Diplo Florida

[Big Dada; 2004]

Styles: instrumental hip-hop, art-hop
Others: DJ Shadow, Jel, Massive Attack, Odd Nosdam, Blockhead

Raised in Florida, but now residing in North Philadelphia, it would be no huge surprise to see Diplo alongside RJD2 and DJ Shadow feverishly flipping through the soul section at your local used record store. He follows in the tradition of all great DJs with a deep respect for those who've gone before and a knack for creating fantastic new works out of those artists. Wes Gully, named Diplo after the long extinct diplodocus dinosaur, isn't just some basement producer. He has worked hard over the past several years doing the DJ thing the pay your dues way by throwing parties, playing weddings, and generally beating the streets. If you heard his Low Budget joint venture, the highly buzzed Hollertronix Never Scared mix, you are in the know. Nothing can really brace you for Florida, though, as this is surely the most emotionally gripping DJ album since Entroducing, a mix of evocative samples, krunk beats, and cathartic climaxes with traces of traditional hip-hop laced throughout. "Big Lost" is as grandiose as symphonic instrumental hip-hop gets, while the peak of "Sarah" rests on a horn sample that's as somber as it is elating in true New Orleans funeral procession downtempo fashion. The Martine Topley-Bird assisted "Into The Sun" is particularly impressive in that while the overall tone of the track is hip-hop, there's a lot of Martina's sound in it as well, neither favoring Diplo nor her style specifically. It's a far cry from all those typical half-assed Snoop Dogg type of guest appearances, I'll tell ya'. Every track is unique, but -- with the possible exception of the lo-fi techno, video game electro-dancehall of the Vzbz Cartel graced "Diplo Rhythm" -- all are unified by Diplo's melancholy vision. The whole is worth much more than the sum of its parts.

1. Florida
2. Big Lost
3. Sarah
4. Into The Sun feat. Martina Topley-Bird
5. Way More
6. Money Power Respect
7. Diplo Rhythm feat. Vzbz Cartel & Sandra Melody
8. Works
9. Indian Thick Jawns feat. P.E.A.C.E
10. Summers Gonna Hurt You
11. It's All Part Of A Bigger Plan