after months of detective work + careful social engineering from some really good friends i finally have the two carts that were stolen from me before my set in mexico city.
FULL STORY (possibly tl;dr?):
back in november 2013 i had been invited to play this super rad three day music festival in mexico city called format.df ! was my first time out of the country, and my first international gig out of my 7 years of playing live ! i was stoked !
prior to the festival, i had written some songs and finished some songs on the plane on these two particular carts — new songs that are part of an album that i’ve been working the last few years.
my live setup usually consists of a single dj mixer + two gameboys, accompanied by five carts loaded with songs. i guess i’ve been doing this for so long that i’ve never upgraded to usb cartridges, mostly out of convenience.
fast forward to the day of the festival: i had setup my gear on the table for a quick transition, since i was slated to play last on the lineup.
i am standing in the crowd when i see someone going towards the edge of the table where all of my gear is setup. i see him pick up my carts, flipping them over in his hands, looking over them like he’s trying to pick one out.
i see him pocket two of them.
i am in a different country where i don’t speak the language and am totally unfamiliar with my surroundings. in that near 15 seconds i went into like a weird shock; i didn’t think it was actually happening and i tried to comb my way through the crowd to stop him, but he’s already looping around the edge of the crowd to walk away from the show.
i shout out something along the lines of, “stop, that kid is stealing my gear!” but i think because of the language barrier very few people actually understood what was going on. by the time we tried to stop him, he had already left the venue.
i end up having to cut my set short down to 20 minutes instead of my usual 35-45 set. i had no backups of the recent songs i had written and finished them on the plane, and both of the carts that he had stolen contained a big chunk of songs that make sense in my live set. i had another gig the next day where two gracious mexico city chip kids let me borrow their carts so i could play a proper set, but i lost at least 4 songs that were slated to be on the album.
shortly following my return to the states my friend ric (who is the premiere cart supplier/game boy modder in mexico) informs me that someone is trying to send him a blue lsdj cartridge in hopes that he can fix it. these carts are generally pretty rare, and ric sends me a picture asking if it’s mine. the kid had removed my stickers i had on there, but on the side it was cracked. super recognizable for me.
with ric’s super dope social engineering skills, he convinces the kid to send him the cartridge along with some other stuff (a video camera, etc.) in exchange for some modded gear and for him to “fix the cartridge”.
weeks later ric gets the cart. one of the even more tell-tale signs that the cartridge was mine is that it was loaded with a shit ton of my custom samples. ric checks: the cart is definitely mine!
through some more social engineering ric tells the kid that he knows it is stolen and that he definitely has the second cart. stupidly the thief admits it and ric ends up with cart a few weeks after that.
ric gave the carts to my friend chema who is now sitting in my living room here in texas (he came up for sxsw). now the carts are back in my possession (and unfortunately, the kid had deleted all of my songs)
but the point is: i can get back to work on the album. and i cannot fucking wait for what 2014 has in store. i have so much to show you all.
<3 <3 <3