Friday, August 1, 2008

Album of the Week: Top Ranking (mixtape) / Diplo and Santogold

The latest issue of Paste focuses on "Redefining World Music" and contains a pretty dope and thorough article about Diplo. I've been interested in Diplo's work since I saw him DJ for M.I.A. Diplo has a diverse musical taste and an interest in reaching the far, forgotten corners of the world. Through his label (Mad Decent), he's been seeking to bring a wider audience to artists from all over the world. Through his mixtapes, podcasts and DJ sets, he brings a cross-cultural sound pulling out party jams from every corner and every era. He's hooked up with Santogold for the Top Ranking mixtape, maintaining that same spirit. With her self-titled debut, Santogold has drawn comparisons to M.I.A. (they work with some of the same producers), but my girlfriend has said that's kind of "obvious." She's likened it to Gwen Stefani and Kate Bush. With two large personalities in the mix, Top Ranking is a diverse affair - Aretha Franklin, Three 6 Mafia, the B-52s, lots of dub, an M.I.A. appearance, and a plentiful supply of Santogold remixes. The album flows seamlessly and is almost too cool for school. Get over any hipster phobia and you've got a classic summer mix. You can download it at Notes From a Different Kitchen.

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