Monday, 12 January 2009

Diplo - Decent Work for Decent Pay (Big Dada 2009)

Between helping MIA hone her sound, flying the flag for global ghetto music, gentrifying crunk, starting his new genre of music with a legendary club night we can all only pretend we have been to, Diplo found the time to do some jaw-dropping remixes and his own album. How we forget that this global DJ’s DJ and producer’s remixer once started off with something approaching a traditional career-path. Now, the largely faceless legend that is Diplo has spawned a new beast entirely, something of mythical proportions. So much so that he hasn’t made an album in 5 years but has reproduced enough classic material that he’s warranted his first collected works. Sterling work Mr Wes Pentz, oh he of humble beginnings.

Diplo had a hand in ‘Paper Planes’ the brilliant MIA-breakout tune that birthed many copies, versions, videos and teenage girl-busride-singalongs. Here, on the collected works volume, we get one of the many versions of ‘Paper Planes’, this time with Bun B and Rich Boy, two of crunk’s own superstars. We get worthy indie remixes, designed to make suburban teenage white kids less scared of hip-hop. The minimal soca revamp of CSS’s ‘Let’s Make Love’ is one, and while it is inferior to the original, does showcase the vocals more endearing us to Lovefoxx’s cutesy English even more than before. Bloc Party’s ‘Where is Home?’ gets a DJ Shadow-esque breakbeat reworking that surely paved the way for their stonking ‘Mercury’ song. Hot Chip’s slightly melancholy ‘Shake a Fist’ gets the Diplo touch bringing out the dancefloor firework within and Black Lips’ ‘Veni Vidi Vici’ is given the same, a brilliant reworking of a classic garage punk tune. Along the way, we’re treated to some of Diplo’s best and some of his new instrumentals, pointing to a Brazilian, soca, baille funk future. However, the best song on here is one of Diplo’s own... his Diplo Rhythm, a dancehall crunk masterpiece of clattering scattershot hihats and dancehall attitude with Sandra Melody’s attitude-ridden ‘Newsflash’ all over the top. This actually appeared on Diplo’s 2004 debut, ‘Florida’ and has lost none of its relevance still. Which is Diplo’s power. He’s cutting edge enough to still sound forward thinking with 5 year old songs. He’s got his finger on the pulse and bringing through global versions of himself like the grimy Buraka Som Sistema. Come on Pentz, give us a new album soon. In the meantime, this timely reminder of the man’s solid gold work through the years is a stereo representation of future global dance hiphop music at its sordid sleazy breaks-ridden best.


No comments: