Recently New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones pulled off a rare and fully bragworthy music-critic trick–that is, he may very well have coined the colloquial name for a nascent subgenre. Specifically, S/FJ gave the name “lazer bass” to the emerging hybrid of hip-hop, electro, dancehall reggae, and eight-bit video-game soundtracks. The style’s brightest lights so far are the duo Megasoid, whose party-rocking ways I profiled in a Montreal scene report last summer.
Of course the term “lazer bass” has already attracted some criticism, mostly for being kinda goofy–to which Frere-Jones replied, “I will work day and night to coin a less stupid name: something like, I don’t know, ‘hip-hop.'” But I like his name, seeing as it combines three of my favorite things: bass, lasers, and misspelling the word “laser.”
As Frere-Jones noted today, “somebody whom I do not know liked the name enough to create a video mash-up and title it ‘I Love Lazer Bass,'” so at least a few people are cool with it. The video also happens to be a heavily bumpin’ survey of exactly what kind of stuff falls under the lazer-bass rubric.