Tag: Gear

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 87 // FRANCOIS X

Hands Francois X 5elect5 EssentialsParisian producer and DJ Francois X is one of the reasons why the French capital is having an electronic music revival. Since 2011 Dement3d, a party series he and HBT worked on together, helped defining the Techno scene by inviting guests such as Sandwell District, Planetary Assault System, Marcel Dettman, Mortiz Von Oswald and Silent Servant. With a growing following as well as a big push by friend and mentor DJ DEEP, who is known for his Deeply Rooted parties and imprint, he got into the art of producing and releasing his own music. This all sounds very organic and like an easy dream come true but Francois X had several careers before he reached this point. When he told us that he had worked as a day trader, owned a fashion label and played tennis on a professional level, we could understand why he was so humble and down-to-earth despite the big success. Calling himself a “Ninja”, he was very aware of his musical passion now turned into a full-time career as well as the industry and its evolution. Maybe his musical understanding and sensibility helped him and HBT shape their own label (also called Dement3d) polished and avant-garde catalogue by releasing records with artists like DSCRD, Polar Inertia, Ligovskoï and Hiss:1292.

The Ninja’s selection of essentials are humble but narrate his path to this current point in life. Meeting Francois X and hearing about his career, we got to believe that everything happens for a reason. Traces from his previous careers and now hectic touring schedule can be found in the items such as the very international selection of tea bags because he just came back from a series of gigs in Asia.

Essentials Francois X 5elect5

1. TEA BAGS (VARIATION FOUND AT HOTELS): The perfect tea flavors for my travels are green ginger or yellow. They gives me a certain kind of quietness.

2. GUM (STIMOROL, CHECK HERE): I need it and “stimorol” has the perfect taste. They are fresh! And they are sometimes good for anti-stress. Too much travelling!

3. MUSCLE PAIN CREAM (LUMBALGINE, CHECK HERE): I was and still am an intensive tennis player (did a lot of competition) so my body and especially my back and knees are a bit injured and I am sometimes in pain. If I want to be in good shape I need to put it before every gig.

4. BATTERY CHARGER (TEKNISER, BUY HERE): My top one essential item. When you combine the intensive use of iPhone during travels, it s the thing you need the most in your life. My phone is my personal assistant (riders travel ticket …) so i need it to be always on.

5. POCKET TORCH (NO BRAND): Most of the time my gigs are in dark clubs and to keep it that way I always ask no to use too much lights. So my pocket torch is helps me to find stuff in the dark!

Writing Illustration Quote Francois X 5elect5

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FILE 86 // NOAH SLEE

Hands Noah Slee 5elect5 EssentialsFor 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.

Essentials Noah Slee 5elect5

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.

Writing Illustration Quote Noah Slee 5elect5

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FILE 84 // PEREL

Hands Perel 5elect5 EssentialsBerlin-based producer, DJ and singer Annegret Fiedler aka Perel has made some smart decisions in her career. From the selection of labels she chose to work with to the impressive list of exclusive mixes and artist collaborations, she has slowly paved the way to make her dream come true: an album release on the famous label DFA Records — the “dance floor institution” founded by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. The success story did not happen overnight. Musical breakthroughs are like lotteries and patience as well as endurance is required to eventually hit the jackpot, or not. Speaking to Annegret, we noticed how much she cared about her supporting fans and the strong network behind the brand Perel. She brings the perfect balance of fun and professionalism and her essentials show the same. The carefully curated collection of items are iconic yet practical and necessary for her to keep the show going.

Essentials Perel 5elect5

1. PERFUME (CHANEL, CHECK HERE): Real disco sweat needs a proper answer.

2. GLASSES (VINTAGE, NO BRAND): This lady is about about 30 years handmade in Italy.

3. CONCEALER (BENEFIT, CHECK HERE): Dark eye circles are essential part of my  business.

4. HARD DRIVE (TOSHIBA, BUY HERE): It’s my brain actually. All my music is on that disk.

5. DELAY (TC-HELICON, BUY HERE): No live vocals without this baby.

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FILE 82 // BARBARA KLEIN

Hands Barbara Klein 5elect5 EssentialsBarbara Klein is a Berlin-based Polish musician, videographer and photographer. She established her career and reputation working with Techno legend Richie Hawtin and captured his his global tours in the form of tour diaries, event recaps and conceptual films. Other work includes collaboration with Soundwalk Collective (who we also covered on 5elect5), Yamaha Spotify and now Native Instruments, one of the industry leading companies in music technology. For the early morning photoshoot, we met Barbara at her cozy apartment in the heart of Kreuzberg. Unlike her body of work that tends to speak a dark and mysterious language, she was warm and kind, offering us a cup of coffee and slices of fresh watermelon. Her essentials are a selection of items that give insight into her background, family as well as herself – revealing a strong connection to her passion turned into a profession . When she asked whether cigarettes or colourful cute socks with animals were better for the shoot, we obviously went for the socks. She then pulled out her large collection of socks for us to choose from which made us think that we had learned another side of Barbara who usually is dressed in all black outfits.

Essentials Barbara Klein 5elect5

1. VINTAGE CAMERA (PRAKTICA, CHECK HERE): Leaving home without a camera gives me an anxiety attack. Lately it’s mostly analog one outside of work situation, because I love the ritual of watching family albums together.

2. COFFEE (NO BRAND, JUST COFFEE): Coffee and liquids in general. In higher than average amounts.

3. TOY CAMERA (KIKKERLAND, BUY HERE): Got this little beauty right after moving to Berlin from a friend, who convinced me I have enough talent and power to make a living out of my photography, which at time time was just a hobby. Today it’s a reminder to have fun while working hard.

