If 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 othercollaborations 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.
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, BUYHERE): A comfortable, practical and well designed leather sneaker.
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.
1. HEADPHONES (ZERO AUDIO, BUYHERE): 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, CHECKHERE): 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.
1. iPAD TO VGA ADAPTOR (APPLE, BUYHERE): 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 (CHECKHERE): 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, CHECKHERE): ‘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.
1. PERFUME & TRAVEL CASE (BYREDO, BUYHERE): Currently using the Black Saffron perfume, but this handy little travel case can hold a number of Byredo scents. Smell is one of the most important senses we have and I feel more confident when I smell good. The travel set is awesome at home or on the go.
2. TSHIRT SERIES (ACID CAMP, BUYHERE): Running Acid Camp has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on. I’ve created over a dozen different Acid Camp shirts now. I love having something to commemorate each party and the t-shirts have been a perfect addition.
3. PORTABLE CHARGER (ANKER, BUYHERE): When I’m traveling this little battery pack has been the life-saver accessory. Being able to run around a city for 24 hours or more straight you’ll, without a doubt, need charge your phone along the way. I cannot travel without it.
4. PINS (ACID CAMP, DIG DEEPER & SUFFER THE RAVE): Nothing spruces up a leather or denim jacket like a lapel pin. Especially a pin that you or your friends have made. I collaborated with my high school buddy to create the Suffer The Rave logo and pin. The website was created to help sell and promote our friends projects and events through merch and other physical objects.
1. LUGGAGE (UDG, BUY HERE): I have been dj’ing since around 2002, and I have always played vinyl, though it was really the only option back then. It has become a pretty big hassle at this point, both from the effort of fighting with airlines to carry them as hand baggage in the cabin and the crapshoot of whether or not the turntables will work when you show up to the venue. I also hear other DJ’s complain that they have bad backs and can’t carry them anymore. Basically, it requires effort. Personally, I keep in mind the back breaking construction jobs I had when I was younger, waking up at 5am to carry 50lb 4’ x 8’ concrete pouring forms on my shoulder. Maybe these other DJ’s have never had a job like that. I don’t particularly care what format DJ’s use, I just don’t buy that it’s too much work as an excuse to not utilize the method you would most like to use. Especially when you are getting paid a fee that is what most people have to go to work for a week or two to earn. Or a year, depending on your RA Poll standings.
2. SARDINES (TRADER JOE’S, CHECKHERE): At some point, after the years roll by and you have been spending most of your life on the road, you start realizing that you have to take care of your health or you won’t be able to carry on. You’re personal life may have been destroyed long ago, but you need to keep the body and the mind in order! Finding decent food becomes a monumental effort at times. I always carry around a couple of these tins of sardines. They won’t spoil and are a nutritional powerhouse, especially loaded with Omega 3’s to help repair that brain that you have been battering with lack of sleep and serotonin depletion. Don’t eat them on the plane, no one will like that.
3. HOODED SWEATSHIRT (WINGS+HORNS, BUYHERE): The black hooded sweatshirt is the central part of my road uniform. I’m usually freezing on airplanes, and in American airports, so I always carry an outer layer. Also, I can pull the hood completely over my face when I get to my seat on the plane and immediately fall asleep. It’s become a sort of safety blanket, I feel lost without it.