Audioccult Vol. 84: The D Word

Words by Daniel Jones

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

 

When it comes to discussing my brand or DJ stuff, I’m usually pretty happy to be interviewed. It’s fun talking about music, which is why I do it for a “living”. With rare exceptions, however, I hate being asked about my influences. I have plenty, of course; it’s not like everything I produce is spawned in some kind of internal Void, though that’s the impression you might get if you ask me about them. Aside from the fact that the things I draw inspiration from change pretty regularly, the sum of them—aesthetics, sounds, textures, languages—comprise too much too suddenly try and spit out in a coherent way, especially in the usual interview setting of a dark, loud, and free drink-providing club. I just get quiet and then say something stupid like, “broken glass,” or ,”deserts,” or “where can I get good pizza here.”

It’s not only this that keeps my mouth quiet, however. Inevitably in interviews, a word I’ve slowly come to hate arises and any desire I have to share is sucked out of me like a very depressing cum. That word is dark, and the use of it to encapsulate such a wide range of visual and audible ideas has slowly begun to |TRIGGER WARNING| trigger a mental gag reflex inside me. Mention it, and my brain will expel interest. Part of the reason for this level of disgust in a simple, generally unoffensive word is because of my own tendency to use it as a crutch when I write. When I left the idea of being part of a specific music scene—in my case, goth-punk—behind in my younger days, at the time I foolishly thought that I was done with any sort of music that could be described as dark. “This is it,” I thought, settling back with my black-free wardrobe and embarrassing Passion Pit records. “This is the path I walk.” That, of course, didn’t last, and while I never embraced the idea of subcultural tribalism again, I probably wear more weird black clothes now then I ever did. I just can’t deal with being an Adult Male with Sports-Themed Shirt. I like the UK and all, but come on.

Dark is is no longer meaningful as a descriptor; maybe it never was. You might as well refer to your music as “sound-based”. Using 808s in your music makes it dark now. If the power goes out at night, your room will be dark and you’ll have to light a candle, and you can take a photo and put it on Instagram in a way that references Lil B, the rapper with emotions. Spelling ‘dark’ as ‘DRK’ is dark because it implies that vowels no longer exist and that the languages we speak are decaying. Will.i.am produced the new Britney Spears album and I had to turn it off and throw it away. The company that makes RealDolls is named Abyss Creations. This world is dying and corrupted and I’m gesticulating wildly to Waka Flocka in an empty airport terminal. Everything is dark nowadays.

Okay, not Macklemore; nothing is lighter than Macklemore. Everything else, though. ~