4. SOCKS (TUTUANNA, ALWAYS BUY HERE): My outfit is all black most of the time, except of the socks. This obsession started on a trip to Japan, from where I brought 30 pairs back home. Funky socks seem to uplift not only me, they always bring smile to people who notice them. I think life is too short for black socks.

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FILE 81 // SANDUNES

Hands Sandunes 5elect5 EssentialsMumbai-native Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes is a music activist. As a producer, composer and musician known for her diverse blend of electronica which combines eclectic sensibilities with progressive electronic elements, she recently released a digital album on Bandcamp and a track for Red Bull 20 Before 17. As a certified Ableton trainer, she advocates accessibility and exposure around music-making by giving workshops and lectures about music production and performance. As a founding member of DASTA – an Indian artist collective, Sanaya challenges the thinking behind music making norms by hosting community platforms to connect music makers and artists. Last but not least, as a resident of the Border Movement, an initiative by the Goethe Institute, she is spending this summer in Berlin to help bridge and raise awareness for South Asian music. What keeps her going? The answer lies probably in the selection of her essentials: a perfect balance of creativity, energy and health.

Essentials Sandunes 5elect5

1. DARK CHOCOLATE (VIVANI, BUY HERE): Perhaps very dark chocolate is an acquired taste, so let’s just say I’ve acquired it. It’s a bit of a ritual for me, one I need to engage with at least everyday, and I think it helps me feel like I’m at home even when I’m in a foreign country or in a hotel for a gig or a project. It’s usually the first thing I’d buy when I’m in a new place too. Over the years I’ve been moving up the scale of …darkness and 92% is my new sweet-spot.

2. BAG OF NUTS (LOCAL MARKETS): I do this always – it’s my hangry-hack and also makes me feel secure over long flights and airport pitstops because I’m sort of always hungry. Honestly though – you’re as likely to find me out and about without my phone or wallet as you are without a bag of nuts. I try and find a local supermarket that let’s you pick-n-mix your own. Good spots have been Regal Plus in Bombay (Bandra) -my local. Holland & barrets in London, Whole Foods in New York and in Berlin, the local Turkish supermarkets have been the best.

3. FIELD RECORDER (ZOOM, BUY HERE): I’m not making music anymore that doesn’t include field recordings, and this is my tool. I worked on a project last year called ‘Searching for Sound’ and spent about 6 days with a field recorder plugged into my ears all over Bombay. What I came away with was the thought that you really never know when the opportunity to collect awesome sounds is going to spring itself upon you – so these days I’m always sort of prepared.
The H5n is an amazing size, and has a great function of recording a double backup file at a lower gain level so *in case* anything’s distorting in real time, your field recorder’s really got your back.

4. YOGA MAT (MANDUKA, BUY HERE): Yoga goes everywhere I go, and so does this mat. It’s a really special mat – the only one I know of that folds up like a towel – super convenient to pack in my suitcase and take all over the world, especially when you need to travel light because .. synthesisers.

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FILE 77 // ALINKA

Hands Alinka 5elect5 Chicago native Alinka started off her career playing alongside Justin Long at the city’s infamous Smartbar. Picking her battles wisely, releasing on Crosstown Rebels and Classic Records, she then teamed up with DJ and vocalist Shaun J Wright (previously part of Hercules & Love Affair) to start Twirl, a monthly party in Chicago. Their focus always stayed on the music and artists that inspire them, so it was inevitable that they expanded the Twirl empire with its own imprint: Twirl Recordings, a platform to support and manifest the music she loves. Living and working between Chicago, Berlin and New York, Shaun and Alinka just finished their latest collaborative EP “Time for Action” which was picked up by Heidi on her Jackathon Jams imprint last month.

We met Alinka at her new flat / studio in Berlin and go a warm welcome by her flatmate – a black cat named “Acid”. The reason why Alinka had chosen a flat with a garden, which is a rare find on the Berlin housing market, was that “Acid” could go outside and play. She also shared the story of cat “Acid” breaking her favorite toy bear by the artist “Acid” with the biggest smile and laugh. As it turns out, Alinka is not only a music lover but also a big cat lover – especially “Acid”. Each of Alinka’s essentials came with a unique story, a collection describing her past, present and future desires. The high quality of Twirl’s merchandising is proof of her professionalism and passion behind the project.

Essentials Alinka 5elect5

1. JACKET (TWIRL ORIGINAL, CREATE YOUR OWN HERE): I got this custom-made varsity coat as a parting gift for myself before leaving Chicago and it’s still the only one in existence. It’s by far my favorite clothing item I own, and luckily Berlin is cold enough for me to wear this a lot of the year.

2. TOYS (BEAR QUEE, CHECK HERE): I’ve been collecting designer toys for years! They’re great additions to any flat, make you feel a little less like a grown up, and hunting for the rare designs is quite fun. This Acid bear was the first of my collection and he’s still my favorite. Check out kidrobot.com and artoyz.com, both have a great selection!

3. HEADPHONES (V-MODA, CHECK HERE): I find myself working more and more in headphones these days so a comfortable pair to travel with is vital. These V-Moda headphones are the first wireless headphones I’ve owned and I’m hooked! It’s really great to not be tangled in cables when you’re on the move and they’re really comfortable so you can wear them for long periods of time when needed. (http://v-moda.com/crossfade-wireless/) They’re also customizable, I have a Crosstown Rebels pair the label gave us which I’m always proud to pull out of my bag.

4. PERFUME (LE LABO, CHECK HERE): When you spend a lot of times at smoky clubs it’s vital to have a little travel scent to always keep you fresh! No one wants to be that person that smells like last night’s party on a crowded airplane. My friend works at Le Labo and made me this personalized scent. It says Alinka and Chicago on the bottle so I’m a bit obsessed with it. They have a lot of great products I highly recommend.

Writing Illustration Quote Alinka 5elect5

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