Arguably a heavyweight within the electronic music realm, American royalty Diplo brings forth his long awaited ‘California EP’ which sees the producer acts as a mediator between the electronic and rap/RnB worlds by enlisting some of the biggest names in modern music, resulting in an impressive collation of 6 emotionally diverse tracks.
‘Worry No More’ introduces itself through the insertion of a guitar melody which provides some intrigue as to what journey we are in for, whilst providing some splashes of colour bit by bit through the sampled elements floating in the background. Once the off-kilter production begins, we are presented with the intensified vocal delivery of Santigold that beautifully displays the higher range of her vocals. Furthermore, Diplo also utilises the talents of Lil Yachty to provide a similar yet distinctively different perspective on the subject matter in place. Showcasing both the higher and lower ranges of his vocals within his melodies, Lil Yachty further exemplifies the need for success that we all endeavour for in the hopeful delivery of the phrase ‘I’m gonna be the man’.
‘Suicidal’, which enlists Desiigner on vocals moves into a more RnB direction compared to ‘Worry No More’. The track has humble beginnings, built upon Desiigner’s echoed vocals that create an almost ‘call and respond’ type animosity throughout with the instrumentation taking a secondary role allow the vocals to drive home the emotionality within the lyrical content. Diplo has showcased his mastery once again within the crisp production that is on offer within ‘Suicidal’, offering differing occasions whereby the percussion moves from a more restrained sound to a crispness in the choruses.
As we move through the EP, we continue to be treated to some impressive vocal outlays, and this is most evident in the DRAM featured ‘Look Back’. Acting as a tribute to the soul/gospel era, ‘Look Back’ sees the instrumentation centred around the emphatic percussion combined with a smooth bass-line holding the core together, with the adding of organs throughout the duration that adds enthralling context to the table. When you put all of this together with the purely astonishing melodies of DRAM moving all around the place, all you need to do is sit back and be in awe of what you are witnessing. Once you feel you’ve recovered from ‘Look Back’, we are instantly smacked across the face with another impressive display within ‘Wish’, featuring Trippie Redd. With some vibrant piano complimenting during, Redd brings forth a unique blend of rock and pop inspired melodies that resinate much longer than their length.
The latter half of the ‘California EP’ moves towards an electronic direction we’ve all come to expect with Diplo. ‘Color Blind’ featuring Lil Xan achieves significant movement throughout, whether that be from the wobbling synths or the resounding nature of the persistent percussion. What stands out within ‘Color Blind’ is the depth within the mix that is achieved through the non-overpowering utilisation of sampled elements hovering around. The EP is rounded out through the remixed version of the monster hit ‘Get It Right’, featuring frequent collaborator MØ, that sees Goldlink take the track into another dimension full of that flawless attitude we love about the rapper.
Overall we see an emotional side to Diplo as compared to previous releases in this ‘California EP’ that takes aims at your heartstrings, showcasing a unique take on electronic rap.