TF Archives

Diplo - The Lo Profile

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, September 22, 2008

Wesley Pentz, AKA Diplo, is one of the hottest DJs in the world right now and he’s coming to Sydney for Parklife. 3D’s Carlisle Rogers got the goss on working with two of the most prominent women in indie right now – MIA and Santogold.

Diplo, the man who brought Baile funk to the world, the man behind Mad Decent and the kind of eclectic approach to music we haven’t seen since the Chemical Brothers played hip hop in their sets, is heading to Australia for Parklife.

His recent collaboration with Philly neighbour Santogold bore Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub, a mixtape that he says took far longer than his 2004 aural alliance with M.I.A. (Piracy Funds Terrorism).

“We had been friends for a long time and when she was doing Stiffed, her other band, I introduced her to Switch and we all started working on new things together,” Pentz begins. “When she came out with her record, she went back to the rock sound a little bit, but she did a lot of really cool electronic things with me and Dave [Taylor, AKA Switch]. Starstruck and Superman and more of that came out on the mixed tape because I had access to all of her stuff. The idea was about where her roots are from, which is basically punk rock and reggae, so that’s what we did with the mixed tape.

“Usually I just do whatever I want, but Santo is insane so I had to really work with her and make her happy, so it took six months to fine tune all the small details. She had a lot more say in this mixed tape than I am used to having because usually I just do what I want. I say six months because it took six months of bothering her and then three months to fine-tune everything because we travel so much and were on tour promoting.

“There are 35 tracks on the compilation, some that play for 45 seconds and others that are ten minutes long. It’s mixed like one of my DJ sets, really quickly and lots of different things.”

Diplo says his ADD mixing style represents what any good DJ should aspire to, if they’re working hard. “This year my sets will be a representation of what Mad Decent is,” he confirms. “Some of the crew on the label are going to be playing, but I’m just going to do what represents the Mad Decent sound and attitude. I’ll also play some stuff I produced like M.I.A. tracks, Santogold tracks, some other remixes and my shit.

“That’s what I do when I travel; my whole aesthetic is to find cool shit in different places where you wouldn’t expect it. And then try and throw it in the mix.

“That’s what’s so cool about being a DJ, we can play any music we want and my thing is that I’m excited about new music and just about bringing things to people they haven’t heard before. When I played hip hop shows, even if it was an old break, I would flip it on people. From that and doing the Hollertronix party and flipping the Brazilian stuff, I think that’s in these days because everybody is up on whatever is fresh and new.”

WHO: Diplo
WHAT: Plays Parklife at Kippax Lake
WHEN: Sunday 5 October