Category: MUSIC

FILE 99 // MARLON HOFFSTADT

Hands Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5 Essentials

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 and creates opportunities to discover more of these wonderful moments. His latest release on Ransom Note Record highlights this message very well: in form of a special collaboration with friend Raf Rundell and the title “Treat Yourself”.

Essentials Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

1. T-SHIRT (SAVOUR THE MOMENT, CHECK HERE):  For me there is nothing worse then hanging out with people who are always on their phones. You also find this quite often in clubs or while traveling using trains, planes or the bus. By wearing this T-Shirt you can always just say hello to someone and point your finger on the logo, with a bright smile in your face. Mostly the reaction is great. People start talking to you or at least smile back and put their phones away. Ah, and Savour The Moment is also an event series that I am promoting at Wilde Renate and ELSE.

2. FLYERS (SAVOUR THE MOMENT, CHECK NEXT PARTY HERE): As i just mentioned I am not only a DJ but also a promoter and I wouldn’t be a good one if don’t always have invite flyers / cards with me. It doesn’t matter where I travel, I make sure to let everyone know about the party and the idea of a phone free environment in general. Its also a nice way to interact and promote yourself on a face to face level, which is quite a rare thing these days. Everything happens in the internet. A good old face to face conversation is always the best way to go if you want to leave a lasting impression. 🙂 

3. RECORDER (TASCAM, CHECK HERE): I think everyone knows this little baby. The Tascam DR40 is my steady partner on the road and while playing. When i’m submitting podcasts to blogs I always try to send in live recordings because my mixing then sounds as natural and real as possible. Recording mixes at home never feels the same as when you record them in clubs. Maybe my imagination is just not good enough but i’m always missing the connection and interaction with the dancers.

4. BAG (PINQPONQ, CHECK HERE): I really like practical things. This bag offers enough space for my wallet, phone, keys, stickers, party flyers, chewing gums and little apple headphones. Everything you need in one place, and no extra bag that you need to carry with you. It is also fully made out of recycled PET bottles which is a good thing to support.

5. HAT (NO BRAND): This hat is actually from my girlfriend. I always steal it because it reminds me of her when we’re not together, looks nice and its really comfortable. Back in the days when I still had long hair I never needed hats, but now with my 3mm haircut I always feel cold on my head and around my ears so this one keeps me warm 🙂

6. HEADPHONES (BOSE, CHECK HERE): Since one and a half years I am practicing a variety of meditation techniques. Sometimes its easy and sometimes i’m struggling a bit with it. Especially when you are traveling and you don’t sleep too long its hard to find and take time for the practice. The headphones are really useful because they come with noise cancellation. As soon as I sit in my seat and the plane takes off, I activate the noise cancellation function, put on some nature recordings and get into meditation. At home I often just use a boom box, but for the road these headphones are perfect.

Wish Illustration Quote Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

Footer Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

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FILE 98 // BÉZIER

Hands Bezier 5elect5 Essentials

Taiwanese – American musician, producer and DJ Robert Yang AKA Bézier is one of the key figures in the San Francisco queer music scene. As one of the founding members and residents of the city’s Honey Soundsystem crew alongside Jason Kendig, Josh Cheon and Jacob Sperber (AKA, Jackie House), he is part of a new electronic music movement which is receiving recognition and a great following around the world today.

This year, Yang released his long-awaited debut album “Parler Musique” on Dark Entries, the label founded by Josh Cheon who believed in the “Bézier” sound from the beginning as a friend and as a collective member.  With “Parler Musique” (French for “Talk About Music”) Yang also reveals his talent for creating romantic narratives around his prodcutions for it to be more relatable and tangible for his audience. The “Bézier” sound is complex and rich in musical influences – so is his background as a multi-instrumentalist inspired by a wide spectrum of music genres from punk, synth pop, industrial to new wave and house.

Yang enjoys finding clear order in creative chaos. The photo shoot took place at an apartment he had rented outside the city center on purpose to create a safe home base to create and rest. This genuine and focused character is also reflected in his essentials: gifts from close friends, self-care items and music gear –  the true source of strength and inspiration on the road and a reminder of his roots.

Essentials Bezier 5elect5

1. MATCHA KIT KAT (NESTLE, CHECK HERE):  It’s really a special thing to have a Kit Kat bar taste like matcha green tea (and strawberry as well). My friend Moritz gave this to me to snack before a show and today I’m a better person because of this.

