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: SHALTMIRA
Doing music work for fashion labels is strange. A man I’ve never met before but who seems like he probably changes his mustache every month, emails me a lot of enthusiastic adjectives and tells me they need something “like what you do but less dark, with a holiday vibe for the modern age.” I think that I understand him, and by two in the morning I’m remixing “Winter Wonderland” with samples of shotguns loading in place of the bells. The resulting mix doesn’t go over so well, though I disagree with the label’s assessment that it’s completely useless for their A/W runway show. If you can’t perform a simple task like walking down a runway to chopped and screwed Jingle Dogs edits, then there’s something wrong with you. In my eyes (incapable of seeing any negative sides to dog-related music forms), it was naming the mix Saudade Nights that led to its rejection. Nobody wants to be hit over the head with aural anguish while they look at nice clothes, even if the holidays are, by tradition, founts of psychic negativity. There’s a definite line between fashionable melancholy and evoking despair with dog howls which sound a lot like a man’s howls and whimpers if you pitch them down and cut out the parts about ruvving mah mawmaw.
There’s a trick to doing a good dance mix, and I don’t quite have it yet. Take Brenmar’s latest mixtape for i-D. It’s smooth, coherent, and extremely listenable in a way that doesn’t necessarily require constant attentiveness. Mine aren’t really like that. They require fairly regular attention, thanks to frequent shifts in genre and tempo. It’s something I’m trying to work on, but lately I feel like the impatience I have with myself extends to music as well. I have a little book that I sometimes use to write advice for myself to find later, but it’s somewhat less than helpful. Amidst a plethora of pictures of my head that I’ve drawn insanely buff bodies with skateboard abilities on to, there’s such wisdom as:
– leave orange juice spilled on the “carpet”. It looks like cat puke
– the lyrics to the chorus of Foo Fighters’ “There Goes My Hero”, circled in red marker three times
– an incredibly detailed guide to the only Jingle Dogs release to date (1995’s Christmas Unleashed) that, coincidentally, was also refused publication. Some days it feels like the true-hearted voices will all soon be silenced.
The barking has stopped now. A hundred hounds cease clamoring at the push of a button, their one wish—to share the Light of Christ via their sequenced bestial screams—extinguished. No dogs cry here. No pups allowed on the catwalk tonight. Loss is an emotion that’s hard to shed, but in this case, Louis Vuitton—the loss is yours. ~
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