Category: DESIGN

FILE 89 // PYUR

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.

Footer Pyur 5elect5

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FILE 88 // SIEREN

Hands Sieren 5elect5 EssentialsSieren 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 and self-awareness. The furniture, the polished selection of studio gear and the essentials he chose to share with us are all honest collections of simply things he truly likes and appreciates just like the two career paths he has chosen for himself.

Essentials Sieren 5elect5

1. HEADPHONES (SONY, BUY HERE): I’m not gonna talk about the Lightning Adapter, because that being another essential is a whole different story. But the Sony headphones have been a loyal companion of mine for a couple of reasons: I listen to all my music when I’m travelling on those and thus I’ve gotten so used to them, that I also use them for making music on the go. They are quite cheap, yet very great sounding and easily replaceable in case you lose them, since almost every major store carries them.

2. EARPLUGS (OHROPAX, BUY HERE): As a result from living with too many flatmates whose sole purpose was to audition for Jurassic Park (preferable at night) I’ve grown so used to them, that I can basically not live without them. Personally I found them to be the most effective acoustically (almost too good to actually wear them in a club) and also most pleasant to wear.

3. JU-06 (ROLAND, BUY HERE): Roland quite nailed it with the Boutique series. I always wanted a Juno 106 but somehow passed the window where they were still affordable. This one gets as close as it gets to the original in my opinion and ever since I got it half a year ago it has already heavily informed my productions.

4. NECKLACE (ICON, CHECK HERE): I wish I could say there’s some sentimental value attached to this one, but I do like the design and combination of geometrical shapes with elements of nature.

Writing Illustration Quote Sieren 5elect5

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FILE 87 // FRANCOIS X

Hands Francois X 5elect5 EssentialsParisian producer and DJ Francois X is one of the reasons why the French capital is having an electronic music revival. Since 2011 Dement3d, a party series he and HBT worked on together, helped defining the Techno scene by inviting guests such as Sandwell District, Planetary Assault System, Marcel Dettman, Mortiz Von Oswald and Silent Servant. With a growing following as well as a big push by friend and mentor DJ DEEP, who is known for his Deeply Rooted parties and imprint, he got into the art of producing and releasing his own music. This all sounds very organic and like an easy dream come true but Francois X had several careers before he reached this point. When he told us that he had worked as a day trader, owned a fashion label and played tennis on a professional level, we could understand why he was so humble and down-to-earth despite the big success. Calling himself a “Ninja”, he was very aware of his musical passion now turned into a full-time career as well as the industry and its evolution. Maybe his musical understanding and sensibility helped him and HBT shape their own label (also called Dement3d) polished and avant-garde catalogue by releasing records with artists like DSCRD, Polar Inertia, Ligovskoï and Hiss:1292.

The Ninja’s selection of essentials are humble but narrate his path to this current point in life. Meeting Francois X and hearing about his career, we got to believe that everything happens for a reason. Traces from his previous careers and now hectic touring schedule can be found in the items such as the very international selection of tea bags because he just came back from a series of gigs in Asia.

Essentials Francois X 5elect5

1. TEA BAGS (VARIATION FOUND AT HOTELS): The perfect tea flavors for my travels are green ginger or yellow. They gives me a certain kind of quietness.

2. GUM (STIMOROL, CHECK HERE): I need it and “stimorol” has the perfect taste. They are fresh! And they are sometimes good for anti-stress. Too much travelling!

3. MUSCLE PAIN CREAM (LUMBALGINE, CHECK HERE): I was and still am an intensive tennis player (did a lot of competition) so my body and especially my back and knees are a bit injured and I am sometimes in pain. If I want to be in good shape I need to put it before every gig.

4. BATTERY CHARGER (TEKNISER, BUY HERE): My top one essential item. When you combine the intensive use of iPhone during travels, it s the thing you need the most in your life. My phone is my personal assistant (riders travel ticket …) so i need it to be always on.

5. POCKET TORCH (NO BRAND): Most of the time my gigs are in dark clubs and to keep it that way I always ask no to use too much lights. So my pocket torch is helps me to find stuff in the dark!

Writing Illustration Quote Francois X 5elect5

Footer Francois X 5elect5

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FILE 85 // PIECES OF JUNO

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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FILE 80 // ALI DEMIREL

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

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FILE 73 // TIM PARKER

Hands Tim Parker 5elect5

London-based Tim Parker is a professional tastemaker and a professional nerd. We remember him as the founder of the mysterious but well designed music blog “You’ll soon know ” that kept posting a diverse selection of amazing unknown tunes.  From classic Hip Hop to beats to experimental electronica with cute glitchy moments. There was something for everyone, for every mood every day. His same-titled weekly radio show on NTS radio keeps that spirit alive with carefully curated guests that are determined to expand your musical horizon. Tim’s fine taste in music also shines through his own productions and DJ sets he plays around the world. As if this is not already enough of a full-time profession, we found out that he is a full-time designer and developer for Mixcloud. What has once started as small passion project to collect and share music discoveries turned into making a proper website for it and now catering to even bigger audience through an online streaming platform he helps building and designing. His essentials at first seem very straight-forwad but the stories behind them just reveal how he succesfully turned a passion into a profession during both day and night time.

Essentials Tim Parker 5elect5

1. HEADPHONES (ZERO AUDIO, BUY HERE): Be it a 10 hour flight or a 1 hour bus ride it’s always great to be able to listen to music to pass the time. I picked up these Zero-Audio headphones in Tokyo for around $30, they’re amazing and are in my pocket most of the time.

2. FRUIT (FRESH FROM YOUR LOCAL SHOP):  You never know what you’re going to end up eating whilst on the road. The obvious aim is to eat all the local delicacies and lots of amazing food… but sometimes that just doesn’t always end up being the case. 3 days of pizza and snacks can easily happen in unknown locations, so I always try to grab fresh fruit to keep things healthy and keep me feeling good!

3. LAPTOP (APPLE, CHECK HERE): I actually hate that this is an essential, but it is. Being away either with work or for music, it’s all stored on this thing. There’s Serato or Rekordbox for the club and code from web projects scattered around. I grabbed the smallest Mac I could find so it at doesn’t feel overpowering or bulky whilst traveling.

Writing Illustration Quote Tim Parker 5elect5

Footer Tim Parker 5elect5

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FILE 67 // SUKI QUASIMODO

Hands Suki Quasimodo Through my Speakers 5elect5

Essentials Suki Quasimodo Through my Speakers 5elect5

1. iPAD TO VGA ADAPTOR (APPLE, BUY HERE): My best friend for spontaneous screen sharing or exhibiting simple projection mapped installations (really useful with Prspctv app By Minoru Aikawa). Lovingly MT-Taped ofcourse ^. ^

2. WATERMELON SUGAR POSTCARD (CHECK HERE): A project I’m currently developing about personal data visualisation and analytics in the form of a Tamagotchi. Front-end developers and computer scientists, please hit me up!

3. MR DOUGH PIN (STUDIO GHIBLI, CHECK HERE): ‘Pandane to Tamago Hime’ or ‘Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess’ is an unreleased short film which premiered at the museum in 2010 and I fell in love with the story. It depicts a running away to see the world story, kind of what my life is like.

4. iPOD NANO (APPLE, CHECK HERE): Something I’ve had since 2007, it’s only got 5Gb of space so I constantly have to put in new playlists to keep it fresh. ‘:frompamm]’ is inscribed behind it just in case I lose it, then it becomes like a gift from me.

Writing Suki Quasimodo Through my Speakers 5elect5

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