If record labels were elementary school students, Mad Decent would have the most interesting “what I did on my summer vacation” presentation. Between quadrupling their annual Block Party and releasing mixtapes weekly, Diplo and family are doing big things before they pack it up and move to Los Angeles. Here are two recent mixtapes from up-and-coming talents on the label.
Like MIA and Santigold before her, Maluca‘s Mad Decent mixtape serves as her entree onto the underground scene. While those two found Wes Gully behind the boards, Maluca’s China Food is expertly mixed by Paul “The Other Pauly D” Devro with a “past, present and future” theme in mind.
China Food fills the void left after we heard the fiery merengue of last year’s “Tigeraso” but not much else from the Dominican chanteuse. Between samples of “Fire” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” are house-inflected tropical tunes like “Jungle Violento” and “Loca.” Devro curates one helluva tape, letting Maluca flex her Kelis muscles on the moody “Hector” and “Flourescent Beige.” Definitely cop this one, for the low, low price of your email address.
Along with moombahton, this summer has been defined by the resurgence of noise pop, especially the sun-soaked and weed smoke variety. Bands like Wavves, Best Coast, and Surfer Blood have led the way with fuzzed-out pop songs that hint at nostalgia and beach vibes. Po Po (brothers Zeb and Shoaib) mine similar territory for Mad Decent.
This summer mixtape, originally recorded for their tour with Sleigh Bells, showcases the experimental garage rock the duo is known for. While most of the tape is noisier and less complete than first single “Bummer Summer,” it’s still a good placeholder until their fall debut drops.