Category: ART


Hands Dent May 5elect5 EssentialsDent May’s music takes you always to a blissful and warmer place. Following his heart and his old friends, the Mississippi-raised singer songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalists relocated to sunny Los Angeles 2 years ago. Dent’s latest LP “Across The Multiverse” is filled with dreamy psychedelic pop which takes you on a cosmic trip back to a breezy summer day in the 70s. The lyrics are smart and humorous just like him off-stage, his music videos, his short biography (“hotel bar lounge singer, daytime tv talk show host, tarot reader to the stars”) and his essentials. His backpack is packed with “on the road must-haves” he has refined over the years touring around the world. The selection seems to describe him well: a creative professional with creature comforts we all are too familiar with: a healthy addiction to Chapsticks lip balm or Ricola cough drops.

1. NOTEBOOK (NO BRAND): I used to buy fancy leather notebooks, but I was too afraid to write in them because they were so pretty. Now I buy the cheapest I can find. I use them to jot down songwriting ideas, make set lists and keep track of practical stuff. The pen is from Santa Anita Park, a horse racing track I frequent in Arcadia, CA.

2. SUNGLASSES (MOSCOT, CHECK HERE): These are my Moscot clip-on sunglasses. I’ve been through so many because I always lose and break them.

3. LIP BALM (CHAPSTICK, CHECK HERE): Most fans of my music know that I’m hopelessly addicted to Chapstick. I’m talking two tubes per week. I also made my own lip balm to sell at the merch table, but it sold out super fast.

4. COUGH DROPS (RICOLA, CHECK HERE): I’m constantly popping Ricola for my singing voice. I actually went to their website the other day and there’s all these testimonials from celebs like Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj about how they can’t sing without it. I’m not even sure if it helps, but I like them.

5. TRAVELLING MEDICINE CABINET (OWN COLLECTION): Anyone who’s traveled with me knows I’m insanely afraid of getting sick and losing my voice, so I keep pretty much every possible type of over-the-counter medication on me at all times. This is actually my significantly pared down collection for touring Europe. I had even more with me in the US.

Writing Illustration Quote Dent May 5elect5

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Hands Pandaijing 5elect5 EssentialsPan Daijing. It’s not only the artist’s name but also stands for a singular art form because there is no genre or label that can sum up her work. Pan’s live performances take place at galleries, museums, theaters and underground venues – the space becomes a part of the experience for her and the audience to connect. Her album Lack 惊蛰 on Berlin-based label PAN is merely a teaser into her world of extremes creating an appetite for more. Pan’s work can be violent, dissonant and dark but with delicate elements, moments of relief and silence. The high contrast of her work, however, feel almost meditative and allow the artist and the audience to become more intimate. It’s a smart technique Pan has full control over because she directs and builds her shows to every detail ranging from lighting, costumes and visuals.

Born and raised in China, Pan moved to Berlin 2 years ago after receiving a sound design degree in San Francisco and starting her musical career back in China’s art and performance scene. We were able to catch her in between international tours and a trip back home to China. Dressed in black leather from head to toe, she shared with us that wearing leather gives her comfort and has become the outfit of choice on stage. Spending time with her family and eating home-cooked meals are equally essential to her creative process as the selection of items shown below. Although her work is so international, avant-garde and borderless – her roots and inspiration are in China and will always stay in China.

Essentials Pan Daijing 5elect5

1. CALENDAR (FIND IN CHINA): Chinese year calendar with photos of ancient antiques. Good remind of the day.

2. CANDY (FIND IN CHINA): Sugar free throat candy made with classic throat healing recipe in china.

3. OIL (WING LONG, FIND IN CHINA): Red flower oil helps with muscle pain and wounds. Must have for frequent travellers and heavy sports life. Intense smell also refresh the brain.

4. VIBRATOR (FIND YOUR OWN): Vibrates away all the stress. Quick pleasure.

5. SYNTHESIZER (ATOMO SYNTH, CHECK HERE): Favorite piece of gear of all time.

Writing Illustration Quote Pan 5elect5

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Hands Pyur 5elect5 EssentialsPyur aka Sophie Schnell is fast and fearless. Reaching out to Scuba to offer her vocals to landing a job at his label Hotflush Records and this year getting signed to the Hotflush artist roster. Her debut LP Epoch Sinus seems to be only the opening chapter to the world of Pyur. The album’s sound is so diverse and beautifully crafted that it deserves its own genre. Sophie’s sound design is deep and mystical, drawing inspiration from classical music, nature and anything she “sees” while making music. Her creative process and work is both visual and sonic and this experience is shared with her audience by releasing a video piece for each track on the album.

We met Sophie at her studio / apartment in Berlin. The moment we stepped into her space, it was like entering another cosmic dimension and we understood immediately where her music was coming from. Her studio was filled with “Pyur” material such as crystals, ocean inspired decorations, candles, beautiful textiles and mysterious art work. On the contrary, Sophie also told us that she produces a lot of music for commercials and films because she enjoys the challenge to be creative within a limited time frame. Her essentials are the items that channel Pyur’s creative energy to be fast and fearless at her studio and on the road.

