Say what you will about Diplo, but the culture-mashing juggernaut has never had anything but excellent taste in collaborators, a trait that has defined his dancehall work under the Major Lazer moniker. After pulling in top names from Jamaica (mostly on the group’s first album) and Anglo-American indy rock (mostly on their second), the team seems to have shifted their focus south and west of their usual stomping grounds, moving into the world of soca and (it almost goes without saying) entering the kingdom of Machel Montano.
While the chest-bursting electro beats and uptempo bounce that define most of “Soundbang” stays pretty close to how one would expect the mixture of Montano and Lazer to sound, the track also includes a dose of some surprisingly chill sounds. Starting with a volley of blissed out acoustic guitars in full-on island strum mode before transforming into the kind of flag-waving vortex in which Machel thrives, it actually brings the mellow vybz back at the end, undergirding the guitars with a vintage dancehall riddim and riding the whole thing into the sunset/fadeout. World changing party banger? Probably not- but we gotta admit that the idea of soca lazer is pretty appealing.