I Feel Like We Are Friends

By Kian McHugh

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A Friend: Someone who we admire, who has facilitated us with memories, and who we feel warrants recognition for their work and self.

I FEEL LIKE WE ARE FRIENDS


In preparing for the site launch, our team and advisors tirelessly pondered if our use of the label “Friends” made sense. The Kollection views a friend as someone who stands out from all the other humans– even if just momentarily– and is there for you. What better way to rationalize our taboo understanding of friendship than to explain my presumed friendships with a 26 year-old producer and DJ from North Carolina and recently deceased food-critic.

 

I do not personally know Porter Robinson, nor did I personally know Jonathan Gold. Having been in the same vicinity as Robinson and Gold on multiple occasions is in part what prompted me to understand them as “friends.” In 2014 and ‘15, I saw Porter Robinson perform at half a dozen venues and also had the honor of seeing Jonathan Gold speak at the premier of City of Gold in New York City. I grew obsessed with Porter Robinson after seeing the live set he created for his first full-length album- Worlds. His performance, which only varied slightly each time, was a flawless curation of over-stimulation which readily became a primary topic of conversation amongst my friends. After seeing the tour 5 times on that year’s festival circuit, I grew convinced that I not only understood Porter Robinson as an artist, but also as a human… as a friend. My roommate and I drew recreations of his visuals in sharpie on our bedroom walls, charted out the next time we would see him, psychoanalyzed his mental state based off of tweets, and quite literally began eating, working, and sleeping to his music.

Porter Robinson’s satanically-chopped, melancholist sound paired with visuals of deer-human hybrids and anime mountain ranges resonated with my whole self with an intensity comparable to–

–the anticipation of and immediate pleasure resulting from the first bite of the Isaan-style grilled ‘Toro’ from Night + Market Song. Yes, actually… the pleasant shock paired with a sense of warmth and familiarity pertinent to both experiences shaped a general excitement and experience seemingly so new yet so personal. This feeling, perhaps best described as the feeling of friendship, is encompassed in and has simultaneously transcended each of Porter Robinson’s individual sets and each pre-curated meal and dining experience Jonathan Gold has guided me through. How is it that such a unique– just short of indescribable– and parallel feeling could exist in both the Jade Noodle’s at Sapp Coffee Shop in Los Angeles and in the fog of Golden Gate Park as Porter played his set. I’ve come to rationalize that it was because just as Porter’s sets were SO reliable, so were Jonathan’s recommendations. This sense of safety and comfort is nothing short of the feeling that someone is there for you. Friendship. On countless occasions, Porter Robinson and Jonathan Gold have acted as friends to me. I do believe that my infatuation with Porter and Gold’s existence is grounded in the unique content that each produces, however it is the experiences and perceived similarities we share as humans that drive me to use the word friend (and name an entire section of our site off of it).

Soon after Porter Robinson’s tour ended, my taste in music changed as I grew partial to a 4-on-the-floor structure rather than samples of video-game sounds; and in taking on a different moniker– Virtual Self– Porter and I drifted apart as friends do. I saw a Worlds vinyl in a friend’s apartment the other day and in pointing it out my friend reflected– “God, we’re old… Porter was forever ago”, as if referring to a photograph of an old mate who shaped a moment of his life.

The friendship I shared with Jonathan Gold ended much more abruptly and nothing could prepare me for the overwhelming wave emotions I felt on the day he passed this July. I never expected to write about him in such a way. Having not had a death-prompted-cry since losing my beloved Bernese Mountain Dog Pazzia in high school, I was completely taken aback by the feeling of tears streaming down my face, immediately having to excuse myself from the room. A matter of weeks prior, I had gone to Bavel and smiled upon seeing Gold dine across the restaurant from me. Upon returning to LA weeks later, Gold had passed and I mourned the loss of a friend… someone I admired, who facilitated me with memories, and who I would miss dearly. Where I willingly moved on from my friendship with Porter, Gold’s death cut our friendship short and the pain that followed was unbearable. I can only imagine the pain that those who were close to him must have felt.

Years from now, Porter Robinson and Jonathan Gold will become names which those who are much younger will likely not recognize. I will look back fondly upon the friendship I shared with both individuals– unique in narrative but equally gracious in the moments which I was a friend in need.

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