Tag: Gear

FILE 103 // OPAL SUNN

5elect5 Essentials Opal Sunn Hands

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 mangaer 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.

 


OUR ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Opal Sunn

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. 


OUR NEXT BIG THING
5elect5 Essentials Opal Sunn Message


OPAL SUNN’S LINKS
SOUNDCLOUD
INSTAGRAM
FACEBOOK
TWITTER

 


FILE 101 // DAN CURTIN

5elect5 Essentials Dan Curtin Hands

Cleveland-born producer and DJ Dan Curtin is one of the key figures shaping the Midwest Techno scene. He founded the label Metamorphic to mainly give new talents an outlet for their music. While continuing to support this scene and over 70 singles and 9 albums later, Curtin follows his passion for hip hop, funk and soul releases new music under one of his his many aliases such as Purveyors of Fine Funk. His refusal to lock himself into one style as well as his ability to collaborate with artists from a variety of genres has helped him to maintain  his status as a legend.

Currently based in Berlin, his essentials are a genuine selection of items that portray his roots and source of inspiration to keep going  – “When the music stops your mind and body return to the world of the sentient but you never forget your Origins.” said the press release of his “Origins” EP which was released under his alias Planetary 25 years ago. The re-mastered reissue was just released on Metamorphic.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Dan Curtin

1. SUNGLASSES (MYKITA, CHECK HERE): Sunglasses.  Needed when there is light.  Not sun, but light.  Can’t leave home without them. 

2. CRAFT BEER (STONE BREWING BERLIN , CHECK HERE): Really good, small run, independently run breweries producing excellent beer.  Beer is one of my 4 vices and one of the two that I can mention socially. 

3. LIFTING BELT (MY PROTEIN, CHECK HERE): Protects and supports the lower back.  Heavy lifting and the gym in general is a daily must.   It’s the one hour a day that I can truly escape and not think about anything at all.

4. SAMPLER AND SEQUENCER (OCTATRACK, CHECK HERE): It’s become my main sampler and the heart and brains of my live show.  The possibilities for live sample mangling are endless and it works in a really intuitive way once you’ve finished banging your head against the desk for a year trying to understand it!

5. VINTAGE RECORDS (MY COLLECTION): It’s where I go to for pure listening, where I go to for sampling and all of my favorite music is to be found there.  It’s travelled the world with me and it’s a life long project – the digging never stops.  


MY NEXT BIG THING
5elect5 Essentials Dan Curtin Message


DAN CURTIN’S LINKS
SOUNDCLOUD
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM


RBMA // VŌX

5elect5 Essentials Vox Hands

Los Angeles-based vocalist, musician and producer Sarah Winters AKA vōx (pronounced “wokes”) makes hip-hop-influenced spectral pop. Her productions and performances have a refined look and feel. Under the veil she wears on stage, Winters is hidden but present – guiding the audience safely through the unknown sonic world. She also has a talent for giving songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “i,” the unique vōx treatment while creating lasting moments.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Vox

1. NOTEBOOK + PEN (MOLESKIN, BUY HERE):  My music making background came about through writing poetry first, so I like to have a small notebook with me at all times for lyrical thoughts.

2. EAR PLUGS (ACS, CHECK HERE): I think it goes along with my introversion, but I tend to be very sensitive to sound. I like to carry my molded earplugs with me, mostly for going to shows, but sometimes even a plane or a train is a tad too loud for me.

3. GLOVES (DEL’HACIENDA, CHECK HERE): Wearing things that make people smile and wearing things that make me smile is key. These are satin gloves my friends from Los Angeles, Del’Hacienda, made.

4. VEIL (NO BRAND): Being veiled is a big part of vōx imagery. It’s symbolic in the sense that it sets a tone of importance to what I’m doing. When I put a veil on, I’m embodying all the things that are important to me as a creator and a performer–being vulnerable, being open, being curious, being bold.

