I’m a big Diplo fan, and nothing he has been a part of lately has even remotely let me down, not including the Blackberry Torch commercials. Philadelphia-based producer Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo, has expressed his love for baile-funk and reggae dancehall through his Major Lazer project, and hasn’t stopped gaining momentum since. Given access to their entire catalogue of hits, Diplo teamed up with New York’s Greensleeves Records to remix, reload, and re-release some of reggae’s dancehall classics for a 15-track compilation, Riddimentary – Diplo Selects Greensleeves.
I think the reason why there isn’t a reason to dislike Pentz is the fact that he’s willing to — and confidently continues to — touch base on every sound and genre out there. Diplo mixes Greensleeves hit selections from the late 1970s and early 1980s of reggae dancehall into one even-toned release that fits perfectly in any mood. The exception to the mix’s timeframe is the mid-1990s opening track, “Who Is the Ruler,” by UK’s Alpha & Omega. Pentz’ strength next to versatility is his ability to effortlessly string mass tracks into one smoothly-transitioned flow.
You wouldn’t necessarily be able to distinguish Diplo as the man behind Riddementary just by listening to it, but he really shapes it as an ode to Reggae and Greensleeves’ greatest blasts from the past, and simultaneously shows us his appreciation for that time. Short and sweet, VP Records says it all: “For new converts to reggae or collectors of crucial tracks from reggae’s classic era, Riddimentary is rudimentary.”