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Diplo / Santogold—Top Ranking

Diplo has positioned himself as a ubiquitous DJ, popping up anywhere a new sound is in development or just as a new artist is rising. He collaborated with M.I.A. on her early Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1 mixtape release, championed the sound of Brazilian baile funk with Bonde De Role and CSS, and crisscrossed the globe featuring an array of world DJs on his podcast Mad Decent Worldwide Radio. On Top Ranking, he teams up with the 21st century urbanite cool of Santogold, reworking some of her original tracks (“L.E.S. Artists”)  as well as getting exclusive material (her Clash interpolation on “Guns Of Brooklyn”), merging it flawlessly with every form of club music out: reggae, dubstep, dirty south, and dirty south hip-hop. Touching on everything from the B-52’s “Mesopotamia, the Dixie Cups “Iko Iko,” Aretha Franklin’s version of “Save Me” and loads of dancehall classics, Diplo shapes the widest array of influences into a seamless mix that pushes the boundaries of what a DJ can do. Marvelously exceptional!

Girl Talk—Feed The Animal

On Feed The Animal, every artists gets at least 15 seconds of fame. Girl Talk’s formula is predictable yet highly entertaining. Take hip-hop’s high-octane and braggadocio lyrics and merge it with pop music’s most recognizable and anthemic choruses. Suddenly and unexpectedly, you’ll hear odd mixes like the Band’s “The Weight” stitched together with Yung Joc’s “It’s Going Down” or Busta Rhymes spitting his lyrics over the Police. You may shrug your shoulders at the outlandish combination, but you’ll probably do it while on the dance floor with the widest grin possible. And this is what makes Girl Talk so appealing. He’ll pulls tracks from any source—the more familiar the better—and amalgamates them together seamlessly, and always with a bit of implied humor. Listening to this without a party or revelry in action can be a frantic ordeal. Rarely do you hear but 16 bars of a specific song, but with the festivities in action, this is an instant crowd pleaser.

—Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX’s “Night Train.”


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