Major Lazer – Get Free MP3

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I’ve been obsessing about this song for more than a week now. It haunts me. I’ll tell you where you can download the mp3 for free but first let me tell you how I feel about it.

Having been exploring Jamaican music recently – dancehall, ska reggae, rocksteady etc, when I first heard “Get Free” I just felt like I’d tapped into some kind of deep underground thermal spring of good vibes.

The pieces work so well together.

The voice is really interesting. Amber Coffman from Dirty Projectors delivers a sultry mixture of  matter-of-fact lyrics and rallying calls over a wide and capable modern production that happily remains inconspicuous and doesn’t fight the basic, chilled out rhythm for prominence. Amber’s voice trails off in the wind in a series of rich dischordant siren harmonies reminding me of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (The Mystery Voices of Bulgaria) with shrill quartertones that befit a cry from Carpathian mountain battlements.

The warm off-beat organs, nasal guitar riffs, life-giving bass rich with spacy old amplifier artifacts including what might be genuine original Studio One speaker cone dust… this is reggae. Brassy synths and monster sax leads burst and tumble like a steel drum on a humid night in Kingston (or did you hear one?)

Amber’s presence builds in layers. She sings in rounds. Peaceful, insistent, sometimes close to your ear, sometimes through the loud hailer.

There are remixes – and rightly so, the rhythm is pretty subtle and understated… you’d think a driving drum & bass mix could be great – but so far none of them that I’ve heard have penetrated the massive presence of the original. The remix by Andy C unfortunately seems to squash the energy (and the chord progression) with 19 layers of multi-octave pads, and tiresome 90s swooshing effects and kick rushes.

But the video clip is the jewel in the crown. Simple yet apocalyptic, artful yet apparently affordable.

It seems Major Lazer is exactly the kind of interplanetary soldier who stares impenetrably at the horizon in his mirror shades and his bandolier of microphones, sitting on the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Poignant. Triumphant. Vigilant. Pure.

Go get the mp3 for free.

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