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
Is there a way to change your mortality status to “It’s complicated”? I’ve spent the last four days in a sweaty blur of the most hedonistic things London has to offer the kind of person who gets excited by the chance to go to Taco Bell after three years (although I’m pretty sure that their steak is actually pug turds). Being here has certainly helped me push my promotion/DJ game harder, along with putting me in contact with a broader range of people doing that obscure good shit. Amazing to know that someone has created a tarot set based around the Chicago drill scene and most media resources are still devoted to non tarot-based coverage. With these kinds of priorities, it’s no wonder climate change is out of control.
It’s cool and—in the scheme of things—relatively easy being a music journalist; write a bunch of words and you get all the albums in advance to play at a low volume at your desk. Traveling to various studios and offices around the world has made me realize that it’s a lot harder being a fashion designer—particularly in a time and place when all it takes to label yourself as one is screenprinting a Nike crucifix on black pajamas and selling it to ASAP Rocky. There’s a constant pressure not only to adapt to a quick turnaround in tastes, but also to anticipate them so that next time around you’re the one getting those marble-print dental dams out first. So I’ve developed a lot of respect for my colleagues, although I must admit that I’m still learning the navigation of this world. Give a musician a bad review and the worst that will happen is they’ll fire back with the twitter equivalent to, “I know you are but what am I?” Tell the wrong person at a runway show that you’re underwhelmed by the new Rick Owens line, however, and suddenly you’re banned from every goth club in the world.
As much as I’ve learned to enjoy it this time around, I know that I’d never survive in London. It has a lot to offer, including a wide variety of excellent teas (not trying to be steampunk or anything, just really appreciate it) and parties where older men talk to younger ones about reggae. And when it comes to Anglophilic music obsessions, nothing beats London for deals. On my first night here, I got to see Marc Almond outside a laundromat and have a monologue with him where he insisted that he doesn’t know who Marc Almond is, several times and with increasing suggestions toward violence. Very off-putting, otherwise a class act. For five pounds, I even managed to snag a candid fan shot of a pre-rendered Morrissey, about to hit the stage during his 1995 tour:
The sad truth is that I just wasn’t born with enough confidence to handle being asked “You all right?” so often. It’s something I’d prefer not to think about at all hours of the day. I suppose I’m relatively okay, but a lot of things are frustrating to me lately. I’ve received no response from my many expensive telephone calls to Chief Keef (not actually sure of his number, just making some very educated guesses) about a song idea which could make him millions. As you might expect, it’s about political reform (weed). To top it all off, due to the inconsistent lighting in this country, it’s almost impossible to begin every social interaction by looming out of the shadows. I’m doing my best, though. If anyone wants to grab a coffee later, I’ll be behind the dumpster of the fried chicken place next to the other fried chicken place with poop smeared on the door.~
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Published February 28, 2014. Words by Daniel Jones.