In the summer of 2012, Mixpak released Dre Skull’s uptempo ‘Loudspeaker Riddim’, with four voicings from dancehall greats Beenie Man, Popcaan, Natalie Storm and soca giant Machel Montano. It quickly gained momentum and attention for its distinctive beat and vocals, with Machel Montano’s ‘Go Down’ hitting NPR’s top singles of the year chart, and Popcaan’s ‘The System’ running over a million YouTube views in just a few months and climbing to its pinnacle as one of his most requested songs.
In the spirit of the traditional riddim release, the time is ripe to add yet more talented additions to the roster. Enter Megan James of Purity Ring (one of last year’s most lauded new indie outfits), whose unique ethereal and hallucinatory voice is instantly recognizable. Her first appearance on a track outside of the duo, the aptly titled ‘First Time’, propels the Loudspeaker Riddim down a dramatically new path. With dream-like phrasing floating over Dre Skull’s euphoric beat (newly energized in this VIP incarnation), James delicately delivers an enchanting melody to complement the powerful, dance-driven backbone. Jamaican dancehall superstar Popcaan joins in with a strong guest verse and the end result is a track that combines pop fragility with the intensity of your first rave.
Staying true to Mixpak’s dedication to unite worlds and keep things different, ‘First Time’ is a contemporary single that connects the dots between different aspects of culture and finds the common thread.