Riddimentary (Selected & Mixed by Diplo)

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With Diplo being a cutting-edge, electro-minded producer and DJ, plus the man behind the fictional dancehall superhero Major Lazer, Riddimentary seems like a shoe-in, but this sampling of Greensleeves is even better than expected, laying out some massive tunes along with surprise selections from deep in the reggae label’s catalog. Best of the latter is the bleepy dub track “Interface” from Prince Jammy, but this selector really wins the reggae lover’s heart when he lays “Water Pumping” into the mix, a late-period hit from Johnny Osbourne that rarely gets a spin in 2011. The big hits include the roots reggae weed anthem “Police in Helicopter” from John Holt, the good-time DJ cut “Fattie Boom Boom” from Ranking Dread, plus the polished bedroom number “Telephone Love” from J.C. Lodge. “Night Nurse,” from Gregory Isaacs, lands on the set although in a different, later recording than most will be familiar with, plus anyone expecting Diplo to mash-up the place will be disappointed to find his mixing is minimal, as most tracks barely overlap. Still, the sequencing is excellent and that Isaacs cut fits just right, sticking with the more digital sound of all the ‘80s and ‘90s reggae that surrounds it.

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