All posts filed under: ART / DESIGN

FILE 99 // MARLON HOFFSTADT

The Brand “Marlon Hoffstadt” stands for a lot of things but always promises fun and quality. The Berlin-based producer, DJ and musician is continuously challenging and re-inventing himself to widen his own musical horizon and discover new opportunities. After successfully running his first label “Retrograde Records”, he launched a new beautiful imprint called “Midnight Themes” last year to share a different, more matured “Marlon Hoffstadt” sound. But this is not where he stops – the empire expands and takes physical form when he starts a new party series called “Savour The Moment” – safe place to switch off your phone and focus on the music. This way, Hoffstadt actively encourage attendees to forget their virtual life and focus on the real-time experience on the dance floor. With high-quality flyer designs and clever merchandise, he does make it seem very easy to throw parties with such a strong concept and big international line-ups in the electronic music capital of Germany. Hoffstadt’s essentials reveal a key ingredient to his success: the effort to connect – with people and with himself.  In this fast-paced digital age, he reminds us to appreciate every personal relationship found through music …

FILE 91 // DENT MAY

Dent 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 …

FILE 90 // PAN DAIJING

Pan 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 …

FILE 89 // PYUR

Pyur 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 …

FILE 88 // SIEREN

Sieren aka Matthias Frick can be added to the list of the creatives we have met with multiple talents. Despite being based in the Techno capital Berlin, Matthias never stopped pursing his love for UK influenced bass music, field recording and experimental soundscapes. The richly textured and intricately programmed warm sound of his latest record Ascension EP on Apollo Recordings, the ambient division of renown R&S Records, shows his continuous evolution of  the “Sieren” sound and identity.  Most of the artists seem to achieve this level of professionalism only working as a full-time musician, but Matthias told us that he is actually a full-time product / software developer at one of the leading music software and hardware companies named Ableton by day. While being blessed with such musical talent, Matthias confessed that he currently enjoys having the luxury of doing both. Matthias moved to a new studio / apartment in Berlin only few months ago but we were impressed by his clean and minimalistic set up. The subtle scent of an air purifier added to the cozy atmosphere and we couldn’t stop but notice his key to success: structure …

FILE 85 // PIECES OF JUNO

Oslo-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 …

FILE 82 // BARBARA KLEIN

Barbara 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 …