2. WALLET (GIFT): A wallet that my friend Jordan gave to me while in Hanoi. It’s made of cotton with natural dyes from the region of Sapa. It has never left my side as I use it as a protective sleeve for all my important travel documents.

3. REMOTE SHUTTER (CAMKIX, CHECK HERE): A remote bluetooth shutter when I need to go handsfree and take a photo of myself with my phone.

4. INHALER (MENTHOLATUM): A little menthol inhaler when I get headaches on the road or nausea. It’s a panacea for what ails me.

5. SYNTHESIZER (VERMONA, CHECK HERE): I try to travel light for shows but toggling between live and DJ sets I can only carry what I can hold. This Vermona mono lancet is my replacement for a Moog Miniature that fell apart in my initial travels. It’s been road tested for three years now and will stay with me until she stops functioning.

6. STYLING WAX (GATSBY, CHECK HERE): The Gatsby styling wax is some kind of witchcraft for my hair. I’ve been using this paste since my Japanese cousin left it at my parent’s house when I was 19. It’s amazing and turn my fine hair into locks. I’d be lost without it.

7. FRAGRANCE (DIPTYQUE, CHECK HERE): I decided I needed a new fragrance for when I’m at shows. After touring through Asia and just having all my clothes smell like stale smoke I thought a lil scent would help me stomach the travels and perhaps more approachable. I didn’t want to get something that was too strong, like the cheap, strong (yet aggressively, luxury branded) alcohol smell a lot of Europeans and Brits fancy. I didn’t want people to smell me coming miles away so I needed something lighter, more vivacious. After consulting with my friend Aaron Choe at the duty free section at Incheon airport I stuck with Diptyque.

Wish Illustration Quote Bezier 5elect5

Footer Bezier 5elect5

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FILE 97 // ANASTASIA KRISTENSEN

Hands Anastasia Kristensen 5elect5 Essentials

Born in Russia and now based in Copenhagen, Anastasia Kristensen is one of the strongest names that represent Denmark’s electronic music scene today. Her artistic career started early in classical music which can be still found in her wide musical spectrum of DJ sets. Building her local profile in the Danish capital blossomed recently into a residency at the legendary dance music club Culture Box and bookings at FabricBerlin Atonal, Unsound Festival, and Boiler Room at Present Perfect Festival this year. Despite the impressive touring schedule around the world, Kristensen keeps a full-time job as an IT consultant which she really enjoys and values. She says that her day job which has nothing to do with music keeps her sane and allows her to focus even more on music because her time is limited.

Kistensens’s DJ sets span a wide spectrum of genres and styles. She takes pride in finding unique gems and unreleased music which has made her also one of Denmark’s musical tastemakers. It’s no surprise that her talent is widely supported in the community which results in strong collaborations such as the one on Special Request’s EP “Through The Looking Glass” with Nina Kraviz on Houndstooth. Her essentials are as tasteful as her track selections: a mix of classics and unexpected but fun items such as the fidget spinner and cat-eye glasses.

Essentials Anastasia Kristensen 5elect5

1. PASSPORT (DANISH):  Passport is for me to explore the world. It’s always with me because you never know where and what’s next, right? 😉

2. SUN GLASSES (NO BRAND): It’s my new permanent item, both for the looks and for the warm crazy sun this summer

3. LIP BALM (KIEHL’S, CHECK HERE): Kiehl’s just happen to have the best Lip Balm, I don’t think I’ve known of any more compact one than this.

4. FIDGET SPINNER (NO BRAND): It’s a millennial device, but I dig it so much. Perfect for deep thoughts and when a decision needs to be made 😀

5. NAIL OIL (NO BRAND): This is nail oil – Keepin’ them nails nourished

6. EAR PLUGS (AUDIOVOX, CHECK HERE): Probably the most essential tool for any musician. Also very useful, when I want to nap and there’s a baby crying on the flight

Wish Illustration Quote Anastasia Kristensen 5elect5

Footer Anastasia Kristensen 5elect5

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FILE 96 // KASPER BJØRKE

Hands Kasper Bjorke 5elect5 Essentials

One of Denmark’s most famous musical exports is, of course, Kasper Bjørke. Known for his disco-inspired releases and DJ sets, “Kasper Bjørke” has become brand for good club and dance music. When he is not touring around the globe, he is either working on new music or humbly writing soundtracks for brands like Nike Jordan, Prada and various other art and fashion magazines. Listening to these and his latest albums on hfn music , it becomes apparent that the Kasper Bjørke sound reaches new territory outside the club music raum. He is now gearing up for the new album release which will be out on the legendary record label Kompakt this October. Besides being a full-time artist on stage and in the studio, he is also working as a passionate music manager behind the scenes – which started around 10 years ago from the pure wish to help and support his friends with their career.

