Three years deep and the relationship between Dim Mak bossman Steve Aoki and the dark art of caking is stronger – and seemingly more controversial – than ever.
Two months back we joined Steve and his team on the road for two sell out shows in London and Manchester. THIS is the result:
Oozing serious insight into his truly non-stop touring, and largely sleepless, lifestyle, there was one revelation we couldn’t quite squeeze into our short movie. Not without doing it the justice it deserves, anyway.
So here, in Steve’s own words, is how caking began, the extreme quality control he and his team endure to ensure the cake is of a high standard… And how one particular Scottish cake left him pretty much bricking a fan in the face!
Take it away, Steve…
“It was actually inspired by a Dim Mak artist called Autoerotique. In February 2011 they released a song called Turn Up The Volume and hired this incredible video director who came up with the concept of cakes exploding in people’s faces after they’d blown the candles.
The way they presented it was so beautiful and cinematic. Just colourful cakes blowing up in every direction… It was so, so cool! It went viral. 200,000 views in less than two weeks. Crazy stuff. People outside of the music world had watched it, people who had no idea who Autoerotique are, were checking it because it was so epic.
I love hanging out with bakers! Who doesn’t?
I wanted to promote the song, so I decided I’d cake someone while playing it in my shows. I was a bit worried people wouldn’t get where I was coming from, so I made sure my video guy dropped the video when I dropped the song and I had Autoerotique – Turn Up The Volume written on the cake. It didn’t matter than I hadn’t caked anyone before this, the second I got the cake out people were pumped, people were raging, people were asking for the cake! I showed everyone the writing on the cake to make sure they knew what I was doing and that I wasn’t too crazy! I didn’t know this at the time but there’s always one crazy dude who wants the cake. At least one crazy dude!
It was the first and last time I ever smacked a fan in the face with something that honestly was as hard as a brick. I’m not proud of that moment and it never happened again.
It was totally epic and awesome. So I decided to do it again. Then again. And again. Then I did three cakes. Then I did four cakes. Then I retired the tune six months later…. But I couldn’t retire the cake. People had started to bring caking signs and really expected it. How could I stop caking? I’d be letting people down!
Another cool thing that people might not realise is that each cake is locally sourced. Every different promoter finds a good local baker to make the cake. I’ve met many of the bakers. When possible they come to the show and meet us back stage. I ask them about their work and what they use to make the cakes. We take pictures and have fun hanging out. I love hanging out with bakers! Who doesn’t?
I need to highlight one more thing… Our cake check is just as important as the sound check. If not more important. You don’t want the cake to hurt anyone! One problem with the UK – no offence – but you have the hardest cakes in the world. They’re bricks! I pulled a cake out in Glasgow in my early pre-cake-testing days and this one dude was ready for the cake. He really wanted the cake. But I pulled it and thought ‘holy shit! It’s a brick!’ I don’t want to brick this dude in the face! I was yelling ‘it’s a brick! It’s a brick!’ but he couldn’t hear me and just kept on demanding the cake. So I had to do it. I did it as soft as I could, and he was having such a good time he didn’t care the cake was like a brick, but it was the first and last time I ever smacked a fan in the face with something that honestly was as hard as a brick. I’m not proud of that moment and it never happened again. I’ve said this many many times…
Caking is supposed to be a soft, enjoyable, explosive, sugary, beautiful experience!
Hungry for more cake? See it live in action at last year’s SW4 with UKF…