SR0014: JARVI aka ACID DADDY
The host of the acclaimed DIESELcast mix series, Chicago-based,
Detroit-born DJ, Acid Daddy brings an eclectic mix that is not to be missed!
Detroit = Art, Music + Outdoors
I was born and raised in Michigan. Growing up in the Metro Detroit area was difficult as a young, hyper, (very obviously) queer child, but I always appreciated the outdoors, as well as the art and music in and around the city. Thankfully my parents had good taste in music! My father, in particular, introduced me to electronic music, new wave, garage, punk, and Kylie Minogue. Detroit had many outdoor music events that featured electronic music, so I had the opportunity to see a lot of the city’s hometown heroes behind the decks as a kid. Both of my parents loved Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox, and Kraftwerk, which I was always thankful to have been introduced to that music, especially as a teenager with a lot of feelings.
I always admired the art of DJing. Big names, locals, even my dad. When I was in cosmetology school I lived in a couple of co-op houses, which for those who aren’t familiar, they are large houses with many roommates all brought together by the idea of a creative, collective, community living experience. My friends and I threw a number of parties there, hosting all our friends as the DJs, and also a few bands. When I moved to Chicago, I was attending as many events as I could and started to meet friends in the underground here. One of those people was my friend Sam, who DJs as Sassmouth, and we became instant friends and she started teaching me to play! To me, playing music is more than just getting up there and performing something. Connecting sounds from artists all over the world, creating narratives and diving deep into my thoughts, meeting other survivors, and finding ways to heal from sound; those are all the reasons I love DJing.
What started as a joke help me discover my identity.
Acid Daddy is a moniker of mine that came about when I started helping some friends with a queer latex club event called Plastic Factory. I tried to play it off as just a silly joke, but having a new identity as a performer allowed me to progress further in understanding my own gender identity. I play as true to my heart as I possibly can. I would describe my sound as emotional alien cruising through the acid galaxy to planet bass.
I like to choose a memory or feeling as inspiration for the mixes I put out because it’s hard for me to focus otherwise. I have been thinking about the concept of a “brain massage” so with this mix I pulled records and tracks that I felt would create rhythmic compression and “knead” the brain. If a track wants to get my attention it needs healthy snares, squelching acid, bubbly bass, computer meltdowns, and any heartstring-pulling vocal heater.
I play to get through my trauma, working it out in my mind. To connect with folks who understand, who have been broken as well, and who want to make change. I am inspired by my queer and trans elders, without their resilience and empathy, I would not have a place in this world. Queer and trans youth inspire me to ask more questions and their ambition keeps me motivated to help create more space for all of our family. Most importantly, my life partner inspires me with her endless love, oddball humor, and all of her own creative endeavors. Working musically alongside her has been a dream and feels like we have our own way of communication through sonic transmission. I feel very fortunate to have met someone to create in all realms of my life with.
2019 into 2020.
At the end of 2019 I was mostly consumed with life stuff, but I put out a mix for the series, Abstract Without Abstraction, that I am really proud of. I challenged myself to go deeper into my collection and explore other realms of mixing. Looking forward to my second release on vinyl for a new Chicago label, Housepitality Chi. My label, Identity Spectrum Records, will be releasing the second compilation in The Way Of The Rave series, out in 2020. It has been so fun hearing everything come together and I am looking forward to sharing it with folks when it’s complete! The icing on the cake is working on a release with my partner which will also come out on the Identity Spectrum imprint.
I also run the DIESELcast series, which I created to share music from queer artists/performers and our allies who inspire me, and create music that brings us all together. Each guest had their own unique impact on my life and I wanted them to have a platform that celebrates their creativity and to inspire any queer folks who want to get into creating music and mixes of their own.
I am inspired by producers such as DANA and gayphextwin. From DJing to producing, I’m a fan-daddy of them both and I cannot encourage y’all enough to check out both of these talented humans!
Tips for life and for record collecting.
Try not to limit yourself to one format. Artists release on all different formats and if you’re only committed to one, you’re going to miss out on a lot of beautiful stuff!
Don’t ever be too hard on yourself about how you play or what “level” you think you’re at. None of those things matter in the long run, and what’s important is that YOU feel good when you’re creating and performing. At my first or second DJ gig ever, I was mixing 2 tracks and didn’t realize the low pass filter was up on the side of the track I was fading out and I could still hear both tracks in my headphones. When I play, I dance around...a LOT, except that time I did it to a silent room until my friend came up and turned the filter down and the track came back in, ha! It was a great laugh!
A little collector tip:
For those of you who collect G and VG rated vinyl, or if you accidentally scratch it on your own, I recently discovered lightly back spinning the record over the area removes (most) scratches! Another collector gave me the tip which saved a couple of my cherished records, so I had to share!
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