Essentials Pyur 5elect5

1. HARD DRIVE (INTENSO, BUY HERE): My musical and visual projects tend to get so large that I have to outsource most of my data, to be able to keep on working without crashing my poor laptop. On this hard drive is EVERYTHING. So I take good care of it.

2. CRYSTALS (PERSONAL COLLECTION): These are a selection of stones I carry around, the Pyramid one I use a lot for artworks, the others I like because of how they feel. I think of stones as inverted rooms, that I can enter. I learn from their process of becoming what they are.

3. MIDI KEYBOARD (M-AUDIO, CHECK HERE): This is my little travelling midi-keyboard. It’s good enough! And there used to be more stones on it. They are real Swarovskis, my stepfather used to work there a while ago. The rest of the stones must still stick around somewhere in suitcases, flats and other countries..

4. ALPHA DISC (GIFT): I use this Alpha-Disk (developed by Lissy Götz) to change my mind every now and then. There are many sentences and affirmations for re-programming the „highways“ of the brain arranged in a circle and I close my eyes and point to one and read it and feel it inside and then I often feel quite different afterwards. It’s good when I feel stuck.

4. BOOK (THE ROYAL TOMBS OF EGYPT, BUY HERE): I have a habit of travelling with heavy books, most recently books about ancient Egypt. I can easily get lost in the mystical and beautiful artworks and beliefs from that time. It’s quite inspiring for me. It’s forms and signs seem more futuristic than from a long time ago. The sarcophagi remind me of star gates. The knowledge of  ancient Egypt is somehow on an intuitive level a big part of my music.

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Hands Pieces of Juno 5elect5 EssentialsOslo-based artist Juno Jensen aka Pieces of Juno just released the second part of her album series “Tacenda” on KOSO records. Meeting Juno with her bright blue hair had quite a big impact on us. Later on during the photoshoot, she admitted that it was a wig and told us how wearing it makes her transform to the “performing artist Juno”. The blue hair is part of the “Tacenda” project and if you have noticed the debut album“Kalopsia” is all about the artist with red hair (also part of her essentials). Juno is not only a very talented singer, producer and musician but also a music activist. As the founder of KOSO, she has a very strong opinion on the Norwegian music scene as well as a clear vision for all female creatives, producers and musicians in Norway.  KOSO started off as a creative collective with a digital magazine, and quickly turned into a party series, a label and a platform to share music knowledge and production techniques. Juno’s performances are more than just a live show; they are experiences with elements of theater and film. Her essentials seem to describe the transformation from “Activist Juno” to “Performer Juno”, items which empower her and allow her to push both identities.


Essentials Pieces of Juno 5elect5

1. CAMERA (OLYMPUS, CHECK HERE): I got this camera a year ago to document my scuba diving, you can see some of the footage in the video for Cold, Hard, Brilliant. It’s been with me every day since, even though I don’t do too much scuba diving in the cold waters of Norway.

2. PYRITE (GIFTS TO PEOPLE): Pyrite is a mineral, the name derives from greek “of fire”  and often mistaken for gold, nick named “fool’s gold”. I love the shape and gleam of it, and I like to carry it with me. This is the fifth piece I’ve owned, as I usually give them away as gifts to people or strangers who have a certain type of energy. I gave this specific one to Oliver, a regular at Soylent Bar in Friedrichshain. He lives in a house on the countryside with his girlfriend, where he has a garden and grows vegetables, he told me he talks to them and now he has harvested his first watermelon! He told me he was lucky, just to be born Oliver in this space and time, to live his life. I found that very inspiring.

3. WIG (NO BRAND): The wig for “Kalopsia”, the first part in the album series I’m doing where “Tacenda” is number two and blue. I wear the wigs like hats, like different characters in a play or in a film. It helps me get into the mood of each record and define the emotional spectrum of each theme with color and character.

4. BOOK (COLLAGES BY ANAIS NIN, BUY HERE): I always carry books around with me for inspiration and this one is the latest find from my local vintage bookstore in Oslo, Schous Bøker (Schous’ Books).

Writing Illustration Quote Pieces of Juno 5elect5

Footer Pieces of Juno 5elect5

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Hands Barbara Klein 5elect5 EssentialsBarbara Klein is a Berlin-based Polish musician, videographer and photographer. She established her career and reputation working with Techno legend Richie Hawtin and captured his his global tours in the form of tour diaries, event recaps and conceptual films. Other work includes collaboration with Soundwalk Collective (who we also covered on 5elect5), Yamaha Spotify and now Native Instruments, one of the industry leading companies in music technology. For the early morning photoshoot, we met Barbara at her cozy apartment in the heart of Kreuzberg. Unlike her body of work that tends to speak a dark and mysterious language, she was warm and kind, offering us a cup of coffee and slices of fresh watermelon. Her essentials are a selection of items that give insight into her background, family as well as herself – revealing a strong connection to her passion turned into a profession . When she asked whether cigarettes or colourful cute socks with animals were better for the shoot, we obviously went for the socks. She then pulled out her large collection of socks for us to choose from which made us think that we had learned another side of Barbara who usually is dressed in all black outfits.

