To many in the new generation of electronica fans, vinyl records are a thing of the past. But for many DJs, they're precious artifacts. You could call these DJs the archaeologists of music -- after all, they dig for obscure audio relics in record-store racks the way frenzied scientists dig for dinosaur bones.
"Yeah, I'm an archivist," says Diplo, a DJ and co-founder of the Philadelphia spin crew Hollertronix. Short for diplodocus, one of the largest dinosaurs ever found, Diplo unearthed plenty of sounds to create his solo effort, Florida, on the Big Dada label last year, which landed on many of 2004's Top 10 album lists. The attention has kept his hands pretty full. "I'm a bit busier than I would like to be," he says of all the touring and promoting. "When I'm deejaying, I don't get a chance to get into the city and go digging for records."
But after one listen to a Diplo set, you'd figure he does nothing but dig for records. Bits and pieces of Brazilian, dub, Indian and hip-hop are excavated and woven into his sound, along with psych, Afro breakbeat, UK garage and more. Considering the myriad sounds from around the world that he samples, it's interesting that Diplo's favorites come from, as he says, "anywhere that's south of Atlanta.
"The South has always been making noise, and it's only now catching on. But there's something about Texas," he says. "Houston is like the capital. It's still a white-boy town, but it still has a lot of flavor. It's got a little ego, but now they're taking chances."
Lately, he's done a Gwen Stefani remix and "a lot of mindless deejaying," he says. With his wild, worldly mixes, his show promises to take you places you've never been. That is, if he even makes it here.
"Oh, yeah," he says, "I need to buy my plane ticket tonight."