This year, whenever I’ve been in a great mood, I always put on some good old Don Diablo; his songs capture “goodfeels,” which are perfect for a summer day drive. As an up-and-coming name in house music, Don Diablo produces a unique style with upbeat tempos and dynamic vocal manipulation. Most electronic dance music capitalizes on slow build-ups followed by heavy bass drops; however, his tracks are much lighter and include a memorable melody. Other artists that I would consider similar are 2015–2016 Martin Garrix and Dash Berlin.
Since Don Diablo doesn’t release formal albums, I will review some songs he has released this year, 2016. His most recent original, “What We Started,” features BullySongs and was also produced by Steve Aoki x Lush & Simon. I characterize this as an anthem song, with its walking speed tempo and simple, self-confident lyrics. I’m not a huge fan of “What We Started,” (wordplay intended), but it’s still a solid song in a “good vibes” playlist. In early July, Don Diablo’s remix of “Good Grief” by Bastille dropped on Spotify and Beatport. Featuring Dan Smith’s vocals, the song includes classic Don Diablo elements. “Good Grief” starts off with vocals backed by major piano chords and builds up to a drop with iconic synth chords. Also included, as usual, are claps every second and fourth beat. I love this song. I like Bastille. I like Don Diablo. What more could I want?
Though it utilizes melancholy lyrics, “Silence ft. Dave Thomas Jr.,” released in April, still gives off an optimistic tone. Again, the track contains a unique melody and female vocal slices. Don Diablo uses a clear bass synth pattern accompanied by claps every second and fourth beats. I would definitely include this song on a road trip playlist, as I would the next song: “Drifter ft. DYU.” On second thought, maybe not, since I would turn this track up and speed down the highway. Upbeat in tempo and including that classic wind noise impact on the drop, “Drifter ft. DYU” is exemplary of Don Diablo’s style.
In addition to Don Diablo’s most popular songs, he also includes a fair amount of artists from his label Hexagon in his sets around the world. I’m particularly fond of Madison Mars’ tracks “The Future is Now” and “Ready or Not,” a remix of a Fugees song of the same name. Madison Mars also uses female vocal slices and an upbeat tempo. Bali Bandits just released a new track, “SMACK!” which is faster paced than their other recent song, “Toink.” Toby Green’s “Everytime” dropped recently on Hexagon’s SoundCloud.
Don Diablo and almost all of the artists in his label produce high-quality “feelgood” electronic songs meant to be blasted loud. It’s hard to be sad when listening to his music. Even on his Snapchat, dondiablo, he promotes living life to its best and, like his songs, is also an upbeat person. I highly recommend any of the songs I mentioned in this article.