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We recently administered everyone’s favorite classic psychological test—the Rorschach—to the artists, producers, bigwigs and hangers-on at seminal San Francisco house and techno label dirtybird.

Although we have limited no medical training, it’s a fact that Rorschach tests are super easy: The subject just looks at an abstract inkblot and then describes what they see. There are no wrong answers. The test is a tool to help psychologists determine the goings-on of your subconscious mind—your fears, fixations, flirtations, and whether or not you’re batshit crazy. Famous for having senses of humor as solid as their turntable skills, the dirtybird crew was down to let us probe the depths of their unconscious minds. We then had prolific psychologist M. von Pfeiffer (who, in actuality, is neither prolific nor a psychologist) analyze the results.

The above inkblot is what we used…click through to see what the db crew had to say.

Claude VonStroke

What He Saw: A leopard with insect legs in a bird’s nest.
The Professional Analysis: People with power animals like leopards on the brain are typically alpha types accustomed to success, usually connected to a specific and recent “win” in their life (VonStroke recently released the funk-laden single “Califuture,” so there’s that). A nest alludes to a room where one feels comfortable—usually a bedroom, but it could also just be that the man has birds on the brain. Lastly, he reports that the leopard’s lower half is that of an insect’s. Some psychologists link insects with success in love, so we can safely surmise that Mr. VonStroke has recently been successful in the world of amore. His wife, children, and millions of worldwide fans probably have something to do with this.

Justin Martin

What He Saw: A prehistoric purple pterodactyl-panda named Peter pouncing with Punxsutawney Phil in his pooch pouch.
The Professional Analysis: The man behind such emotionally downtrodden tracks as “The Sad Piano” lets his creative chops shine with this alliterative go-getter. While adorable, the fact is that Mr. Martin’s dismissive attitude of the assignment is psychologically alarming, as it suggests that he puts up walls between himself and others via his creativity. It’s also a known fact that those who imagine reptiles, winged or not, often fear betrayal by friends. Could Martin feel threatened by his fellow Dirtybird players? Is he afraid of not making the Holy Ship lineup this year? Did he have a bad time at Hard Summer? I honestly have no idea.

J Phlip

What She Saw: An angry panda in the middle and two feathered dinosaur birds on each side.
The Professional Analysis: When a patient sees a dinosaur, we’re talking about someone suffering from an outdated ideology. I suggest that Phlip visualize her spirit animal (which I suspect is a Sockeye salmon), burn a scented candle (pear, preferably), listen to either newer Yanni or older Calvin Harris, and remember the way she felt the first time she played Coachella.

Christian Martin

What He Saw: A panda sneezes. His friend, an owl, explodes. BOOM. The panda cries, “Why!!?!!”
The Professional Analysis: Martin’s panda is crying at the death of wisdom (represented by the owl), in an age where tragedy is defined by Kim Kardashian having to spray-tan, as her busy schedule does not allow her enough time in the sun. Martin’s panda is sagacious(word of the article), and he must listen to it, nurture it, and feed it the bamboo of his soul.

For this potentially painful endeavor, I prescribe Amobarbital, a barbiturate-based tranquilizer which, just like hanging out backstage at Pacha, will very likely cause dilated pupils, confusion, dizziness, hallucinations, slurred speech, loss of inhibition, impaired judgment and possibly… permanent death. Mr. Martin should use his time on this industrial sedative to visit and befriend real pandas in the zoo, or in their natural habitats of the great Sichuan Plain in glorious China. The drug should bring him the courage and emotional fortitude needed to attempt an endeavor so foolhardy and so stupid.


What He Saw: I have to say, all I see is a panda, which has woken up from a lazy afternoon nap and discovered it has pigeon hands! Oh, and it’s also on crutches.
The Professional Analysis: Pandas means success. Crutches mean dependence. Pigeon hands mean dishonesty. What all of these things mean together, I have no idea! Let me tell you, though: The last person I examined who’d seen a panda on crutches withpigeon hands was someone who had just won the male virility contest at the Annual Italian Sex Olympics in Rome. So Ardalan’s got that going for him.

Justin Jay

What He Saw: The panda has the spirits of a fox and a French bulldog inside it. Been staring at this for a while now.
The Professional Analysis: The Panda. AGAIN. We are seeing a deep-seated group dynamic here. The same symbol coming up repeatedly suggests that the participants lead lives that are closely linked. They may very well work together—perhaps at a record label?

The fox has long been seen as an animal representing intelligence and ingenuity. The bulldog suggests hidden talents! The fact that the bulldog is French, however, derails everything—just ruins it completely. It is a known fact that the French do not have a word for victory in their language—meaning that JJ is suffering under a grey cloud of melancholy. As Jay is still a teenager, however, this is totally normal, and it will likely just infuse his music with a particularly youthful brand of brooding sorrow, which may cause even very stupid listeners—fans of The Jersey Shore, for instance—to contemplate infinity, the duality of life, the role of determinism in Epicurean ethics, reincarnation in a quantum-based universe (do quarks have souls, too?), or maybe just what they’re doing this weekend.

Kill Frenzy

What He Saw: Stare-down be​tween two chickens and a panda.
The Professional Analysis: Kill Frenzy is part of what I will now officially label The Panda Group. As mentioned previously, the panda represents success, which for this crew likely has something to do with their own personal triumphs as people who get paid to play music and go to parties for a living. The two-chicken symbol, however, is troubling, as it is the image commonly seen by folks who claim to have been abducted by aliens. Perhaps Kill Frenzy has been hanging out with Skrillex.



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