Electric Zoo a cakewalk for electro star Steve Aoki
There may be no better showman in electronic dance music than Steve Aoki, the L.A.-based electro house producer.
Not content to stand behind the controllers and just select music, Aoki’s live shows include the prerequisite champagne spraying, a ride on an inflatable raft kept aloft by the audience (the next generation of crowd surfing, essentially) and, maybe the oddest Aoki tradition, a cake spiked on a more-than-willing audience member.
amNewYork caught up with Aoki, who called in from Italy, one of more than 250 stops in 2013 for the world-traveling DJ, to chat about his upcoming set at Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island on Sunday, his new album due out in 2014 and the culinary arts.
How do you decide what to play during festival sets, compared with your club shows? Is there a difference?
When I play festivals, especially when I’m thinking about an important place like New York, I want to keep people excited by playing songs they know, but I’ve also got a lot of new songs I want to play. I’m going to introduce probably six to eight songs from “Neon Future” in New York.
Your new album comes out in 2014, but you’ve produced it while on the road nonstop for the recent past. How did “Neon Future” even get made?
I finished “Wonderland,” and it was a grueling three-year process. I then spent the greater part of 2012 collecting ideas, and I just had hundreds of riffs, of melodic elements, that I eventually wanted to incorporate. So I spent a month in a cabin in Big Bear [Calif.], just putting the pieces together that way.
What is the best flavor of cake to spike on a clubgoer?
It's not the flavor, but the consistency and the fluffiness — as soft as possible. You don’t want to hurt anybody; you want it to be a sugar rush of love.
Electric Zoo is at Randall’s Island Park Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, $139; Saturday or Sunday, $179 each; 3-day pass, $359.