Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Express Yourself (Diplo, 2012) -- B

Diplo continues to be an invaluable presence in the ongoing project of hybridizing electronic and hip-hop, his latest EP Express Yourself, clear from the onset, of these intentions. A combination of Moombahton, Pop-lyricism, laser-kissed hooks, and full-on party beats, the combinations are always infectious, if ultimately a little one-note. Diplo releases a new mix every month via Sirius entitled Blow Your Head and, in many ways, each and everyone of those mixes is more impressive than Express Yourself, mainly because the transitions during the live mix epitomize Diplo's diverse, rambunctious attitude toward dissolving genre lines. Fredric Jameson has recently argued that it is no longer the author or the originator that creates meaning, but the curator, juxtaposing and combining works created by others to host an "event." Diplo's sonic events are just that, which makes the tracks on Express Yourself play like a test run, a warm-up for the actual mixes - although the massive sound on something like "No Problem" is enough to make one argue the contrary - that's a big track, for sure (My Name is Kay kills the vocals). If you're new to Diplo's masterful orchestration of music, voices, ambient sounds, electro-blast confections, Express Yourself is a fine place to start - just don't let it be the last you hear from this master of the decks.

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