Tag: Accessory

FILE 95 // MOUNT LIBERATION UNLIMITE

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™.

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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.

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FILE 91 // DENT MAY

Hands Dent May 5elect5 EssentialsDent 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 ideas, make set lists and keep track of practical stuff. The pen is from Santa Anita Park, a horse racing track I frequent in Arcadia, CA.

2. SUNGLASSES (MOSCOT, CHECK HERE): These are my Moscot clip-on sunglasses. I’ve been through so many because I always lose and break them.

3. LIP BALM (CHAPSTICK, CHECK HERE): Most fans of my music know that I’m hopelessly addicted to Chapstick. I’m talking two tubes per week. I also made my own lip balm to sell at the merch table, but it sold out super fast.

4. COUGH DROPS (RICOLA, CHECK HERE): I’m constantly popping Ricola for my singing voice. I actually went to their website the other day and there’s all these testimonials from celebs like Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj about how they can’t sing without it. I’m not even sure if it helps, but I like them.

5. TRAVELLING MEDICINE CABINET (OWN COLLECTION): Anyone who’s traveled with me knows I’m insanely afraid of getting sick and losing my voice, so I keep pretty much every possible type of over-the-counter medication on me at all times. This is actually my significantly pared down collection for touring Europe. I had even more with me in the US.

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FILE 90 // PAN DAIJING

Hands Pandaijing 5elect5 EssentialsPan 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 home to China. Dressed in black leather from head to toe, she shared with us that wearing leather gives her comfort and has become the outfit of choice on stage. Spending time with her family and eating home-cooked meals are equally essential to her creative process as the selection of items shown below. Although her work is so international, avant-garde and borderless – her roots and inspiration are in China and will always stay in China.

Essentials Pan Daijing 5elect5

1. CALENDAR (FIND IN CHINA): Chinese year calendar with photos of ancient antiques. Good remind of the day.

2. CANDY (FIND IN CHINA): Sugar free throat candy made with classic throat healing recipe in china.

3. OIL (WING LONG, FIND IN CHINA): Red flower oil helps with muscle pain and wounds. Must have for frequent travellers and heavy sports life. Intense smell also refresh the brain.

4. VIBRATOR (FIND YOUR OWN): Vibrates away all the stress. Quick pleasure.

5. SYNTHESIZER (ATOMO SYNTH, CHECK HERE): Favorite piece of gear of all time.

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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.

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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

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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.

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FILE 72 // HEATHERED PEARLS

Hands Heathered Pearls 5elect5

Heathered Pearls is Jakub Alexander, a highly talented but humble multitasker. Working as a producer, DJ, label co-founder, A&R and curator, one might wonder how many full-time jobs a single human can handle. Jakub found a way to do them all very successfully. He is now on tour with his old friend Tycho , who recently got nominated for a Grammy. Obviously, Jakub was involved with this project as well as the A&R at the Ghostly International, a label known for its quality, individuality and forward-thinking involvement in music and art. We visited his new home in Berlin and were impressed how the space resembled his personality and sound: tastefully curated with attention to every detail. As he is based in New York, Detroit and Berlin, his belongings seem to be stripped down to only the things he really cares about: his dog Theo, records, music gear, sneakers and the essentials he chose for this shoot. We like to believe that we found an important key to successful work life balance through a peek into Jakub’s life.

Essentials Heathered Pearls 5elect5

1. PERFUME (MAISON LOUIS MARIE, BUY HERE): There’s a vibrancy to this scent that calms me down. The motion of rubbing your wrists together with this specific musk eases any rush i’m in.

2. SHIRTS (CARHARTT, BUY HERE):  I love long sleeves in the winter, I have about 40 Carhartt shirts in total, even one from high school that’s still too big. Now they’re en vogue and they make softer ones. When they go out of style I’ll still be wearing mine.

3. RING (GHOSTLY, CHECK HERE): The ghostly ring, there’s a handful of them out there among the artists and co-workers. It’ll be my 15th year at Ghostly this year, I got this pretty guy 7 years in from Sam, I always DJ with it, he helps me pick the next track.

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