Constantly exploring and pushing his artistic boundaries with collaborations with other creatives, Kasper is a full-time professional who knows what works for him as the brand – balancing both being an artist and a manager – and as an art director giving us suggestions on how to layout his essentials. Thank you, Kasper! It was a pleasure working together 🙂

Essentials Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

1. GUM (STIMOROL, CHECK HERE): I chew this particular gum when taking off and landing, because I always have issues with my ears.. and because Im really, really afraid of flying, it also helps me relax somehow.

2. GLASSES (NO BRAND): I originally bought these as sunglasses but then had prescription lenses in them because Im pretty blind. I just got some gold sunglasses clip-ons for them, which is amazing. I somehow feel like a 70 year old man when I wear them though.

3. VITAMINES (NO BRAND): All my vitamines, herbal medicine and herbal sleep aids in a metal container that looks like a giant pill. I take so many different supplements that I would probably need to check in a piece of luggage to bring all the original packages if I didn’t have this one!

4. NECKLACE (WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE, CHECK HERE): I got this necklace from my neighbour who is in the band When Saints Go Machine. They had it made as a piece of merch some years ago. Love and Respect is a beautiful message and I bring it on travels and wear it for gigs as a lucky charm…

5. EARPLUGS (ELACIN, CHECK HERE): Im a extremely light sleeper so besides my natural sleep aids I take every night, I also need to wear these custom made ear plugs that are made to seal off sound completely. I cant sleep without them anymore. They help alot on the road as well, before the hotel housekeeping would also wake me up at 8 AM when vacuuming the other rooms or opening/closing doors, which is no good when you are out DJing until 5 or 6 AM.

6. CAP (NORTH FACE, CHECK HERE): I never used to wear a cap because I had long hair and thought I looked silly with it. But now, with quite short hair, I feel naked without it.

7. DEODORANT (AESOP, CHECK HERE): I really like the scent of this deodorant. I dont need to wear it but for gigs I do it just to be on the safe side. Nobody likes a stinky DJ.

8. HEADPHONES (BOSE, CHECK HERE): Another remedy to calm my neves whenever Im on an airplane are these Bose noise cancellation headphones. I always listen to ambient music during take off and landing.

9. TOTE BAG (ABLETON LOOP, CHECK HERE): My manbag. I always have a random tote bag with me for all my stuff, this particular one I got from a dear friend…

Wish Illustration Quote Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

Footer Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

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FILE 95 // MOUNT LIBERATION UNLIMITED

Hands Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5 Essentials

Stockholm-based Tom Lagerman and Niklas Janzon are the musical masterminds behind Mount Liberation Unlimited. Their project was born while they were attending school for classical music training and realized the urge for creative and experimental exploration of crossover sound and live set ups. Their artist name”Liberation Unlimited” reflects and reminds them of their core belief and excitement for new ideas and sounds. Their intuition seems to guide them onto the right path: after releases on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space label and house institution Studio Banhus, the duo just joined the Permanent Vacation family with their latest release “Body Language”.

Tom and Niklas confessed that despite their shared musical vision the real friendship started only after going to the movies together and bonding over the Pixar movie “Up”. The selection of essentials is proof that MLU is more than an outlet for their deep productions – it’s a commitment to have each other’s back on this musical journey.

 

Essentials Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5

1. HEADPHONES (BOSE, CHECK HERE): Noise cancelling technology – First it changed the headphone industry, now it’s changed us.

2. TOBACCO (NORDIC SNUS, CHECK HERE): Janzon: “I don’t want to spend one day without Snus.” Tom: “I don’t want to spend one day with Janzon without Snus.”

3. ROLLING PAPER (NO BRAND): Because you never know when you need to roll.

4. WATER BOTTLE (NO BRAND): The thought of buying water makes us sad. S/O to all airports with filtered tap water!

5. EARPLUGS (NO BRAND): Mouldable earplugs, it’s like having a reality volume knob.

6. SLEEPING MASK (NO BRAND): Together with the noise cancelling headphones and earplugs, the sleeping mask combines what we call the MLU Sensory Deprivation Kit™.

