“No matter where I go . . . I feel like the crew of DJs and musicians I’m touring with are part of a new cultural language” – Diplo
I’ve always respected Diplo for his relentless drive to immerse himself in other cultures and channel that experience through everything he does– his music, his record label, his film work, his DJ gigs all over the globe.
He has done more than incorporate seemingly disparate sounds and styles into his productions, rather he has proven to be a passionate evangelist for the places and cultures from which they are derived– most notably Brazilian Baile Funk, for which he is widely credited as having brought to international attention over the last seven years.
It is this sensibility that permeates 128 Beats Per Minute (Universe/Rizzoli), a photographic account of Diplo’s travels through the world as a globally renowned DJ/producer and a glimpse into the people, places and music that inspire him.
Chapters are divided by location, from Israel to Trinidad, and Russia to Asia – complete with a playlist as well as Diplo’s impressions of the culture and people:
“Every city has its own cultural movement, history, fashion, and art—all of which is constantly evolving into something different.”
Throughout all the photography of Shane McCauley captures the mood and excitement of a seemingly endless array of festivals and parties, as well as moments of camaraderie in-between.
The pages are jam-packed with the names and faces of artists Diplo has befriended and worked with over the years, including the likes of A-Trak, Lykke Li, Rusko, Crystal Castles and Buraka Som Sistema, to name just a few. The playlists provided in each chapter provide a further headcount of influencers moving bodies in clubs across the globe.
What emerges is less an in-depth chronicle of Diplo’s own creative trajectory and more of a celebration of the young, diverse and increasingly connected global music culture of which Diplo himself is a leading ambassador. Those with a mind to learn more about this eclectic fellowship would do well to pick up this book.