December 31, 2011 |
Diplo has come a long way since he hosted Hollertronix parties at the Ukrainian Club in Northern Liberties in the early '00s. He's gone all the way to 10th and Spring Garden Streets, in fact, where the DJ/producer and BlackBerry salesman played to a sold-out, all-ages crowd Thursday night at Union Transfer. The Mississippi-born, Philadelphia- and Los Angeles-based cultural anthropologist and beat-maker born Wesley Pentz topped an all-local DJ bill that included opener Xaphoon Jones, the nom de rap of Noah Beresin of the hip-pop duo Chiddy Bang, and DJ/producer Dirty South Joe. Jones and Joe warmed up the former Spaghetti Warehouse with the latter, in particular, making the walls quake with booming dubstep and slow-grinding hip-hop.
August 9, 2011 |
Wes Pentz isn't a household name - yet. But the Philly DJ, label owner, and artist who performs under the name Diplo has nearly 300,000 Twitter followers and can be seen talking and crowd-surfing in a BlackBerry television ad. He has produced hit records by M.I.A. and had his stuff sampled by Beyoncé. The Roots' ?uestlove may have his own sushi roll at Zama, but Diplo has an action figure based on his musical collaboration as Major Lazer. Beyond commercial endorsements and cartoon toys, Diplo has a brand.
October 2, 2009 |
When Philly DJ and producer Diplo (Wesley Pentz) was in South Africa a few years ago, he asked around to find out what was happening in the underground music scene. Someone pointed Diplo in the direction of Johannesburg's BLK JKS (pronounced "blackjacks"), and intrigued by a song on their MySpace page, he arranged to meet them for an hour at the airport as he was leaving the country. That meeting led to the tour that comes to Philadelphia on Saturday night. "To cut a long story short, those events meant other people heard about us - his people, his friends - and we met people through him. And eventually people know people who know people, and we ended up here," BLK JKS guitarist Mpumi Mcata said with a laugh.
July 19, 2006 |
Even Diplo thinks that Diplo is "the worst name ever. " The Philadelphia DJ born Thomas Wesley Pentz - who will headline a sold-out show at the Mummers Museum on Friday, with his Brazilian proteges Bonde Do Role and Cansei de Ser Sexy - isn't quite sure why he has kept his tag. The name, short for diplodocus, was hung on him by a teenage friend after he told her she looked like a stegosaurus. But with the run of success he has had since hosting his first Hollertronix parties at the Ukrainian American Citizens Association in Northern Liberties almost four years ago, it would be dumb to dump Diplo now. "At this point, I'm trying to establish 'Diplo' as something like 'Delta' airlines," Diplo says.
August 9, 2014 |
As summer progresses, Philadelphia neighborhoods, from Southeast to Northeast, will be rocking their block in a city abuzz with cordoned-off streets, smoky barbecue grills, tinny speakers blaring loud music, and opened fire hydrants. "That's what makes a classic Philly block party," says Wes Pentz, known these days as Diplo, the internationally renowned DJ/producer who made his bones living in this city's Loft District and started his world-famous touring Mad Decent Block Party modestly enough on North 12th Street in 2008.
April 5, 2010 |
The mildly amusing concept behind Guns Don't Kill People . . . Lazers Do, the 2009 hyperenergetic meeting of reggae dance-hall rhythms and electro beats helmed by Philadelphia DJ-producer Diplo and his British partner, Switch, is that Major Lazer is a one-armed zombie-killing Jamaican cartoon commando who rides a flying skateboard. Knowledge of the backstory wasn't necessary, however, to appreciate the orchestrated chaos that Diplo and Switch created for a packed all-ages house that grinded hips and waved glow sticks at the Starlight Ballroom on Friday.
July 24, 2006 |
The Mummers Museum commemorates party music and dancing, but not the sort that occurred there Friday night, when Philly DJ Diplo hosted a Pan-American bacchanal that included two new bands from Brazil. The show began with a confluence of local iconography: At 9 p.m., beneath banners for Mummers brigades (the "Saturnalian" one seemed especially prescient), the trumpet fanfare from the theme from Rocky sounded and, on a screen behind the stage, clips of Sylvester Stallone in training began.
June 22, 2009 |
It's funny how Wesley Pentz, the Philadelphia all-music mash-up avatar known as Diplo, chose a Friday night liquor promotion at Electric Factory to debut his newest concoction to the locals. Everything he touches becomes a heady brew. Brazilian baile funk, cheesy '80s pop, dirty south hip hop, Miami bass, skanky electronica - these are a few of his favorite things, noises he's sampled for big productions (i.e. Britney, M.I.A., the latter with whom he got nominated for a Grammy)
August 11, 2015 |
Philadelphia expatriate DJ/producer/performer Wes Pentz - musical name, Diplo - brought his touring Mad Decent Block Party home to Festival Pier on Thursday and Friday, and showed how much his soiree - and he - have grown since the bash's humble beginnings. The Mad Decent party, thrown by the eponymous label, began at a mausoleum showroom (now PhilaMOCA) in 2008. It was so humble that the show-runner helped sweep up. This time, Diplo and friends brought a bigger show. On Thursday, Diplo played as Jack Ü with Skrillex, with Flosstradamus and ILoveMakonnen bringing up the rear.
June 3, 2014 |
On a balmy Friday, Wired 96.5 held its electro-hop-and-house-focused Wired Fest with DJ/producers Calvin Harris and Diplo at Festival Pier. On a totally made-over Festival Pier (see below) Wired Fest gave the sellout audience light-boxes and pop/house/heavy sounds. It was sensory overload - and a big hit, judging from the pleased faces and sand-dancing efforts. Harris, a star in the electro-dance firmament since 2000, didn't break big until 2012's platinum-plus 18 Months . Most of his set was from that album: It was a beat-banging mix of pings and boings between pop smashes like "Sweet Nothing" and "I Need Your Love.