I first met Wolfram—born Wolfram Eckert, but Wolfie to his friends (supposedly)—in Miami at the Standard hotel. It was in the lobby at 8 A.M., and he was wearing a green kimono and pink flip-flops, which I thought was impressive, endearing, and kind of horrifying, but mainly impressive and endearing. Wolfram is much cooler than I’ve ever been or will ever be. I think we’re mainly different in that he has hair and I do not. Plus, he is not middle-aged, whereas I am. And he seems to enjoy traveling, whereas I do not. What distinguishes him from other DJs is that he is smart and enthusiastic but also self-deprecating in equal measures. He’s almost more of an idiosyncratic postmodern curator of weird electronic records from the 1980s than he is a DJ. He says that he grew up in a small village on the Austrian-Italian border, the son of a sculptor and a menswear shopgirl, but I’m guessing he was a feral child, raised by raccoons, who grew up in a dumpster behind an Austrian version of Denny’s. One time, Wolfram was staying at my place as I was having some construction done in the apartment. In the morning, he and his then-girlfriend emerged from the guest bedroom. Wolfram was wearing a blue kimono, white slippers, and star-shaped glasses, and his girlfriend was wearing a Santa hat and nothing else. The workers were understandably stunned into awed silence. Wolfram’s debut album, Wolfram (Permanent Vacation), came out in May and was originally titled WheelChernobyl, which I think is offensive and amazing at the same time. It takes a special intellect to be funny in English when you grew up speaking Austrian, which is technically a bit different from German. But that’s Wolfram for you.
Photo: Wolfram in New York, November 2010. Jacket and shirt: Trussardi. Styling: Vanessa Chow/Creative Exchange Agency. Hair: Andre Gunn/The Wall Group. Makeup: Itsuki/The Wall Group.
Click here to listen to a mix by DJ Wolfram