It’s funk and soul and a Tribe Called Quest in a room stacked from floor to ceiling in records you wish you owned.
“Two more hours—the final stretch.”
Chris Manak, otherwise known as hip-hop producer/legend Peanut Butter Wolf, is coming to the last leg of his marathon 12-hour DJ set. We’re at his house with beer and a Christmas tree and tamales in little blue paper trays. He’s surrounded by merrymaking friends laughing, browsing through his collection, handing him records. The DJ/Stones Throw Records founder has already been spinning for ten hours, but his spirits seem fresh and the music is still bumping.
On June 6th, 2006 Peanut Butter Wolf released a satanic metal-themed podcast and spun metal-based mixes at Cinespace. The following year, he repented with a gospel themed podcast and a series of 7 shows over 7 nights. For 8/8/8 Wolf spun all videos at 8 different clubs, 8 nights in a row. 9/9/9 brought to 9 area codes across L.A. and Orange County 9 nights of all 90’s videos. Get it yet?
What started as a joke has continued now for seven years ending this year in apocalyptic fashion—one man, 12 hours, all 12-inch vinyls followed by an after party that played host to 12 of the best DJ’s playing twelve 12-inch singles each.
Low End Theory at the Airliner is always packed, but 12/12/12 was a new kind of monster. With residents Daddy Kev, Dj Nobody, and Gaslamp Killer alongside Peanut Butter Wolf himself inside and Stones Throw legends Madlib, Dam Funk, Egyptian Lover, J Rocc, Rhettmatic, House Shoes, R.A.W., and Illum Sphere spinning to a massive crowd outside huddled under tents, attempting to hold on to their dear lives. This was the best house party you’ve ever been to and will likely ever attend. All vinyls and real hip hop—the Notorious B.I.G., can’t help but get down real, real low kind of shit.
If this weren’t the end of Wolf’s great numerology series (or the world), we’d be looking forward to the baker’s dozen of badassery next year.
For now, we got to chat numbers and obsession with the Wolf himself:
First, why numbers? How did the Wolf Vs. LA Numerology DJ series start?
The guys at Cinespace booked me for a show on June 6, 2006. They wanted to do a “666 party” so I wore a “Wayne’s World” looking wig and Motley Crue t-shirt to the gig and Steve Aoki didn’t even recognize me. Neither did the crowd. I played all heavy metal for the first (and last) time in my DJ career.
Is it a grueling process coming up with a theme and curating accordingly each year?
The idea usually comes up at the last minute, but I always have a year and a month to think of the next theme. And the past few years, lots of people throw themes at me too. They usually start as a joke, like renting a u-haul and bringing crates and crates of records to my club and having other people DJ with them, then I do it.
How did you feel about your live 12-hour marathon set? What is the key ingredients to kicking ass for that long?
I knew it would be liberating to spin for so long because I have a lot of records and like a lot of different types of music I always wanna share with people. I don’t ever wanna be remembered for one thing musically. I don’t know why that’s important for me, but it is. I was afraid that physically, I’d get tired and mentally get bored, but having friends over my house helped a lot. Reading the live stream on Boiler Room helped too. Didn’t make me feel as “alone” doing it. But the main thing I wanted to do was not worry about beat matching or playing party music. It wasn’t meant to be a club DJ set. It was a bedroom DJ set. When my friend’s one and a half year old started dancing, I immediately forgot about everyone else listening and played specifically music for him.
Let's say the world ended at the conclusion of your set....what's going in your time capsule for the next species to populate the earth?
Too much crap that means a lot to me and nothing to anybody else.
What is obsession to you?
It’s the mid 80s. New wave band Animotion had their biggest hit with the song in 1984 and Calvin Klein had their cologne in 1986. Thank you google.
How important are manners?