Pictures opens with its titular track—a groovy tune built around a smooth vocal melody and a chorus forged from a chopped brass samples (just try and resist tapping your foot to this one). Redfield moves into deeper house sounds on “Into You” and “Never the Same,” keeping a healthy dose of soul infused throughout the duration of the EP. Overall, Pictures is less playful than some of Higher Ground’s prior releases (i.e. “The Bizness” and “On My Mind“), but it’s a strong sign of things to come from both Redfield and Higher Ground.
Diplo is among the roster of speakers slated to deliver speeches at South by Southwest’s (SXSW) 2020 iteration, to be held from March 13 – 22 in Austin, Texas. One of dance music’s most dynamic entities, Diplo will appear at the annual interactive media expose, where fellow music industry influencers River House Artists pioneer, Lynn Oliver-Cline, Patreon platform co-founder, Jack Conte, and co-founder of Monotone, Inc. and LBI Entertainment, Ian Montone, will also appear.
In a statement, Hugh Forrest, SXSW’s Chief Programming Officer said,
“From amplifying social change to remaking our lives and communities better to imagining new ways to leverage technology in storytelling, we’re truly excited about the programming that we’ve announced.
The creative and bold innovative talent speaking at SXSW this year continues to provide a compelling destination for people across industries to gather and engage with [a] strong vision for our future.”
The topic of Diplo’s speech has yet to be revealed, but the producer’s ceaseless activity across the entirety of the music industry at large will certainly equip him with ample material to draw from. From foraying into country music and subsequently establishing his Thomas Wesley moniker within the genre to penetrating the underground with the establishment of his Higher Ground imprint, Diplo’s status as a genre fluid artist and producer—and by extension, businessman—is incontrovertible.
Insomniac started off 2020 strong dropping the lineup for its first major festival of the year, Beyond Wonderland, within the first ten days.
This event always comes at an interesting time as it overlaps with Ultra and, by extension, MMW every year. This can often leave the DJ bench a bit thin as so many artists take up residence in Miami for the whole week, playing multiple shows around the city even if they’re not playing at the festival itself. This year, however, Insomniac has managed to reign in a rather impressive roster of talent despite the beachside festivities occurring on the other side of the country.
2020 will also include some exciting firsts for Beyond Wonderland. Most notably, this will be the first time the event has hosted the Factory 93 experience. Beyond was the only event in Insomniac’s repertoire without a dedicated techno stage, but as the genre’s popularity only increases it was time to bring the darkness into the fold. Diplo will also be hosting a stage dedicated to his new house-only label Higher Ground. The lineup also boasts slated performances from Tiësto, Alison Wonderland, Dillon Francis, k?d, Andrew Beyer, Good Times Ahead, and many more.
Beyond Wonderland 2020 is set to take place on March 20 and 21 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. See the full lineup below:
On the release end of Higher Ground, Diplo has been an elusive force. In the time that’s followed his first release on his imprint, Diplo has deferred the spotlight to tastemakers such as Walker & Royce and Born Dirty. Yet, with the flicker of a shadow, a silhouette, Diplo steps back into it, fully illuminated as he bestows a sultry house heater upon his listeners. Welcome back; we’re listening.
Christened “On My Mind,” the track commands a sonic sex appeal that not-so-subtly beckons dancers to inch just the slightest bit closer on the crowded floor, under the reflecting silver of a disco ball. From the allure of its looping vocal hook, which samples 702’s Missy Elliot-assisted “Steelo,” to the refined climaxes of its chords and slicing break downs, “On My Mind” won’t soon be off streamers’.
The torrid thrill that is “On My Mind” is not unheard material for those who’ve followed Diplo’s evolving sound over the past year as it’s dipped progressively deeper into underground territory. In Diplo’s live sets, the single has been an omnipresent staple, spiking temperatures across national and international stages alike. Diplo’s second Higher Ground outing is made in tandem with SIDEPIECE, the two-piece outfit of Party Favor and Nitti Gritti.
Among all of Diplo‘s fledgling ventures, his new Higher Ground label might be one of the most exciting things to watch unfold. The house-leaning sister imprint to Mad Decent sprang up over the summer, hosting a debut release from Walker & Royce, along with a label showcase in Brooklyn and some co-branding exposure at Destructo‘s recent AMF event in LA. Now, boss man himself is stepping up to the plate, premiering on his new label alongside Born Dirty on “Samba Sujo” and “Ouro.”
Higher Ground, named after Diplo’s house EP of the same name, continues to prove its commitment to the genre’s widely variant composition. The twofer release features a heavily filtered afro-house jump starter on “Samba Sujo,” followed by a more tempered club-ready selection on “Ouro,” with each track also receiving an extended cut to boot. Listen below.
