Old Souls

The Synth Enthusiast Veronica Vasicka, D.J. and founder of Minimal Wave Records (minimalwave.com) “I have about fifteen synthesizers and ten drum machines at the moment. I enjoy making synth-pop-oriented songs and pieces that sound like Italian horror-film soundtracks. There are D.J. nights I play that, if a stranger were to walk in, they might think that it was 1982 all over again.” Photo: Christopher Lane

The Watchmaker David Sokosh, owner of Clinton Hill Clocks and analog-timepiece line Brooklyn Watches “With digital things, everything happens invisibly. The owner of a mechanical clock or watch can see how it works. Clocks still tell time 100 or 200 years after they were built. That is incredible in a digital age where things can be out of date in a year and unusable in five.” Photo: Christopher Lane

The Cartoon Connoisseur Tom Stathes, founder of the Tom Stathes Cartoon Carnival. “A reel of film and a projector are far more interesting than any digital apparatus. The technology itself is a spectacle. My core collection is 16-mm. film, of which I have approximately 1,100 reels. There are so many discoveries to be made on film that no one can imagine.” Photo: Christopher Lane

The Cassette Lover Brian Shimkovitz, cassette D.J. and founder of the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog “One of the challenges of D.J.-ing with tapes is that the back-line setups at most clubs and festivals don’t have a tape deck as a standard item; I have to request that. The fidelity can be a real issue too. I definitely get the occasional “Yo, why does this sound like shit?’ But the majority of people like the warm sound and unique feel.” Photo: Christopher Lane

The Boom Box Junkie Lyle Owerko, photojournalist and author of ‘The Boombox Project: the Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground’ (owerko.com) “In this mp3-earbud nation, people are looking for something with a little gravity. A boom box is the real thing”like the difference between playing guitar and playing Guitar Hero. When I first moved into my loft [in Tribeca], I didn’t have a lot of money. A big boom box was an easy way to convey sound. I had this one girlfriend who thought I was a squatter because all I owned was a futon and a boom box.” Photo: Christopher Lane

The Encyclopedic Analogist Richard Matthews, owner of Leeds Radio, a Williamsburg warehouse selling an estimated 5 million analog parts “I get builders, restorers, ham radio guys, industrial-equipment guys, and all kinds of mad-scientist types. There are some below the age of 30, but they’re a different kind of animal. A lot of them don’t want to do the legwork to make something work properly”it’s a kitschy-type thing to them. They like the idea that it’s old but don’t know what they’re getting into. When they come here, whoa-boy, the lectures I give them!” Photo: Christopher Lane

Old Souls