SOMEBODY PLZ PUT THIS ON MY SKIN
(via ntrvrtdxiii)Source: electrictattoos
Take 2 seconds to play this video. I’m in a contest, the person with the most views on their mix wins a chance to play with Basshunter at a festival in NY. Do it for me; do it for the donuts.
Here’s a Personality Profile article I wrote in May 2011 about No Sir E, an enthusiastic and hard-to-miss performer.
First Google “What Is A Monome.”
He pecks his head forward like a curious chicken to the beat yet to be heard by the bobbing sea of peeking faces. Although his sweat is visible, he never lets it drip on to his trusty technology. Every button press is over exaggerated, accented with a victorious wave of his arm. He sloshed back a few gulps from a full gallon of water kept at his feet – a far stretch down, it’s like watching a giraffe eat grass. He pats his hands off on his signature Jurassic Park tee-shirt, ensuring dry fingers for accurate, no-slip grip on every button. A rough-around-the-edges Atlanta Braves cap may be part of what make the man so easily recognizable at house parties, rooftops and other venues; but it may also by his height. Known as No Sir E in these settings, Aaron Fisher stands a considerable 6’8”, but ask him how tall he is and he’ll state a modest 6’3”.
Aaron doesn’t only tower over the crowd when performing on a stage or platform, but his height is made all the more noticeable when collaborating with other monomers and DJs. While he listens in to the live mixes he creates and pays close attention to the right button to press, Aaron puts on a stern persona, unbreakable by shouts from the crowd or rogue motions of a frantic dancer. For a rare moment during his performance, Aaron might look up, cock his smirk to one side to show off a single dimple before giving a shy wave to a single familiar face, exciting the entire crowd and getting over a dozen waves back.
This is the setting that Aaron would most like to be seen and remembered from. His height is hard to forget, his talent is difficult to ignore, but his daily life is a curious mix mundane tasks and everyday, average guy mishaps.
“Sociology, BA. Hopefully graduation will be this upcoming fall, if nothing substantially bad happens to me… but don’t worry, something will. I’m sure of it,” Aaron says about his major and expected graduation date. His wit flows, boom boom boom, one sly comment after the other that you almost feel bad for not laughing at each and every sarcastic and dry humored crack he makes, but it would take a computer to catch each line in time enough to respond appropriately. It leaves one maintaining a smirk, in preparation for the “Hah, I get it!” moment.
“I came to sociology out of process of elimination. Pretty much it went like this: I wasn’t feeling the music major requirements, I’m terrible at math and didn’t want to take calculus. I’m even worse at English – I can’t write a research paper to save my life. I haven’t had a science course since 11th grade,” He picked from the rest of University of Delaware’s focuses and with sarcasm dripping from his words he says, “The major options were plentiful.”
The short list of study options that cater to Aaron’s interests and perceived academic abilities looks more like a grocery list than a multiple choice question. He bounced around.
“I went from Music Management… to Psychology… to Com… to Sociology.” With a Kanye shrug (that’s a smug grin and a broad lift of shoulders and upturned palms together) he says, “I still haven’t gotten it right yet.”
Between major-hopping, Aaron has maintained a series of hilariously dissatisfying jobs. Although he maintains a cool demeanor, it’s clear he’s taking the Will Ferrell approach to a boring situation.
”I worked at ColdStone. Let me tell you… for a place designed for being extremely happy all the time? I was pretty miserable. I mean I was working with some really cool cats that I still talk to today, but…” The ColdStone story ends there, and a scratch of his stubbly face brings to mind another career gone awry.
“Longest job I ever had was Saladworks. Two years. Never got promoted, while kids younger and less experienced than me were getting ahead and calling shots. It got to the point where I literally threw my hat and shirt on the ground and stormed out.” Imagine Big Foot angrily and quietly walking away.
Presently, Aaron works a temp job as Technical Assistance Coordinator at Delaware’s Vital Statistics Department. “I just log in abortion records off piles of paper all day into a state system.” Another Kanye shrug. ”I wish I could say there’s more to it, but there really isn’t. Good wording comes into handy when it comes to putting it on a resume.”
On the surface, you want to worry about his future, his well-being, and somehow bring him out of the funk that his day-to-day responsibilities seem to put him in. He speaks in a raw and realistic manner, as if he accepts the funk. Digging deeper, you’ll quickly learn that the dirt below the top soil is full of interest enriching hobbies, nightlife and expensive music equipment.
“Weekdays are usually me just sitting around procrastinating on school work while either cleaning the house or eating and exercising, all in my room. I’ve been leaving my room less and less on weekdays, besides for class. Weekends, I’m at the bar or a house party.” He doesn’t mean sitting on a bar stool, ordering drinks and making small talk with the ballsiest of patrons who ask to compare height. Aaron owns several costly monomes – electronic grids of buttons that rhythmically light up, loop sounds and look a lot like drum machines.
