Blue: The Color of Noise (St. Martin’s Press)
You think you know Steve Aoki. The superstar DJ and son of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki has been active in the EDM scene for 23 years, and is considered by many to be one of the top 10 DJs in the world. He’s an O.C. guy, huge Dodgers fan, dad’s a successful businessman. His albums, from 2012’s Wonderland to this year’s Neon Future IV, are loved by many.
But what we learn from Blue is that there’s so much to learn. OK, there’s a lot here that you would expect to read in an autobiography by a superstar DJ — the wild nights and pool parties, drugs and craziness. Pretty standard stuff, and there’s nothing Aoki has experienced from that angle that is particularly revealing or unique. The guy got some fame and partied.
But did you know that he used to be a straight edge hardcore kid? His Gorilla Biscuits tattoo might have given that away but, for those of us not staring at his bod, that’s some interesting news. We know, by the way, that this book is aimed at an electronic crowd (understandably) when he asks, “Have you heard Minor Threat.”
Ultimately, the book is an easy read — light, and interesting enough to keep the pages turning. We learn about his childhood, big break, all that stuff. If there’s a minor criticism, it’s that it feels a bit superficial. Like, he’ll take us so far but not all the way in. But fans of Aoki will get plenty from this. Anyone else really has no business opening it.