Diplo’s ‘California’ EP: A brief review


Photo: Relentless Beats

Diplo’s latest EP ‘California’ may not be what your expecting.

As a world-renowned DJ and highly sought-after producer, Diplo is constantly paving the way when it comes to new sound and music.

Diplo cannot be ignored, whether it’s through his collaborative works with Skrillex for Jack Ü to numerous Major Lazer bangers like, ‘Know No Better’ and ‘Run Up’ jamming through our radio.

His latest ‘California’ EP features an impressive selection of hip hop talent, such as Lil Xan, Lil Yachty, Santigold, DRAM, Desiigner, Trippie Red, GoldLink and even MØ.

But in this body of work we tend to see a different, more emotional side to Diplo in comparison to his popular upbeat, club bangers as apart of his collaborative efforts with Jack Ü and Major Lazer.

Photo:  ‘California’ EP cover art by February James.

So, let’s press play.

‘Worry No More’ links up two noteworthy talents Lil Yachty and Santigold, opening the EP with some inspiring and sprightly lyrics, as Lil Yachty sings a catchy chorus, “I’m chasing after my dreams, I want to be the man, I want to be the star on the scene”. The resonating almost beachy-vibe electric guitar infuses alongside some tropical Diplo production to create one instant feel good tune.

‘Suicidal’ features Desiigner in all his glory. Honestly, Desiigner really made this track whole, with his futuristic and instrumental-like vocals perfectly aligned to the heavy yet simple, subdued bass and synth. Despite the track maintaining an up-tempo nature, it still possesses this burning emptiness and loneliness, but despite its rather melancholy ambience, the sound still has this glowing aura of energy that makes you want to play it on repeat.

‘Look Back’ featuring Dram is one of Diplo’s more experimental sounds. This is definitely a more contemporary ‘Diplo sound’, emphasised by the atmospheric tone, radiating a more natural tone rather than being smothered in tech-infused sounds. The constant deep kicking drum, hints of magical bells and chimes in the background builds a wholesome sound. But the stand-out is clearly the lavish, soul-hitting electric guitar which really drives the song forward. Not to be forgotten are Dram’s bold and invigorating vocals complimenting the electrifying guitar, by further injecting a layered richness which fittingly, doesn’t overpower the already bold instrumental.

Although some may disagree, I personally enjoyed listening to ‘Color Blind’ briefly featuring Lil Xan. Following a few repeat plays, the sound and its ambience is reminiscent of something Flume-esque. Lil Xan fits well into the track, despite his rather monotonous tone, his voice is almost hypnotic yet remains youthful despite his rather cold-natured lyrics. ‘Wish’ featuring Trippie Redd is definitely a more alternative relaxed tune, one you would probably listen to on a chilled Sunday afternoon. But this is my least favourite track from the EP, at times the sound is quite repetitive and Trippie’s vocals are little disjointed and lost amongst the instrumentals.

Finally, ‘Get It Right’ features a rather sprightly MØ and a memorable verse from GoldLink, ultimately making this track instantly stand out from the crowd in true Diplo form. By far, this is the defining track of the album. Ending this Diplo chapter just ‘right’ with its upbeat tempo and alternative swagger.

You can purchase Diplo’s ‘California’ EP here.

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