Justinas Mikulskis (b. 1986), a.k.a S13, is a DJ, curator, promoter, journalist, and the mastermind behind the acclaimed experimental music and art journal secretthirteen.org. Having grown up surrounded by his uncle’s vinyl collection of black metal, punk, hard rock and 70’s music, Mikulskis became interested in the world of sound from a young age. When he was ten years old, his engineer grandfather helped him make his first DJ mixer, and Justinas started mixing cassettes, creating sound collages, and developing his knowledge in sound architecture. Later on he became a rebellious youth, who couldn’t quite fit in with post-Soviet social norms. When Mikulskis was expelled from school, he decided to delve deeper into music, immersing himself in the world of experimental/contemporary music, free jazz, noise, field-recordings, industrial, ethnographic, new wave, synth-pop, ambient and other genres, constantly challenging the boundaries of his sonic perception. In these years he also drowned himself in literature, ranging from ideological books on anarchism, nihilism, ancient philosophy to science fiction and surrealist works.
In his DJ sets and mixes S13 weaves this diverse palette of interests into a coherent whole, constructing thought-provoking sound narratives with unexpected stylistic twists, radical mood swings, and powerful, sometimes even surreal atmospherics. Strict rhythmic patterns might suddenly give way to abstract drone voyages or disengaged improvisations, dismantling traditional musical structures. Due to this his selections can be perceived as an exercise in eclecticism and a challenge to the musical status quo. These tendencies (interest in sound collages and eclecticism, connections between the visual and the aural) extend to the Secret Thirteen journal as well. The Secret Thirteen Mix series curated by Mikulskis could serve as an example.