From The Desk Of Ra Ra Riot’s Mathieu Santos: Diplo’s “Express Yourself” (Featuring Nicky Da B)

RaRaRiotLogoLong before Ra Ra Riot performed a single note of its dancetronic third album, Beta Love (Barsuk), the band talked at great length about the need for a change. The viscerally charged chamber-pop outfit had maintained a steady course after the tragic 2007 drowning death of beloved drummer John Pike, blossomed on its 2008 Barsuk full-length debut, The Rhumb Line, and flourished with a variety of subsequent beatkeepers, but everyone felt the inevitable tug of creative evolution after 2010 sophomore album The Orchard. The roles of violinist Rebecca Zeller and guitarist Milo Bonacci changed the most dramatically; with the dominance of the synthesizer on Beta Love, Bonacci was forced to radically reimagine/rewrite his guitar contributions and take on more expansive sonic duties, while Zeller was freed up to explore new approaches with her instrument and the spare strings the band utilized. Bassist Mathieu Santos will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Ra Ra Riot feature.


Santos: Dennis Herring, who produced Beta Love, taught us about many things while we were recording in his Mississippi studio. One of those things was bounce music. He wandered into the lounge one afternoon while I was on my laptop and said in his quiet drawl, “Hey, Mat, y’ever hear of Nicky da B?” Within a few minutes, I had found my way to the amazing video for this amazing song. Diplo distills everything down to an absolute rhythmic assault, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since.

Video after the jump.