Wish Illustration Quote Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5

Footer Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5

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FILE 94 // AMILA

Hands Amila 5elect5 Essentials

French DJ and record collector Amila is one of Berlin’s music tastemakers when it comes to all the other genres outside mainstream Techno. With Altered Soul Experiment, he was able to create a platform with multiple outlets both digitally and physically to reach his audience. The label releases only mixes on cassette tapes (like the good old days) and has an impressive roster including names such as Ge-ology, Antal or Specter – all of their mix tapes are sold out. The monthly radio show on NTS plays the finest selection of Soul, Boogie, Disco grooves and ambient Jazz by Amila himself or guest DJs. The party series in Berlin provide the space and time to bring all the fans and enthusiasts together onto one dance floor. To guarantee maximum “Altered Soul Experiment”, Amila brings his own rotary mixer and cartridges as well as recorder to the shows. The fuel to power and grow the ASE empire, Amila shared his secret essential which are, believe it or not, cookies! Apparently the French cookies are the best for inspiration and creativity, but while he is based in Berlin – the German brand Milka does the job. We understand.

Essentials Amila 5elect5

1. RECORDER (TASCAM, CHECK HERE): Essential piece of gear to realise how sloppy your mixes get late in the morning ! I’m now recording everything at home or while playing out and it actually really helped me improve over time.

2. STICKER (ALTERED SOUL EXPERIMENT, CHECK HERE): I stick those out as much as possible. It doesn’t serve any purpose but I like to think that people would take the time to check what it is about.

3. COOKIES (ANY BUT FOR MILKA, CHECK HERE): I don’t think I ever worked on anything without a box of cookies in the room. I like those ones because they are good value and Milka probably put some strange chemicals to make you want to eat the whole box. I can also recommend the other ones with the melted chocolate inside the cookie …

4. CASSETTES (ANY): I’m still taking time to put out tapes on my label. I like to be able to put out mixes on a physical format and cassettes is the only media that make sense. I’m not specially into their sound but I like the limitation of a format.

5. CARTRIDGES (SHURE, CHECK HERE): I find that in almost every club, you have to bring your own needles. Even if everything is dodgy, you’ll know that they will do their job just fine. On the downside, if you miss a beat you won’t be able to say it’s the cartridge’s fault.

6. MIXER (DJR4000, CHECK HERE): I’m not an audiophile geek but this mixer has a lot of sentimental value. I’ve used it out in so many parties and shared it with so many great artists. I’ve always been able to enjoy myself a lot more on rotary mixers and this one is portable enough to be able to carry just about anywhere.

Writing Illustration Quote Amila 5elect5

Footer Amila 5elect5

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FILE 93 // DETROIT SWINDLE

Hands Detroit Swindle 5elect5 EssentialsThe Amsterdam-based duo of Maarten Smeets and Lars Dales – Detroit Swindle started their individual music careers  before they joint forces in 2011, to produce, DJ, play live and run Heist Recordings together. Their knowledge and passion for diverse music genres from Classic House, Jazz, African funk to Disco shaped the Detroit Swindle’s signature sound as well as the ability to put any audience on a musical journey. Their continuously developing and seemingly expanding live set up is probably one of the most impressive and elaborate with tables filled with multiple synths, drum machines, samplers, pad controllers and cables.

When Maarten showed us his 7″ record collection along with the beautifully crafted vinyl weights and personal rotary knob mixer, we understood the passion and dedication that got the duo to where they are now. There is always an “easy” route in every career, but Maarten and Lars take up every challenge to grow and evolve their music – which brought them to a collaboration with the nine-piece brass brand Jungle by Night for their new album “High Life” (to be released on May 28th) to make their music more “live and jazzy”. Essentials can be living proof of your career as well as a reminder to where your roots and core inspiration lies: in Maarten’s case clearly his family and the music.

