In geographical terms, it’s convenient to read Lazerproof, the new mixtape collaboration between La Roux and Major Lazer, as a sort of Britain-Philadelphia-Caribbean hybrid—-the synthpop duo La Roux is based in London, as is one half of Major Lazer, Switch. Philly’s Diplo forms the other half of the duo, whose sound is deeply routed in reggae and dancehall. Easy.
But the new mix, which you can download for free, begins on something of a D.C. tip: a remix of La Roux’s breathy, insistent anthem “Bulletproof” by local DJ Nacey and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Hemerlein. Nacey, a part of the Nouveau Riche trio, jettisons the high-energy pulse of the original for something more pensive, with deep bass hums, simple and sinewy piano chords, and Hemerlein’s strings. The effect is cinematic, almost cyberpunk: Its clackety canned beat hits in what feels like bullet time.