I stopped over at Dibia$e's place near USC on Thursday after we chatted at Low End Theory on Wednesday. It was a surreal and sad moment to arrive into D's bedroom studio with his beats playing to see the news coverage of Michael Jackson's death on live TV. The super-talented producer Devon (from Portland, recently relocated to L.A.) was also round playing a few beats in the living room.
In my interview with D, he dug out some old cassettes dating back to 93' from his car that even he hadn't heard in ten-plus years (unearthed from a friend's garage a few days previous). When he hit play on the boombox, dusty lo-fi Wu-inspired beats blasted out. The talent was instantly recogniseable. The tapes also indicated D's dedication to his craft and prolific productions over the years.
Dibia$e is one of L.A.'s foremost progressive beatmakers, from the loose head-nod swing of his drum sequencing down to his unique approach to sampling. His penchant for chopping 80s movie and cartoon themes into epic battle-sounds was evident in the studio. He then loaded the sounds onto his Roland 404 for a mesmerising live set (amongst the crowd!) at My Hollow Drum in Santa Ana. In D's own words, for the live set he 'brought the nuclear warheads!'