Essentials Detroit Swindle 5elect5

1. FAMILY (POLAROID AND GIFTS): I always carry my family with me, in 1 way or another. My wife is a big Polaroid geek, so we always have those little photo’s lying around the house. This one of my daughter is already a few years old, but it takes me back to a lovely holiday to St. Maarten in the Caribbean, so i still carry it around with me. My wife’s name is Roos (dutch for Rose), so hence the pin. My 3 year old son is a big Lego head and ever since he accidentally dropped some lego in my record bag when he was helping me choose the records for the weekend, i kinda stuck with

2. VINYL WEIGHTS (SOFT LEATHER CO, CHECK HERE):  We found these 2-in-1 vinyl weights and 7 inch adapters at a really cool shop called The Scout Leather company. They’re really heavy, which works well for those old warped records and they look nice too. We always need some extra time to explain what they are going through airport security, but with a thick pile of records, they’ll stop you anyway.

3. 7″ RECORD BAG (A GIFT): Lars gave me this bag for my birthday last year. I was always messing around with silly ways to bring the 7 inches, and this little bag is great. it holds more than enough for a weekend, and i can stick it to my Rimowa case with industrial strength velcro. pretty cool :).

4. MIXER (A GIFT, CHECK CONDESA): This mixer was handmade for us in Australia by the lovely people of Condesa. It’s a great sounding machine, fully analog and those potmeters look so lovely. It’s a joy to play with and in the 2 years that we’ve taken it on tour, i can’ remember a single sound engineer that wasn’t head over heels in love with the sound. And that says quite a lot.

5. BOOK (YANN MARTEL, CHECK HERE):  I’ve been wanting to read more for a long time now, but with a full bag, it’s not always easy to find a nice, smaller sized book. I’ve actually just bought an e-reader, so this might be the last book i’ll take on tour. It’s one i’ve read a long time ago, but I really enjoy reading stories like this for a second time, to discover more meaning behind it, and pick up the nuances that you might have overlooked the first time. It’s a great book about a Taxidermist and a writer who’s decided he’s no longer a writer. The storytelling is enchanting and there’s a lot of hidden layers of meaning in the book, which i really like.

Writing Illustration Quote Detroit Swindle 5elect5

Footer Detroit Swindle 5elect5

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FILE 92 // JOHANNA KNUTSSON

Hands Johanna Knutsson 5elect5 EssentialsJohanna Knutsson is a Swedish-born crate digger, DJ, producer and label founder/owner. Although she already had a successful career as a hair stylist, she decided to quit her business and relocate to Berlin to focus on a career in music; her second passion. It is an impressive tactic to pursue a musical career by initially focusing on a different profession. Johanna is now a full-time artist touring around the world but still enjoys to cut hair on several days a month to stay connected to her other creative roots. Running two established labels “Zodiac 44” with Luca Lozano and “UFO Station Recordings” with Hans Berg, hosting the radio show “Low Power FM” with Kate Miller, and having recently released a track on the label “Midnight Shift Singapore”, her career seems to continue reaching exciting new levels.

Johanna’s essentials are a beautiful collection of gifts she has received from her strongest supporters and closest friends. She draws her daily dose of inspiration and energy from these thoughtful items and is a strong believer in a network of like-minded creatives that share, respect and learn from each other. Thank you for the reminder that being an artist doesn’t need to be an isolating lonely job but can be warm and loving if you create or find your family.

Essentials Johanna Knutsson 5elect5

1. MASKING TAPE (MT, CHECK HERE): These colorful Sticky Tapes I use when I’m organizing my record bags before a show.Some times if it’s a intense gig (bad monitoring, strange vibes or just a lot of things going on in he dj-booth) I feel in control because the different colors tells me what could possibly fit well musically together.

2. MUNECA QUITAPENA (WORRY DOLLS, A GIFT):  I got these from my music-and soul mate Kate Miller. I worry about the world a lot, but it helps having these with me. Also, the gesture of giving me these was so beautiful.

3. SAGE (A GIFT): My very good friend Pjotr gave me this sage to burn. I always burn it before i practice djing at home, don’t know why but it gets me in a good mood.

4. RAINBOW CRYSTAL (A GIFT): My partner bought me this as a birthday gift a few years ago, lifts my spirit ans basically just something pretty to look at when I make music.

5. NOTEBOOKS (OWN COLLECTION): I always have books and lists with me to write down every music idea I get, things to remember and to-do lists.

6. ENAMEL STEEL CUP (VINTAGE): My coffee cup. No ideas will come without coffee. This particular one I bought in a second hand shop in Australia as a souvenir of my first Australia/Asia tour ever!

Writing Illustration Quote Johanna Knutsson 5elect5

Footer Johanna Knutsson 5elect5

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