By Micah Fluellen, Contributor
[Photo via Ocean Eiler / Video by Micah Fluellen]
Ocean Eiler, Ohio University and ACRN alumnus, recently visited his hometown of Athens, Ohio, to catch up with his family and present-day ACRN. Eiler attended Ohio University in the late ’90s as a double major in graphic design and interactive design. He also began DJing then, alongside fellow DJs like DJ B-Funk and a young DJ Barticus. Eiler witnessed how ACRN has grown as an organization as well as its impact on the students and community of Athens, Ohio. He now works as a visual and audio director for PBS Kids.
Eiler wanted to be at all of the shows. He didn’t start out as a performer, but as a senior in high school in 1996, he started attending shows hosted by ACRN. The music that he would later perform was inspired by early-’90s rave, techno and house music in the likes of the Detroit and Chicago scenes.
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Playing a casual role at ACRN, he helped manage equipment for shows and parties, providing decks and equipment for shows and bands all around Athens. Eiler says that ACRN had a history of throwing a monthly party that used to be the talk of the town. He was also a prominent graffiti artist locally and made a lot of promotional fliers for local performers back then. Eiler was also a DJ for WLHD, one of Ohio University’s radio stations back when campus radio was separated by individual greens. He worked for the East Green radio station, in particular.
During his recent visit, Eiler showed us photo books filled with images of Jnco Jeans, basement shows and milk crates filled with vinyls that he and other members of the Athens music scene used to scratch. He also made time to spin a jungle, drum and bass set at the ACRN studio.
Check out the full interview below.