In the postboom electronica scene, there are two sorts of DJs: the purists who preach to the converted in a bleep-world bubble (German passports are often a tip-off); and the kind of people who, artistically speaking, want hos in every area code — happy to wallow through all sorts of flotsam to find the groove, used or new, that’ll blow the largest number of minds.
Wesley Pentz, a.k.a. Diplo, and Myles MacInnes, a.k.a. Mylo, are in the latter camp. Given Diplo’s relatively high profile as gray-market mix-tape priest and M.I.A.’s on-and-off beat-banger, it’s surprising that the latest entry in the Fabric club’s excellent CD series is one of Diplo’s first aboveground DJ mixes. And while it lacks blatant outlaw mash-ups like his Britney-versus-Mike Jones firecracker “Tippin’ Toxic” (produced with fellow DJ Low Budget under their long-running Hollertronix moniker), it still shows the science that makes Diplo perhaps the most thrilling party DJ alive. You get the Brazilian favela funk he’s made into an indie cottage industry, plus the ’80s electro pop (Yaz) and ’00s street jams (Ludacris, OutKast) that always fire up his club sets. But the surprising dips into techno and house fusions (Cybotron, Cajmere) and indie rock (Cat Power) prove he’s a dude who listens far, wide, and hard, searching for tracks that evade genres by chomping on many at once.
The U.K. version of Mylo’s Destroy turned up on many 2004 best-of lists, including (reportedly) Elton John’s, and it’s easy to see why. Where Diplo’s main ’80s fixation is electro’s jagged funk, Mylo’s is the melodic boing-boing of synth pop, whether he’s turning the eight-note riff of Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” into a cosmic revelation (“In My Arms”) or imagining a great, lost instrumental Toto joint (“Guilty of Love”). The U.S. edition of the disc, out in early ’06, remixes the title track-which samples a nut-job preacher first quoted by media-jammers Negativland on 1987’s Escape From Noise — so that the preacher’s antipop rant becomes Mylo’s own; it’s heavy-handed, but the thought of this year’s clubbers shouting “destroy REO Speedwagon” is pretty amusing. And the bonus coup de grâce is a mash-up of Mylo’s “Drop the Pressure” and Miami Sound Machine’s stuttering ’84 breakout “Dr. Beat” (“Doctor Pressure”) that includes the most ecstatic house-music build ever constructed around the word motherfucker. As catchy club reprises go, it’s about as pop as you can get.
See also: Hollertronix, Bmore Gutter Music (Eastern Conference, 2005)