The monome community seems to be a secret society. The Wikipedia page for monomes has even been deleted. Even the information Aaron is willing to discuss about his prized possessions seem limited, or at least spoken in code.
”The one I have now I got about 3 Feburarys ago. I was hounding eBay for months to get a good deal. I got the 64 for a severely gouged black market price of $775. I was saving that money to go on a band trip to Ireland, too. Money well spent, though! I didn’t end up going to Ireland.”
Aaron says it’s uncommon to just happen upon a monomer, and insists the monome community is tight knit enough that most of them in online forums already know one another from travelling to shows. How does one become a part of this community, then?
”I’d say 90% plus of monomers know what they’re getting into before they even buy one. I, on the other hand, knew very little about the programming and technology involved in setting it up. It took lots of asking around on the forums to get the hang of things and finally piece something together.”
Watching him skillfully count out rhythms in his head and pressing buttons with precision timing, it’s clear that this monoming business takes focus and real skill. It’s like playing a game of match the cards mixed with Simon and a giant unlabelled remote control.
Telling Aaron you’re impressed and getting him to simply say ‘Thank You’ is a task. “Other monome people are way smarter and make much more impressive music than I can,” he says. It’s hard to believe he honestly accepts his own statement as true, considering the number of venues he jumps at the chance to get his name on. They aren’t even all local venues. Aaron will stuff his long legs and all of his equipment into a Volkswagen Beetle if need be, just to get to a show.
“Hopes of discovery are becoming more and more of an aspiration than it was before,” says Aaron. It’s almost as if he’s going to confess something. All this time while discussing the Skull and Bones type community he belongs to, everything sounds very cool and he models his demeanor to match his language. Finally, he sounds uncertain of something. It’s like his real life is seeping into his secret identity.
”Before it was just the routine. The go to school… graduate… get a job… retire… perish. But now, realizing I don’t care about what I’m studying in school anymore, I’ve been shifting more of my talents and focus towards music. I don’t think I’ve crafted anything worthy of attention, though. I mean my equipment is outdated, equipment and my production skills aren’t nearly as broad as the average electronic musician.”
To anyone who doesn’t know anything about electronic musicians, Aaron looks like, performance like, travels like and sounds like a professional. He completely disagrees, at least in conversation. His music says something else completely.
“I’m still a cub in this sport. I’ve just been able to do one thing well. Only kind of well.” Being entertained by Aaron’s live performance is only the beginning of his amusing qualities.
Standing beside him in the crowd is a much more intimidating feeling than watching him perform on a raised platform. Again, his towering height allows him to stand towards the back of small, shoulder-to-shoulder sardine tight crowds and still see two unknown lyricists massacre one another with their words, while anyone of an average height might try to push themselves towards the front, or at the very less, in front of Aaron.
While the untrained ear may not be as keen to hear the punctuation on each punch line the battlers spit, Aaron’s ears perk up like prey drinking from a croc-infested watering hole to hear every line rhythmically spoken. His brows raise a split second before the gathering moans a simultaneous approval of the verbal low-blow, as if he could sense the lyrical jabs before they come out. Aaron keeps a poker face on at almost all times. That is, of course, until he’s been inspired by real talent. Although no one says it, the vibe in the room is much more appreciative and accepting of a particular white rapper.
Whether it’s the aura hovering over our heads – which is shoulder-level for Aaron – or he senses something we don’t, a smile starts to grow as the white rapper takes his turns. Sure, there have been moments when a sideways smirk started to show, but just as quickly as it’s made noticeable, Aaron scratches his nose, as if there’s where he keeps the smile-switch at, and turns it off; back to stern-faced as if he himself where in the rap battle.
If there is an underground rap battle, a rooftop industrial/experimental hipster party, an obscure band performing in an intimate venue, Aaron Fisher is present. He may be the taller background lurker, the center of attention, or just glad he was able to get there.
”Well my car has had the serious case of the chugs for a while,” Aaron says, recounting a trek from Delaware to Brooklyn in his beat up black Jeep.
“I put it through hours and hundreds of miles of hell, then it finally decided it was too good for me. I made it all the way from Delaware to Delhi, NY for this one private monome jam, but after a bunch of false alarms car was broke the hell down. It was scary because my parents didn’t know where I was going when I said I was going to New York. I took everything out of it, moved it to another trekking car, got that sucker towed and signed off to the towing company. I caught a ride to the city, played the show, took the bus all the way back home. Happy 21st Birthday!”