I was recently falling out of love with electronic music. It became the genre that didn’t give me the thrill anymore, but there comes that release that pulls you right back in. Some would call Dillon Francis the clown prince of electronic music – I would prefer to call him criminally underrated. Francis’s 2014 album release, Money Sucks, Friends Rule showed the more structured side to his repertoire, but I had a feeling that eventually we would revisit what made the producer/dj stand out in the first place. Appropriately titled, This Mixtape Is Fire, the seven track EP takes us back to the times of moombahton or the beginning where Francis used to tirelessly work on his craft at his parents’ house getting his legs under him. This Mixtape Is Fire serves to be a jumper cable to a genre that needed a restart.
The EP is a stroll down memory lane, but with a new brush and canvas. With the experience of making an album, that experience revitalized Francis’ side from what got his start. “Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Love) has all the little quirks to fit into a great Dillon Francis moobahton track. The sample voice that stands along side the tribal drums that molds into the build up of bass and drop where fans will go crazy for. The energy of this track goes perfect with “Pull It” featuring Bro Safari that erupts with tempo changes at it’s core.
“What’s Your Name”, the collaboration with Calvin Harris hints at the developed structure that’s almost like an old house track in the beginning before it goes into a pulsating beat complete with synths that go every which way where you can’t help yourself but to dance. Many have been fans of the little samples of voice that are used to lead into the drop with DF tracks. Already two songs in and you can tell that there’s a new sense of confidence as we hit the refresh button. “Bun Up The Dance” which is a featured track with Skrillex works because you can distinguish what influence each artist brought to the track. Skrillex gives a reggae/dancehall vibe with the vocal track ( “I want a little fire, now gimme the line”) that highlights how you should do a collaboration. Neither influence overpowers the other, they both compliment each other very well.
With all this moobahton influence, Francis is not afraid to go outside the box a bit with “Lies”, a song with Chromeo that’s a slow burner that’s full of funk and sex. There are drums that pair up with the piano while vocalist Dave Macklovitch brings a R&B like flavor. Add a little guitar from David Macklovitch and you have an intro that completely deviates from the script of the EP or throws it out completely. Well, isn’t that what we love about Dillon Francis in the first place. While this is only a “mixtape”, this shows why Dillon Francis will be one of the musicians that will be around for years to come. You take a genre that you came from and mix it with what you learned from your first album, and the mixtape will indeed be fire.
Review written by M.J. Rawls – follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/ViewtifulJ21