Review: Diplo & Sleepy Tom – ‘Be Right There’

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Reassuring

An expert combination of 90s R&B and future house tendencies provides the perfect antidote to the impending winter blues.

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Is Diplo human? It’s hard to tell. 2015 has already seen him produce half a Madonna album, release two collaborative records of his own (under the Major Lazer and Jack Ü monikers) which saw singles running charts worldwide, remix Tiësto and Rihanna, launch a second radio show, and release another track with MØ. His finest four minutes, though? ‘Be Right There’, a reconstruction of Jade’s 1992 single ‘Don’t Walk Away‘ alongside Canadian upcomer and fellow workaholic Sleepy Tom.

Eschewing the original’s slick R&B, ‘Be Right There’ is orchestrated by superb future house-inspired sounds. After opening with bubbly flutters, it swiftly gets down to business with concise percussion and an assertive drop which flips masterfully between on and off-beat foundations. Second time around, the light progression throughout climaxes with a return of the gentle opening melodies as an ideal ornamentation to the driving bass.

The interpolation of the source material is unabashed, but does not extend fully to the vocals. Rather than utilising a sample, Diplo and Sleepy Tom recruited Priscilla Renea for vocal duties, and she ices the package superbly with a more soulful and substantial performance than the original trio could muster in 1992. Ultimately, it is the delightful harmony between Renea and the subtle synth wobbles that makes ‘Be Right There’ a highlight of any mix, and its infectious melodies are sure to become nighttime staples.

‘Be Right There’ is out now via Mad Decent.

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Official email person, rambly music writer, and former Records Editor at The Edge. Often found playing pop music too loud on Surge Radio.

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