck out in satellite towns and sink estates with nothing but a PC and freely available software to channel their frustration into. Stuck in front of a PC for days on end, that’s exactly what Skream did.
Then two years ago Digital Mystikz burst onto the dubstep scene, expanding the sound with new flavours and vivid colours. Skream became even more inspired. It not like he wasn’t prolific already – rumour has it he’s made over 1500 tracks – but out poured a host of bright new tracks from the wonderkid. “Indian remix” took him into trippy Asian territories, “Cheeky…” into Arabia, his unreleased mixes of Sunship fused Jamaican dancehall smut with hooky Kraftwerk melodies. “Smiling Face” broke out cheerful reggae skanks on dancefloors.
But his biggest tune was yet to come. Enter “Midnight Request Line” – on Tempa records – an anthemic explosion of electro arpeggios and dub sub-bass. It’s a tune you can sing along to: Skream has it as his own ringtone. When it got dropped by DJ Youngsta at club Forward» grime dons Wiley, Jammer and the rest of Roll Deep began to shock out, flashing their lighters out of hard earned respect. The flip of this mighty release is bassline boomer “I,” an excursion into deep dub basslines and shifting cinematic textures.
Since the huge success of “Midnight Request Line” UK & International DJ gigs have been coming thick and fast, with Skream getting a rapturous response at New York’s rammed Dub War event, as well as at shows in Leeds, Belgium, Bristol & Germany. He’s also been busy releasing classic after classic on the popular Skreamizm EPs, now into the second volume. From the Amen heavy rinse out of ‘Lightning Dub’, to the masterclass in LFO-wobbling sub-bass ‘Blipstream’, these tracks are rewound at every dubstep rave, have received glowing reviews and are appearing in sets by DJs as diverse as Mr Scruff, Freq Nasty & Ricardo Villalobos.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise he likes sub-bass, Skream has grown up around it. His older brother was a member of Croydon’s notorious jungle hell-raising raving outfit Intanatty Crew, which featured Radio 1’s Grooverider and Bailey’s 1Xtra as members. Ollie, Skream’s real name, is no stranger to a bit of hell raising himself, famous for his up-for-it behaviour at parties or out on the town. In fact he’s the only known music artist with a subdued alter-ego. Most rock stars are quiet by day with flamboyant alter-egos. Our wonderkid is the other way around. But then that’s wonderkids like Skream for you: unique.
$30 - $75
***U Street Music Hall hosts a BBQ Stage at the Mad Decent Block Party! Stop by the 9:32 Bar for local Moombahton, Trap, Bass & BBQ! U HALL BBQ STAGE at 9:32 -- BILLY THE GENT • NACEY • STEVE STARKS • OBEYAH • HYX & HOUSTON • RANSOM • WEII • LEMZ • REZ • NATURE RAGE • JON KWEST*** Need a ride from DC to the Mad Decent Block Party? Hop on the BYT Magic Mad Decent School Bus! Tickets and more details: http://schoolbus.eventbrite.com/
U Street Music Hall
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