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
Hey, welcome! Come in, I was just having some lunch. Would you like a slice?
Hmm? Well, yes, this pizza has been cried on… no biggie, you know, just some dust in my eye. No, for real.
…no, not really. It’s hard to tell but I suppose I have to let it out sometime, so here it goes: I was the victim of a goth on post-goth hate crime.
Seen from a non-scene perspective, I’m far gothier than I ever was in my subcultural years. I wear more black, and it’s blacker because I can afford to buy new clothes if they fade. Much of the music I listen to is arguably darker as well; there’s a crushing depth to stuff like The Haxan Cloak and Author & Punisher that you just don’t get in jangly guitars and constant zombie references—not that I’ve ditched the habits of my youth entirely. A bit of Chameleons on a sunny Autumn day hits the spot like few things do. I can detect a fog machine warming up from a block away, and I can do an insane karaoke rendition of the Bagel Bites commercial that replaces the word ‘bagel’ with ‘Bauhaus’. But it’s perspective and interest that comes from outside now, and lifestyle subculturalists can smell outsiders. The New Era hats and big glasses probably don’t help either.
When I get into something, I really get into it. As a kid I had enormous Birthday Party-era Nick Cave hair, enough pointy boots to shoe half of Dalston, and a vinyl collection almost exclusively produced before 1986. That sort of intensely researched and specific knowledge doesn’t disappear with a haircut and wardrobe change, but recognize a backpatch on the subway and you better be prepared to apologetically explain why you like Virgin Prunes while wearing an Aaliyah shirt, fucker. Maybe in a club people won’t yell at you for putting Beyoncé a capellas over rhythmic noise; as the launching point for a conversation about reconceptualization, transgression and finding pleasure in new and old sounds combined, it doesn’t work so great. Impressive grouping of punches to face and lower plexus spelling out 1334, though. Dude really nailed the serifs, too.
Someday soon, in a brighter future, humanity will be able to enjoy the freedom of genre-nonspecific living: a world where all the albums and aesthetics you like can hang out together in peace and harmony, where you don’t get called a little wiener baby. But to all those descended/ascended from your subcultural roots, I say wear those gold chains, those Shallowww marble prints, or whatever else your new dark rage might be. Take those new releases from Chelsea Wolfe, Zebra Katz and Alberich to the clubs and into the DJ booths, and don’t feel awkward about getting nasty to all that great old music you loved from those heady days of Aquanet and fishnets. Underground music is for anyone who loves it.
Of course, it’s important to keep things in perspective. My futuristic honeycomb cast was 3D-printed out of Facebook death threats to George Zimmerman as a reminder that my arm will never be as broken as the American justice system.~
Published July 19, 2013. Words by Daniel Jones.