Diplo‘s name is everywhere you turn in today’s music scene, including the lineup for the upcoming All My Friends Music Festival in Los Angeles. The Higher Ground producer was just added to the star-studded list of artists and will take the stage with MK for a special deep house set on Oct. 20.
In perhaps one of his most notable accomplishments this year, Diplo released his Higher Ground EP in March, including tracks with Blond:ish, Tove Lo, and Kah-Lo. With the four-track EP came the launch of his Higher Ground imprint, which showcases up-and-coming and established house music talent.
Ahead of his back-to-back set with MK, Diplo has curated a mix for AMF Radio, shining a spotlight on artists like Alex Metric, Claude VonStroke, Green Velvet, Walker & Royce, and more. Get a little taste of what’s to come at the upcoming festival via his hour-long mix.
All My Friends Music Festival takes place Oct. 19-20 at Skylight Row in Los Angeles. See the full lineup and get tickets here.
It has been announced that Diplo will be joining the Area10 label boss MK (Marc Kinchen) for a special b2b set Sunday, October 20 at the ALL MY FRIENDS Music Festival.
The studded b2b announcement comes off the heel of Diplo’s Higher Ground EP and imprint installment earlier this summer. The multi-faceted producer of course had to dip his toes in the frivolous house game, so came the birth of Higher Ground where he could support up-and-coming talent and shelve his own four-on-the-floor works.
In a press release, Diplo had some words about the encompassing electronic genre: “House is where it all came from. Everything we know and love as dance music today started with the masters in Chicago & Detroit almost forty years ago. The genre has always been incredibly important to me, and Higher Ground is our homage to the legends and opportunity to champion new sounds and artists from around the world pushing the genre forward.”
Makes sense that he’s now pairing with the Detroit house music hit-maker, MK, a friendship and chemisty that’s been brewing for years.
Dancing Astronaut has teamed up with AMFDTLA to giveaway the ultimate festival prize package: a meet + greet and backstage tour with DESTRUCTO, a pair of weekend VIP passes, and much more. Enter below for your chance to win.
“[House music] has always been incredibly important to me, and Higher Ground is our homage to the legends and opportunity to champion new sounds and artists from around the world pushing the genre forward,” Diplo writes in a recent press release.
The variety of the event’s roster embodies the sonic diversity that Diplo seeks to instill in the imprint, which will encompass releases spanning tech-house, deep/melodic house, and Afro-infused house, among other styles.
Dirtybird favorites Walker & Royce put forth the label’s inaugural release on Wednesday, with their four-part (two originals, two extended cuts) EP, Rave Grave. Higher Ground is also expected to house a number of Diplo’s own original productions.
Four on the floor enthusiasts can secure tickets to Higher Ground, here.
Who better to erect a record label to inspire house music artists while simultaneously providing them with a playful platform than one of the domain’s most prolific veterans, Diplo? When it comes to enlisting producers who embody the eternally amorphous identity of modern dance music, Diplo is ever one to flex his enduring curatorial foresight; and inviting the voraciously in-demand Walker & Royce to procure the seminal release on the new label solidifies that discernment.
The EP from New York natives Sam Walker and Gavin Royce, Rave Grave features two club detonators, the flippantly fun title track and the melodic tech-house weapon “The Biznes.” The duo’s distinct sound of highly accessible, energetic house music ties together the dancefloor origins of the genre, as well as the modernized, experimental sampling that renders each song in due duo’s distinct repertoire unmistakable. The EP also includes extended cuts of both tracks. Higher Ground’s introductory release has indeed established an elevated benchmark for future success from the young label.
The duo is set to appear later this month on their home court, as Higher Ground presents a Mad Decent-sponsored Brooklyn Mirage takeover, with a performance from Diplo himself in tow. Tickets are on sale now, here.
Mad Decent record label founder, Diplo, is adding a new record label to his collection in the form of a new deep house imprint. The label, Higher Ground, follows the naming convention of the artist’s recent EP, Higher Ground. The label will serve as a platform to showcase both established and up-and-coming talent in house music, and it will serve as a home for Diplo’s own house tracks and collaborations going forward.
“House is where it all came from,” Diplo says of the new endeavor in a press release. “Everything we know and love as dance music today started with the masters in Chicago and Detroit almost 40 years ago. The genre has always been incredibly important to me, and Higher Ground is our homage to the legends and opportunity to champion new sounds and artists from around the world pushing the genre forward.”
Higher Ground enlists Brooklyn-based house duo Walker & Royce for its first release. They will be putting out two singles, “Rave Grave” with VNSSA and “The Biznes” on Sept. 2. The label will also be doing a takeover at The Brooklyn Mirage on Sept. 22. The lineup is yet to be announced, and tickets are on sale here.