Essentials Barbara Klein 5elect5

1. VINTAGE CAMERA (PRAKTICA, CHECK HERE): Leaving home without a camera gives me an anxiety attack. Lately it’s mostly analog one outside of work situation, because I love the ritual of watching family albums together.

2. COFFEE (NO BRAND, JUST COFFEE): Coffee and liquids in general. In higher than average amounts.

3. TOY CAMERA (KIKKERLAND, BUY HERE): Got this little beauty right after moving to Berlin from a friend, who convinced me I have enough talent and power to make a living out of my photography, which at time time was just a hobby. Today it’s a reminder to have fun while working hard.

4. SOCKS (TUTUANNA, ALWAYS BUY HERE): My outfit is all black most of the time, except of the socks. This obsession started on a trip to Japan, from where I brought 30 pairs back home. Funky socks seem to uplift not only me, they always bring smile to people who notice them. I think life is too short for black socks.

Footer Barbara Klein 5elect5

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Hands Ali Demirel 5elect5 EssentialsIf you know Richie Hawtin, you are most likely familiar with Ali Demirel’s work. As the creative director, visual architect and engineer, Ali is the man behind all the visual aspects on and around the stage for Plastikman, M-nus, Enter and other collaborations with Richie Hawtin. Together they have created identities and experiences that are not only entertaining for the audience but also applies innovative and cutting-edge technology. Ali’s stage designs and live visuals have true revolutionized the music industry. It was no surprise to us that he had a degree in nuclear engineering and architecture as his work seems to always incorporate scientific imagery and structural compositions with a clever twist that makes his work speak more “art” than simply “background visuals”. His selection of essentials might be proof that it does not need much to come up with creative concepts: ideas, positive energy and comfort. The only wall between the ideas and the breakthrough is the artist him/ herself and only patience, persistence and curiosity allows for the idea to grow.

Essentials Ali Demirel 5elect5

1. PENCIL (NO BRAND): I think by drawing. A good pencil is crucial for me. Whenever I have an idea, I sketch it, and as I’m sketching, the idea becomes clear and develops. Sometimes I do not even have an idea but start sketching random things, then an idea comes.

2. BRACELET (FAMILY GIFT): Reminds me to be patient, and that life is an endless loop. This is a special one from my father. Made from amber, has some positive effects by touching.

3. SNEAKERS (CONVERSE, BUY HERE): A comfortable, practical and well designed leather sneaker.

Writing Illustration Quote Ali Demirel 5elect5

Footer Ali Demirel 5elect5

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Hands Mr Statik 5elect5

Mr. Statik, aka Stathis Kalatzis, is a tall man of many faces: an international DJ with a popular monthly residency at Athen’s “Six D.O.G.S“, a producer, an illustrator and a full-time program manager at Red Bull Music Academy. As one of the pioneers of the Greek electronic music scene, he stays true to his roots and seems to always support and push the local scene even though he is now based in Berlin for the past 4 years. The fact that he was one of the first Red Bull Music Academy graduates from the 2003 edition in Cape Town proves his talent as well as his wide international network of artists and friends.

When we visited his studio / apartment in Berlin, we were impressed by Stathis’ studio set up as well as his book and art collection. He seems to particularly enjoy graphic novels focusing on beautiful but dark subject matters.  This became very visible when he started successfully merging his passion for music and art by drawing his own cover art such as the “A Boy Named Crow” record on Amam. The selection of his essentials capture the secret to his career: find the balance in life that keep you going while staying inspired.

Essentials Mr Statik 5elect5

1. MEDICINE (PRONTALGINE, BUY IN FRANCE): It’s actually sad that Prontalgine is among my essentials these days but it’s my definite go-to hangover remedy when you’ve had one too many, particularly when traveling.

2. BOOKS (TWIN PEAKS, BUY HERE): This is one damn good book! Like all loyal Twin Peaks fans I’m counting days for the iconic show’s return after 25 years. In the meantime this wonderfully curated edition is ticking all the surreal boxes thus being my favorite winter bed time story companion.

3. INK PENS (VARIOUS BRANDS): Sketching and comic book culture has always been a huge love for me, one that I cheated on with music at some point in my life. I’ve slowly created the space to start drawing again, whether it’s been for lil’ design / editorial purposes or just for the kicks of it. This is my current inks collection and I only plan to expand it in the coming year.

Writing Illustration Quote Mr Statik 5elect5

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