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#raisetheage, Sydney BLM protest July 28
Vol. 11 
  - with Stev Zar - 
Thank you for subscribing to the Athletica Newsletter! This is a mail out curated by a new artist each week, with a Spotify playlist, a BuyMusicClub list to buy those tracks on Bandcamp, and iso tips for how we're staying sane. It also includes a Bla(c)k Lives Matter resource, updated weekly (see up top). 

This volume is curated by Stev Zar

Stev Zar is a DJ and event mother hailing from Naarm/Melbourne.

As a DJ their style is brash, eclectic, and multifaceted - soft RnB rubs up against experimental baile funk, hypnotic rap edits, and ballroom ha's. It's a lot of fun, and has landed Stev slots alongside the likes of Leonce, Dinamarca, UNIIQU3, and Martyn Bootyspoon.

They can also be found as one part of Naarm's burgeoning QTPOC club night, UMAMI Collective. Pre-COVID UMAMI threw some always themed, always beautiful ragers that have since made their way online. They might be on hiatus, but keep your eyes peeled for the next livestream.  

Music Stev Zar Likes...

RnB classics nestled amongst the newer and the weirder. Stev says... 

Keeps the creative juices going in quarantine/isolation; this staple playlist is the backing soundtrack for the tasks/chores of my everyday life.


...And Where To Buy It

A few of the tracks from the playlist plus a buuuuuunch of Bandcamp specific picks. Stev wants to give a special mention to Aggressive Healing Music EP by guerrer@... 

that mfker got me thru some dark times

Stev Zar's Iso Thoughts

With our economy currently being put on pause, and the world generally going to shit, conserving our energy to maintain our survival is of paramount importance. That being said, this is relative to what are key factors of your survival. The postmodernism movement has taught us to be skeptical, to abandon social absolutes and allow the rise of social dismantlement. Gen Z's survival is through Tik Tok pastiche, Millennials survive through adapting, and no shade but Generation X and Baby Boomers... you know the rest.   
(Don't Look Now, 1973)
With age, I began to realise that my idea of survival is in a constant state of transformation. Round Un of isolation consisted of me trying to become a sage of 'knowing thyself', I quickly realised this was an impossible feat. Becoming comfortable in solitude was easy, but understanding how Stev Zar works spiritually, psychologically and physiologically proved to be an arduous task. My focus quickly shifted to reading works of fiction to better understand myself, even though I had previously hated reading. I spent most of my isolation flipping through Chasing the Ace, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Fahrenheit 451 and Watership Down. Each had some message about the 'sense of self' I interpreted through apocalyptic scenarios, an anthropomorphic lens or through con-man trickery. Now, I'm not going to say I had a moment of nirvana through literature, but in some way I almost did. These books subtly prompted me to remember something I forgot, that meaning from works of art alters perspective. I am reminded of a book suggested to me by a friend, The Four Agreements, and the four agreements therein:
  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don't take anything personally.
  3. Don't make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.
(Mulholland Drive, 2001)
With that mantra in mind I sat through Oldboy (2003), MacBeth (2015), Mulholland Drive (2001), Don't Look Now (1973) and Akira (1988) amongst many other magnus opus. As contrived as it sounds, watching these highly revered films in my safe space felt intellectually renewing for me. Oldboy taught me, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone." It threw me for a loop, crying alone served me no purpose. Mulholland Drive taught me the fine line between my illustrated fantasy, and everyone's reality. MacBeth taught me how corrupt the mind can become if left unchecked. Besides opening doors to references in pop culture, cinema has always been a healing experience for me. Whenever my soul feels unrest I can go to the drive-ins near my house or sit in my bed and watch whatever I'm feeling. 

Coming into Round Deux of quarantine in Melbourne, I feel a sense of ease through familiarity. Spending time with myself doesn't seem like a chore anymore, I can safely (and soberly) mediate between my Id and Superego without jeopardising my mental health. I'm working on a creative project under my alias, AN 1Ć, with Ramashon. And don't ask me why, but I'm currently rinsing film adaptations of Shakespearean works. Something about tragedy seems all too close to home for me. Oh and I'm eating way more than I ever have.
(Oldboy, 2003)
  • Understanding power, is understanding yourself. 
  • "Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche. 
  • Oh, and Black Trans Lives Fucking Matter. 
Follow Stev Zar on:
Next week ...

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