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    On the Block 

    American record label, Mad Decent, debuts its annual festival in India today, with headliners like Major Lazer.

    HAT started out in Philadelphia—outside the music label Mad Decent’s old headquarters—as a small, free ‘summer party for the neighbourhood’ in 2008—is now a global music carnival. Having toured 22 cities in North America last year, head honcho Thomas Pentz aka Diplo, has tied up with Indian brands Sunburn and Oji to bring the Mad Decent Block Party across the Pacific, for the very first time. With international acts like Major Lazer and Big Gigantic on the bill — alongside regional artistes including Naezy, Divine and Nucleya — party goers in Mumbai (today), Delhi (tomorrow) and Bengaluru (Sunday) can expect a crazy concoction of mainstream electronic dance music, hip-hop, moombahton, dubstep and trap music. We speak to two of the headlining acts to find out more.

    Groundbreaking sound

    Comprised of Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire, Major Lazer is a musical act that has been setting musical trends since 2008. From popularising twerking to carving a niche in the electronic music spectrum with dancehall (a popular genre of music in Jamaica), the trio who crafted Lean On (the most streamed track in the history of recorded music) are plotting their sophomore visit to India. “It’s not your average block party,” begins Grammy-winning DJ/producer Diplo, elaborating, “America’s biggest dance event is making its India debut and  it’s like a tasteful mixture of music festival and the ultimate hangout. Plus, Big Gigantic, Gorgon City, Giraffage are all making their first time visits to the country.” With over three chart-topping albums to their credit, Major Lazer has an arsenal of tracks to play during their live show, including fan favourites like Watch Out For This and Light It Up. But they may also sneak in a few tunes from their upcoming album, Music is The Weapon, on which they’ve collaborated with artistes like Usher and Rihanna.

    Chart toppers

    London-based garage-house DJ/producer duo, Matt Scott and Kye Gibbon, decided to pause their successful solo careers (as RacknRuin and Foamo) in 2012 and concentrate on their side project, Gorgon City, due to the enormous popularity of their UK chart-topping tune, Real feat. Yasmin. Since then they’ve been pushing the boundaries of their deep underground sound—as heard on their track Ready for your love, which has amassed over 26 million views on YouTube alone—by blending it live on stage with jungle, garage and drum n’ bass sounds. “We’re particularly excited to play in India as we’ve never been here before, and we’ve heard good things about the crowd,” shares Gibbon.

    At E-Zone Club, Marathahalli, Bengaluru. Rs 1,725 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

    —Anoop Menon

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