Steve Aoki may be obsessed with the future, but he sticks by tried-and-true tech.
The electronic dance producer and DJ, like many on the EDM circuit, is constantly striving for technology to deliver more eye-popping performances. It's just another example of how tech is changing how we work and play.
But more valuable than jaw-dropping spectacle? The tech needs to actually work.
"It needs to be easy, and it's got to be like 'ding!' It's got to be like [it's] already in your brain," he said. After failed experiments with 3D glasses and other head-mounted displays, Aoki trusts LED walls and projection mapping as his go-to show features. They may feel like "very old tech," but they have other advantages.
"Anytime you see a wall disintegrating in front of you, and it looks like it really is falling apart, you don't need to be on drugs to be like 'damn, I feel like I'm on a trip,'" he said.
Aoki's shows, which also always include a low-tech cake smash in the face, are a cornerstone of his career. He was last year's fifth-highest-paid D.J. in the world, partly thanks to his punishing touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year. He also released a new single, Pretender, last month with Rapper Lil Yachty and indie pop trio AJR.
Aoki will be performing June 10 in New York at the Brooklyn Mirage, widening his "Neighborhood" festival format to the East Coast.
For any hardcore Aoki fans in the area, CNET has a big opportunity for you coming to our Facebook page, so keep checking there for an Aoki post with the word "surprise."
"Let's get that tech spectacle in your face, with a little cake on the side," he said.