THE WORLD’S FIRST CYBORG DJ

When James Meier first began DJing from a wearable computer mounted to his torso and head, Facebook was brand new, iPhones didn’t exist, and Project Glass—the most closely comparable technology to Meier’s homemade creation—wasn’t even a twinkle in Google’s eye.

Under the moniker ghettocyb.org, Meier pioneered technology that made him the world’s first cyborg DJ, using a netbook computer and head-mounted display. Since the system’s first public appearance in March of 2003, at Meier’s technology-based art party IRQ, it’s been in constant evolution and made him a fixture of electronic music conferences worldwide. He’s even shared his unique creation with the cyborgs of tomorrow, lecturing on his confluence of art and technology at the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

But while his gear is most certainly fascinating academically, there’s no better way to experience it than on the dancefloor. There, Meier brings his enthusiastic yet wry presence to bear through a banging collection of electro-house, nu disco and indie dance, astutely treading the line between the futuristic beats of modern dance music and his influences in new wave and post-punk. His ability to read a crowd and play the music that suits belies 15 years behind the decks, pleasing parties from Miami to Goa.

When not party-rocking, Meier operates Toronto’s 01system recording studio and collects analog synthesizers (he had nine at last count, plus seven digital ones). He is the proud owner of a computer science degree and dozens of black shirts.