1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear – Diplopantics


1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear
#80: Diplopantics – Diplopantics (2021)

Pretentious, inane and so bad that it makes Florence Foster Jenkins seem super-talented. That’s Diplopantics, writes an appalled MATT KELLY.


So a few days ago I went to see Electric Six live. Great band, great show. Except like a fucking noob, I decided to stand directly under the rhythm guitarist’s monitor without any plugs and blew out my left ear, resulting in a few days of muffled sound and tinnitus. Always wear protection, kids.

With my hearing not working properly, the only thing that cheered me up was contemplating not being able to listen to this album. Because roll over I’m A Meme. Get out of town, A Very Rucka Christmas. Step aside The Blue Album. Diplopantics is the worst listening experience I have yet included on this list.


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It’s a little bit different from the usual fare I put at the very worst of the very worst though because:

1) Usually artists like Rucka Rucka Ali, Onision, Doug Walker et al, come off as despicable, hateful figures we love to loathe. That isn’t the case here. MCs Diplodocus and Octopantics who make up this alternative rap duo come across as dorky but harmless. I mean the full-length video they made to accompany this – which I’m not getting into aside from this one mention – opens with a “seizure warning, flashing lights in minute 18” title which is very thoughtful.

2) It isn’t stupid. Again, this is rare for music this bad. Often stuff I put right down at the bottom exhibits intellectually vapid or lowest common denominator tendencies that insult the listener. But Diplopantics appear intelligent with attempts at sophisticated references and eclectic samples and such. It’s hugely varied and conceptual, not going in for the mind-numbing repetition or fatuousness found so often in ‘worst-ever albums’.

So what’s the problem then? Well, Onision could make a decent electronic beat (well sometimes). Rucka Rucka Ali can rap on beat (sort of). Doug Walker’s The Wall parody sounded like The Wall (kind of). Diplopantics CAN’T DO ANYTHING. They have earned their #1 spot on my shit list through sheer lack of talent.

So much is going on in this 73-minute shambles – they try to make you think, to make you laugh, to be absurd, to be hard, to be philosophical… and never ever does *anything* work. There isn’t a scintilla of competency here. As rappers and producers, Diplopantics are wack-of-all-trades. Florence Foster Jenkins wishes she was this multi-untalented.

And yet as I noted before, there is something likeable about Diplopantics. Shaggs-like, I find myself rooting for them even as I struggle to comprehend how godawful and off everything is about their music. The “beats” here make me legitimately wonder if they need a hearing test. Some of the tracks defy description, as quiet, barely audible plinky plonk sounds buzz in the background, or a spiral of organ just loops incessantly, or someone plays ‘Oh Susannah’ on the trumpet, or ‘Mario 64’ starts playing or it becomes banjo led country music at one point. This might sound avant-garde and awesome but the worst mixing in town, wonky sample placement, messy buzzing and dreadful volume levels turn it into maddening mush.

So that might be bad enough but the real star of the show is the rapping. The lyrics are pretty bad – Octo and Diplo are extremely unfunny and joke after joke falls dead on the floor. Be prepared for torturously corny shit like:
“My jewellery sets lesbians on flames, call that sapph-fire”
… over and over again.

Now maybe you could get away with lines like that with the right poise and charisma, but unfortunately, Diplopantics have the worst delivery I’ve ever heard on a released album. Weak voices, no flow, constantly offbeat, not levelled correctly, stumbling and bumbling and droning through 21 tracks that can’t fall apart only because they’re in fragments on the ground to begin with – it’s beyond bad.

And yet, though I get a whiff of delusion here, I also get a sense that Diplopantics are at least partly in on the joke and goofing off – William Hung-like. It’s strangely admirable that they didn’t let an utter lack of ability stop them from conceiving of and completing such a massive project and just putting it out there not giving a fuck what the internet would make of it.

This is a must for fans of bizarre and awful albums. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything pretentious and inane at once before, but here it is. Incredible.



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Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

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