Al Kassian and Hiroaki OBA are Opal Sunn. Before they started their endeavour as a hardware-only live act duo in 2015, Al and Hiroaki both had already successful solo music careers before they met in Berlin. Al released on labels suchs as Paramida’s Love On The Rocks and Utopia Records – Hiroaki was a bassist in a band in Tokyo, but went solo and joined the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London and released on labels like Ki Records.
Their love for machines and boundless approach to music production gave birth to two Opal Sunn EPs released on their very own Planet Sundae imprint. After gaining stamps of approval from the likes of Andrew Weatherall, DJ Sprinkles, and many artists alike, this year, Opal Sunn was signed on former Ostgut Ton manager Nick Höppner’s new label Touch From A Distance.
Now mainly based in Berlin, Al and Hiroaki both not only share their love for music but also their home Japan. The collection of essentials show some traditional Japanese items such as snacks and tea – a taste of home to spark ideas, motivate and remind them of their roots.
1. SYNTHESIZER (ROLAND, CHECK HERE): The Roland D50, our latest addition to the studio. We installed amazing patches we found online, all based on the legendary preset ’37 – Soundtrack’. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of these sounds in our next releases.
2. DARUMA DOLL (READ HERE): Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck. It definitely came through with some luck this year!
3. EFFECTS AND FILTER UNIT (JOMOX, CHECK HERE): T-Resonator. An essential piece of gear in our studio. We’ve used this in every single track we’ve produced.
4. HEADPHONES (PHONON, CHECK HERE): Some friends of ours got together and gave these headphones for Hiro’s Birthday this year. They’re made in Japan and the sound is incredible.
5. SNACKS (FIND THEM IN JAPAN): Ume Kombu and Hoshi-Ume. Sour plum snacks to munch on during our days together making music.
6. JAPANESE TEA (READ HERE): Genmaicha. We’re both pretty crazy about this green tea with roasted rice. This may be the most essential ingredient to an Opal Sunn track.