Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low. Illustration: Simone Klimmeck
Over the weekend I was flown into Rome to DJ. Though my family has Italian roots, I’ve rarely had a chance to see much of the country. The geography and weather reminded me of being back in LA, though I certainly stood out a bit more. In a sea of copper skin and designer knock-offs, nobody seems to really get why some pale ass kid is wearing a clergyman’s hat from the 19th century with creepers and a ton of gold chains. Hot tip: he’s a dingus. Eventually I was ‘forced’ (through alcohol) to strip to the waist and show off all 145 pounds of my hot buff bod, though I swiftly changed back after being yelled at by an old woman. I called her a hater and ran away as quickly as I could, because nothing is more frightening than an angry Italian grandmother. Lurked in the Coliseum. Listened to the new Vatican Shadow in the shadow of the Vatican. Lust. Bass. Swollen lip. The usual trip report, but with more blood.
Coffee is, of course, quite the big to-do in Rome. As I sat outside a cafe, sipping my triple doppio and reflecting on how everything seemed to be vibrating rapidly, the nearby Armani store vomited forth a bevy of bros. As they left their spawning vat, one looked back toward the doorway yearningly. A single tear fell from his eye, and by the time it hit the ground it was already a diamond. A beautiful cycle continues.
As I’d never been to Rome before, I was somewhat nervous about the party I had been brought there to DJ. Would this crowd appreciate the nite-bass of, for example, Star Eyes? Would that Thrill Kill Kult sample make them throw their hands up and go HELL YEAH BITCH, or just throw them up in disgust? Should I go full-on dark and fuck ‘em with my AIMON on, or just play it safe and drop trap beats all night? Open bar or drink tickets? Heavy is the nightlyfe burden we bear.
As is often the case, betwixt the twain shall beat. A steady combination of bass, evil and touches of reformatted pop were more than enough to keep the crowd happy. My fears were groundless, and in the future I shall aspire to higher levels of dance weirdness. I always desire to strain myself in my sets; to push myself so that each one feels unique enough to capture the heart, yet familiar enough to capture the ear. To look into a sea of four hundred smiling faces, dripping with sweat and stink and fog residue, is pure joy for me. The love I receive afterwards is another sort of validation: not the idea of having fans, which is weird; rather the idea that I could make someone so happy, could make them move with the sounds that move me. That’s my payment. That’s my candy. That’s me in the spotlight, losing my relig-… oh wait, I still have the Vatican Shadow album right here. Never mind. ~