Aquatic Underground Assembles to Become Earth’s Mightiest DJ Collective | Music Feature | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Aquatic Underground Assembles to Become Earth’s Mightiest DJ Collective


Published July 13, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated July 13, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.

Burlington DJ collective Aquatic Underground: (from left) DJ Boyote, Logwad, DJ CRWD CTRL, Mitch Almond and DJ Philthaay - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Burlington DJ collective Aquatic Underground: (from left) DJ Boyote, Logwad, DJ CRWD CTRL, Mitch Almond and DJ Philthaay

Formed in 2012 by LOGWAD, Aquatic Underground is Burlington's resident DJ super team. These five mix masters combine their powers and skills on the decks to electrify dance floors wherever they go, whether it's a dark and moody club or the top deck of a food truck. Like the members of any good team, each has a different specialty, but what unifies Aquatic Underground, or AQUG for short, is a love of underground music. The team's mission is to body-rock Burlington and spread the gospel of dance music.


  • Luke Awtry

Real Name: Luke Jonathan
Joined AQUG: 2021
music Styles: house, disco, funk, '90s, R&B, hip-hop, party jams
Influences: George Clinton, Miles Davis, Anderson .Paak, Derrick Carter, Craig Mitchell

DJ CRWD CTRL began his training in 2000. When he was fresh out of high school, struggling with direction and meaning after a tumultuous childhood, his fascination with electronic music led him to a Technics turntable set while living in Arizona. Soon, he was throwing raves in the desert, then embarking on a cross-country mission to move asses on the dance floor. Now he commands the decks at some of his favorite local venues, including Club Metronome and the Monkey House.

Favorite current track to spin: "Dangerous" by Lemex
Least favorite song requested: "Request? Never heard of it. Unless it's thoughtful, polite and in line with what we're doing, just keep it to yourself. We're working here."
For the record: "Aquatic Underground represents unity, community, immaculate vibes, collectivism, good taste, spreading love, fighting the good fight. Egg rolls."

Mitch Almond

Mitch Almond - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Mitch Almond

Real Name: Mitch Almond. He has other aliases but isn't "ready to reveal them yet."
Joined AQUG: 2012
Music Styles: "Depends on the day and what I'm feeling."
Influences: "I listen to my favorite artists' radio shows/mixes and find new artists. I get a lot of influence and sharing of creativity through my friends and the places we travel."

Almond began making beats at age 18, just as he entered college. He decided that making beats and deejaying went hand in hand, so he started playing house parties. A lover of DJ collaboration, Almond usually plays with at least one other member of AQUG, though occasionally he runs the decks solo. While he's often rocking bodies at Club Metronome, Almond particularly loves playing across the border in Montréal.

Favorite track to spin: "Cloud 9" by Ms Dynamite & Shy FX
Least favorite song requested: "Any pop-country song. That's the type of request that makes you just want to pack up!"
For the record: "Aquatic Underground has always been about keeping the underground music scene alive."

DJ Boyote

  • Luke Awtry
  • DJ Boyote

Real Name: Joe Pray
Joined AQUG: 2012
Music Styles: UK garage, dubstep, drum and bass, funk
Influences: locals 2K Deep, Bass Culture, Mushpost

Boyote started attending shows around Burlington in 2008. Immersing himself in the local dance music scene, particularly tunes by formerly Burlington-located drum-and-bass collective Mushpost, he soon found his tribe. After meeting fellow AQUG member LOGWAD, Boyote delved into beat matching and mixing tracks on a pair of Technics turntables and a Serato box. Like the rest of his crew, Boyote calls Club Metronome home, though he still pours one out in memory of the late, great Half Lounge.

Favorite track to spin: "BAMF" by Sam Binga & Foreign Concept
Least favorite song requested: "I don't even know what the word 'request' means."
For the record: "We all want to bring a part of that rave scene that was formative for us growing up and help build up that scene here again."

DJ Philthaay

DJ Philthaay - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • DJ Philthaay

Real name: Phil O'Neil
Joined AQUG: 2021
Music Styles: dubstep, jungle, garage
Influences: DJ Youngsta, Skream, DJ EZ, Aeroplane

While growing up, O'Neil constantly listened to music but never took up playing an instrument. Learning to deejay in his first year of college felt like a natural extension of his musical affinity. Initially, he was into the jam scene and the Grateful Dead, but after making some new friends in Buffalo, N.Y., O'Neil fell in love with mixing and the rave scene. It wasn't long before he became a Burlington fixture, deejaying with AQUG and doing solo sets at places such as Orlando's Bar & Lounge and Manhattan Pizza & Pub.

Favorite track to spin: "Rizzla" by the Martinez Brothers and "Moon in Your Eyes" by Serum, Paul T and Edward Oberon
Least favorite song requested: "Any Rihanna song, because whether you play it or not, it's never the one they want."
For the record: "What's so cool about AQUG is how we're able to blend our unique talents into a collective group. As different as we all are, we all have a particular taste for the underground and an ability to find a balance between what we want to be heard and what we want to play."


  • Luke Awtry
  • Logwad

Real name: Travis Roy Alford
Joined AQUG: 2012
Music Styles: hip-hop, house, grime, pop music
Influences: American hip-hop, rock/punk/metal, early dubstep

The founder of AQUG, Alford started deejaying when he was 13 after learning that an older cousin had been a rave DJ in the late '90s. He had no grandiose plan when he pulled together the crew of local DJs; he simply wanted to have fun and soundtrack parties with his friends. Alford doesn't care what the venue is. He just wants to see people having a great time, dancing and being open to music they might not have heard before.

Favorite track to spin: "Euphoria in Gloria" by Thouxanbanfauni
Least favorite song requested: "Whatever the flavor of the week is."
For the record: "Skill and song selection are the most important qualities in a DJ, but it's also sort of like dancing: If you're having a good time, or at least appear to be, people will be into it."

The original print version of this article was headlined "From the Deep"