Summer Jamz

Diplo Premiered New Tracks on Turntable.fm, the Crowd Went Wild with ‘H8′

vipfest png Diplo Premiered New Tracks on Turntable.fm, the Crowd Went Wild with H8Betabeat got the heads up yesterday that Talib Kweli was spinning in impromptu A.M. concert in Turntable.fm when investor Chris Sacca tweeted, “Umm, yes. This is really happening” with a link to the System Addict – Idle Warship room.

Since we lasted spotted Mr. Sacca getting his mind blown over magic tricks with Turntable.fm co-founder Seth Goldstein, we took him at his tweet. [Avatar] heads started bouncing when Mr. Kweli put on some “H&O,” which we, naturally, take to mean Hall & Oates. (“I Can’t Go For That”? “Rich Girl”? Wait, wait, no, don’t tell us . . . “Maneater”!)

But apparently not all Turntable.fm’s brushes with fame have ended so pleasantly in the streaming music/chatroom/chance to DJ service. Take, for example, Paul Miller’s account on This My Next of the time he walked into Turntable.fm’s VIPfest room to find Diplo, Gorilla vs. Bear, the founder of Pitchfork, and Carles from Hipster Runoff. “That’s when things got weird.”

When I was in the room earlier I had failed to notice it was being helmed by Gorilla vs. Bear, of Gorilla vs. Bear fame. Next to him was Ryan Schreiber, founder of Pitchfork. In chat was “the REAL DIPLO,” who turned out to be the real Diplo. Through the magical celebrities-are-people-too power of Twitter, Diplo had followed Ryan into the room, and now GvB was attempting to get him on the decks.

. . . It was pretty fun, but I was more caught up with the idea that some nice celebrity man was playing music that he’d clearly uploaded from his computer onto a bizarre new service where you choose an avatar and pretend to be at a live concert while you’re actually talking in a circa 1990s chat room.Nobody else seemed to be so enamored — Diplo was winning plenty of followers and some of my fellow Zynga-alikes were bobbing their virtual heads, but the haters were much more vocal: “Diplo? More like DipNO!” After GvB and Ryan played some tracks, Diplo hit us with another new one: “Untitled.” By this point the room had basically gone insane. Many of the people GvB had booted to get Diplo on the decks were griping about it, others were spamming the chat with requests to play, promising great selections from their musical catalogs. Others had given up on begging, and were instead spamming links to a new room they’d created. But everybody else seemed to be trashing Diplo, Major Lazer, and “Untitled.” After finishing his playthrough, Diplo left because of all the “h8.”

Once Diplo peaced, this insanity happened:

I haven’t seen a room this wild since my AOL Chat days. A ton of users had changed their names to celebrities. There was a Lady Gaga, a Bon Iver, and a Joanna Newsom, to name a few. None of these checked out on Twitter, sadly. A DJ named “Carles” (who turns out to be Carles of Hipster Runoff, completely unknown to me at the time) played “Mandolin Rain” (a hilarious juxtaposition to the chat that was ensuing) and Pitchfork Ryan tweeted about it. Bon Iver became enough of a meme that GvB played “Beth / Rest” off of Bon Iver. It was seriously chill, the best song I’d heard all night. The chat turned on Pitchfork’s 9.5 score of the album, almost as if Pitchfork Ryan wasn’t there. Some people just typed “9.5″ into their chat box and then hit enter. The virtual Ryan, nodding his avatar’s head to the beat, asked us all: “can u feel the 9.5… all around[?]” Carles “spun” a dark, terrifying spoken word track he’d recorded about VIPfest called “VIPfest is s0 VIP.” I was scared.

Does this mean we have to count Diplo among the early Turntable.fm enthusiasts who burned out too quickly from the “alive web”? Of course not. After Carles stepped down from the DJ booth, Diplo came back into the room and tried to win the crowd over with another track. After all, Turntable.fm knows how to make a product sticky: tune it in to users’ egos.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com