Everyone is talking about how Diplo went country, but before Thomas Wesley dropped “So Long” with Cam, he shared a few slices of heavenly house called “Hold You Tight” and “Bubble Up.” The songs were inspired by recent time spent soaking up the sounds of modern house greats, getting lost in dark grooves only to find some new part of himself. It’s something that happens to a lot of people that go to Tulum, Mexico, but Diplo did something about it.
The world club music king got in a studio and taught himself how to be a house master. Today, we enjoy the fruits of that labor in a four-track EP called Higher Ground. Those previously released steam-jungle singles are on it plus a couple cool collaborations. The first is “Give Dem,” a five-plus minute, steady-beat, body knocker that features a production assist from genre fave Blond:ish and a party-starter vocal from Nigerian talk-rapper Kah-Lo. It’s got whistles and weirdness, definitely a cool Diplo take on tech-house staples.
The EP rounds out with “Win Win,” which sees Diplo get Tove Lo back in the studio after Major Lazer‘s “Blow That Smoke.” This one is haunting and sensual, like seeing a beautiful face across the dance floor through the smoke and writhing bodies. This song is the mood when you try to chase it, but the face disappears, and you spend the rest of the night wondering through hallucinations. We could listen to this wonky synth for hours, and Lo’s ghostly melody sits perfect on top.
Higher Ground is a legit first step toward new styles, a good example of how fresh blood can embolden a scene. The real test is whether or not house purists will funk with the tracks. The EP is out now on Diplo’s label Mad Decent. Test the bumps for yourself below.