Were it not for cameos by the biggest names in electronic dance music, including superstar DJs Calvin Harris and Skrillex, Dillon Francis' seven-song EP, "This Mixtape Is Fire (Columbia), might seem like an experimental stopgap between albums. The Los Angeles DJ, best known for his smash 2014 collaboration with DJ Snake, "Get Low," is all over the place sonically. He fills the spaces between Austrian singer-songwriter James Hersey's gentle verses on "Coming Over" with electronic marimba sounds, helps Chromeo do its best Peter Frampton imitation on "Lies," complete with vocoder, and rocks both cowbell and vigorous dubstep synths on the explosive opener "Bruk Bruk (What's My Name)."
The EP's foundation is Francis' signature style, moombahton, a fancy term for party music that involves fusing old-school house with the deep-bass beats of reggaeton. It's all in service of Very Serious Dance Music, although Francis occasionally airs out his sense of humor, repeating the (funny) title in "Bun Up the Dance Floor" amid Skrillex's siren noises and pausing an "I Can't Take It" remix to let a redneck voice say, "Better get me that beer, darling."
"This Mixtape Is Fire"
Bottom Line Stopgap EP by veteran DJ is star-studded, explosive, sometimes funny.
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