Every year, thousands descend upon Black Rock City, Nevada for Burning Man to brave dust storms and scorching temperatures for an opportunity to discover themselves in a community predicated on self-expression and other hippy values–for those Burners interested in a party, Diplo played an impressive set as eclectic and quizzical as the festival itself. The set relied upon bass house music, with heavy, thrashing synths, and offered an array of hip hop inflections and crowd-pleasing dance music.
The best segment of the set comes near the middle with Drake and JOYRYDE‘s ‘Both‘ delivering a bass version of Drake’s smooth hip hop vocals, and then Axwell‘s remix of ‘In My Mind’ barreling into the mix with joyful, big room house. The tempo abruptly cools off with Kaskade’s beautiful mix of Jack Ü‘s ‘Where Are Ü Now‘. Diplo cleverly interpolated other tracks into his mixes, not quite as mashups, but by dropping samples into the tracks. For example, during his own track ‘Revolution‘ the lyrics to Flux Pavilion‘s ‘I Can’t Stop‘ echo and reverb in the background.
Burning Man has become something of a secular pilgrimage destination, with the wealthy of Silicon Valley, celebrities and even regular people coming to the desert for an opportunity to engage in artistic communal living. The festival is famous for its Mad Max-esque vehicles and steampunk, apocalyptic fashion. Even Avicii documented his own trip to the desert this year on Instagram.
Listen to Diplo’s incredible set below: