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Listen to Diddy and Guy Gerber's debut as 11 11, 'My Heart'

Listen to Diddy and Guy Gerber's debut as 11 11, 'My Heart'
Diddy and Israeli producer Guy Gerber have a new dance music project, 11 11. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Diddy has always had an interest in dance music. His Diddy Dirty Money project paired super-sleek Europhile production with American R&B vocals and a light dusting of rap that stood up surprisingly well in hindsight.

But 11 11, his new project with the Israeli-born producer Guy Gerber, is a purebred techno record.

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It's also a lot more subtle than one might expect from one of rap's flashiest impresarios. "My Heart," the debut single from the four-years-in-the-making project, is a slow-cooking, ethereal track more befitting the 5 a.m. shift in one of the upstairs bedrooms at Diddy's white party than any Miami club rager. You can hear it online.

On the track, Gerber's cloudy snyth chords roll over a diced-up disco bass line, while Diddy's un-showy verse raps anchor the song. There's a surprising air of late-night melancholy here, and the whole thing fits more obviously into Gerber's catalog than that of his celebrity collaborator.

If you didn't know this was half a Diddy record, there'd be no reason to suspect such -- and that's probably the point.

Will the after-hours reinvention of one of rap's most outsized personalities finally stick? Will this vault Gerber into the upper tiers of pop-crossover producers, and get a deep-house sound on mainstream rap radio?

Who knows. But for now 11 11 has a very accomplished debut single, and fans of each have every reason to suspend disbelief and give it a serious shot. Moguls can cut checks, but no one can buy a truly good single of their own. This is one of them.

Follow @AugustBrown for breaking music news.

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