For New Zealand born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Noah Slee had a busy year and it will get even busier in 2018. Releasing the debut album “Otherland” on Majestic Casual Records and playing at major festivals around the world was a big step in his career. Based in Berlin 6 months out of the year, Noah has found two place he can call “home”. The life between two countries seem to reflect his character and music well: genre-bending, respectful and open. His take on soul and RnB is fresh but accessible and so is his approach to writing the lyrics which are about the depth of communication, love and honesty.
When photographing his essentials, it seemed to be an easy task for Noah to gather the items because they were simply his favorite things. Especially the collection of Converse sneakers was quite impressive. He owned the same model in multiple colors, various editions, and several worn states. Even the hummus he brought out of the fridge came in several flavors because he loved them all.
1. JOURNAL (NO BRAND): Always keep me accountable in its own weird way, which is weird cos its just a journal but I guess the therapy and outlet it gives me its more than a just a journal. Mainly concepts, ideas, poems and of course lyrics. I’m too lazy to do the everyday dear diary thing
2. HUMMUS (CHECK YOUR LOCAL STORE): Is my new favourite food since moving to Berlin. In NZ I didn’t really try hummus but some of my besties in the city have treated me to traditional Arabic food in their homes and I seriously almost have it with everything now its ridiculous. haha
3. SNEAKERS (CONVERSE, CHECK HERE): Past few years I’ve mainly been rocking chucks, proud member of the ‘Taylor Gang’ and it goes easily with all my clothes.
4. MASCHINE (NATIVE INSTRUMENTS, BUY HERE): I use this baby live all the time and it’s never let me down.
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When you google “Call Super”, the top search results will list links to London-born, Berlin-based producer and DJ Call Super (aka JR Seaton) and a Wikipedia article that explains “Call Super” as a “a code smell or anti-pattern of some object-oriented programming languages”. With his classically trained background in music, it is no surprise that Seaton’s sound is versatile but refined, marked by technical skills and musical influences. He describes the track selection of his upcoming mix CD on “Fabric 92” as “highly personal, a Polaroid of my way of mixing records”. We visited Seaton at his studio in Berlin which was filled with “Call Super” flavor: analogue music gear and colorful objects amongst stylish furniture in a raw space. His choice of essentials is also consistent with his music: unpredictable, honest but fun.
1. STAIRCASE WEAVING (HANNAH WALDRON, CHECK HERE): This was woven by my dear friend Hannah Waldron for me. The first Call Super record was called The Staircase and she sent it to me in celebration. I’m not sure I own anything that I treasure more.
2. PARTY DIP (CUBBS, CHECK HERE): This was in my Berlin studio apartment when I moved in around the beginning of 2010. I think it dates to the late 80s so it has been providing inspiration for nearly 30 years.
3. BIRTHDAY CARD (BY OBJEKT): When we were very small people me and my best friend TJ would draw aeroplanes. Birthdays are a chance to keep that fire burning..
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Berlin-based producer, DJ and Aleph Music founder: Aera. After he was signed to Dixon and Âme’s label Innervisions last year, he now releases a four track EP on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs imprint and continues to surprise and impress. He describes his musical career in personal post on his page as “sometimes things just need their time to grow…and in the end, it’s all about timing…which brings us to today.” Aera’s selection of essentials reflect this mind set very well and shows that the simple things in life are the foundation to creativity.
1. AIR (GENERIC SILVER BALLOON FILLED WITH ARTIST’S AIR): Air is one of my main essentials. I need it every minute of my life. I can’t imagine to live without it and I would probably stop breathing if someone took it away from me. I love it.
2. FOOD (ORGANIC ORANGE, CHECK YOUR LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET): Good food is another big part of who I am. I eat food every day. When I can’t have it, I get moody and upset and lose all my energy. I wish everyone on this planet had enough food in their lives.
3. SLEEP (TRAVEL PILLOW BY SANDINI, CHECK HERE AND SLEEPING MASK BY DR.WEIDEMANN, CHECK HERE): Sleep is amazing. Almost every night, I lose consciousness and start hallucinating vividly. Afterwards, I feel refreshed and energetic and ready for the day. I don’t think I’d be alive without it. It’s one of my favorite things to do.
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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, CHECK HERE): 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, BUY HERE): 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.
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1. NEEDLES (ORTOFON, BUY HERE): I’ll never not DJ on turntables. I got this case from my friend That Fucking Sara after I lost mine during a crazy gig in Poland.
2. EGGS (NO BRAND , BUY AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET): I eat eggs every day. I read in a book (Harold Mcgee’s “On Food and Cooking”) that all of life is contained in an egg, hence its nutritional power and versatility.
3. GLASSES (PAUL SMITH, PEACE): I need glasses to see well. I like these Paul Smith jawns because of their funky, semi-ambiguous color and round shape.
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