Editors’ Notes Before 2020, Diplo might have been the last artist anyone would have expected to make an ambient record, but the self-isolation era seems to have had a calming effect on the perpetually turned-up producer. But perhaps it should be no surprise that an artist so adept at putting his inimitable signature on genres like dancehall, EDM, and deep house should find a way of making even this most ethereal style his own. Neither purely atmospheric nor rigidly minimalist, MMXX is a vision of ambient at its most emotive and expansive, fusing meditative arpeggios and pensive chord progressions with Diplo’s habitually spine-tingling knack for sound design. The watery pianos and ghostly coos of the introduction give way to richly layered synths and cymbal taps; “III” nods to the cosmic keyboards of the Berlin school of the '70s, while “IV” spins wistful sample flips into an approximation of future house with all the beats vacuumed out. Track after track, deep calm is balanced by subtle surprises—just check the chiming kalimba of “VI”—right up until the heartstring-tugging finale featuring Rhye’s yearning falsetto. It’s a gorgeous tribute to the comfort—and even the joy—of staying in.

1
2:40
 
2
3:46
 
3
3:03
 
4
3:20
 
5
4:12
 
6
2:56
 
7
3:32
 
8
3:48
 
9
3:28
 
10
2:11
 
11
2:53
 
12
3:40
 

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