Top Ranking = Summer Salvation

So Santi White didn't exactly thrill me like I'd hoped with that debut album (the one with gold glitter spewing out of her mouth) -- it could easily be whittled down into two amazing 12 inchers, while the rest of her (intriguing yet flawed) excursions into rock and balladry might need some re-tooling, sharpening up -- maybe next time? For now though, Diplo has saved the day (like he's always prone to do). In mixtape form, much like he introduced M.I.A. with Piracy Funds Terrorism, he's recontexualizing Santogold after the fact -- dropping in exlusive new beats and songs, ideas and experiments, to prove that those masterworks that highlight her album (and those flawed moments) deserve plenty of merit.

On the over-blogged-about, genre-hopping and indespensible Top Ranking mixtape, Diplo reigns supreme -- as eternally inventive crate-digger and increasingly corrosive beat-maker. He's found a way to flow Devo with Dancehall and make it be dub and destructive simultaneously. Plenty of extremities here, but I don't want to use that term extreme, still the beats that replace the original "Creator" almost got me a ticket in traffic last Friday. Then there's the cross-promotion of adding M.I.A. herself on the caustic "Give It Up" -- worth the price of admission alone. Bring in the unknown (to me anyways) Gerri and the Holograms (anyone know this), which adheres pretty closely to the French Cold Wave shit I've been hooked on, and I'm smitten again. This saved my staycation summer with weirdo dance sweat and will probably last into a heatwave autumn. Please give me 100 degrees in October. Diplo mixes are gold.

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