5. LIP BALM (GLOSSIER, BUY HERE): I always have one of these rose balms on me, sometimes more than one. So key.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Vox Message Quote


VOX’S LINKS
SPOTIFY
FACEBOOK
WEBSITE
INSTAGRAM

 


RBMA // SOUL OF HEX

5elect5 Essentials Soul of Hex

Gerardo Cedillo is a producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist from Mexico. As one half of the duo named Kry-Lon, he defined the “new rave” scene in his hometown of Tijuana. As Soul of Hex, Cedillo’s solo project’ he enjoys playing and producing deep house incoorporating classic techno and jazz influences. He is the founder of the vinyl only label Vicario Musique Recordings to create an platform to share “music for the future”. His essentials are a refined collection to accompany him when he is touring around the world.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Soul of Hex

1. PERFORMANCE SAMPLER (ELEKTRON, BUY HERE):  It’s my most essential piece of gear and I take it everywhere with me. It’s such a wonderful machine which basically can sample and manipulate any sound or song and take it to the next level, with awesome effects and also it’s a composer so… it’s been in my bag since I got it sponsored by Elektron in 2016.

2. SUNGLASSES (RAY-BAN, CHECK HERE): These shades are cool I think, I always lose them but buy them again every now and then ha!

3. GRANULAR CONVOLVOR (RBMA, READ HERE): This little silver machine was given to the participants of this year’s Red Bull Music Academy it was created by the engineer Tatsuya Takahashi. It basically combines two sound waveforms and you can modulate them.

4. HEADPHONES (SENNHEISER, SIMILAR HERE): My headphones for standard DJ usage and travelling for sure, I’ve been using these for a year and they are excellent!

5. SNEAKERS (REEBOK, BUY HERE): Classic kicks, they are so comfortable! I used to take off my shoes to play long DJ sets, but… not anymore!


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Soul of Hex Message


SOUL OF HEX’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM


RBMA // INDI

5elect5 Essentials Indi Hands

Indira Force is an artist from New Zealand. Her deep relationship with music is expressed in many different ways: composing film soundtracks, dance scores and even music for political campaigns as well as producing music under “indi”. The tracks on her first solo album Precipice are performed with saxophonists, trombonists and a violin to bring Force’s dreamy and delicate but concrete vision to life. Her collection of items are surprisingly functional and practial but essential to create the “indi” sound.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Indi

1. LAPTOP (GIGABYTE, CHECK HERE):  I actually bought this earlier this year when I moved to Berlin from NZ. It has been essential to my on-the-go media-scoring lifestyle. It is really sturdy and can run huge projects without any problems.

2. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE (SEAGATE, CHECK NEXT PARTY HERE): This is a boring one but I cannot emphasize how important it is to back up your stuff. I lost a whole EP of music projects once because my computer died and it was devastating. Honestly if you can afford it get like 2 hard drives and back everything up twice as well as uploading to the cloud. This holds a very precious part of my life.

3. SNACK (FRECHE FREUNDE, CHECK HERE): I think the translation is like ‘cheeky friend’ haha. They are freeze-dried strawberries and I just eat these almost every day because they are light and yum and natural.  

4. HEADPHONES (HOUSE OF MARLEY, CHECK HERE): I use these constantly. They were a gift and I am so proud to own them as they are made from 100% sustainable and recycled materials. I go to sleep every night listening to the Harry Potter audoobooks by Stephen Fry which i know is a bit childish but so soothing.

5. YOGA MAT (NO BRAND): I have been practicing Ashtanga yoga since I was about 11. My family is pretty into it, especially my mum, so when I do yoga it reminds me of home and family. I’m not hardcore really- some weeks I may not do much depending on what is happening, but when things get intense and crazy I always know I can figure things out and breathe through it on this mat.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE5elect5 Essentials Indi Message


INDI’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
BANDCAMP
JAPANESE BLOG


RBMA // JEANNEL

5elect5 Essentials Jeannel Hands

Berlin-based Jeanne Kaiser is a singer, producer and classically-trained cellist who performs under the name Jeannel. She is known for her her dreamy, R&B-oriented pop. Her performances are versatile: playing with a full band or playing with stripped-down stage setup or doing back-up vocals – Kaiser makes sure to connect with the audience. So does her collection of essentials share the importance of relationships to her music.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Jeannel

1. YOGA (PEACEYOGA, CHECK HERE):  Peaceyoga Berlin is one of my absolute essential in-order-to-stay-sane/basic-need-place to go to. The jivamukti classes are demanding, sweaty, and lead by the best teachers I know so far. Peaceyoga is like my second home here in Berlin. I go there to keep my body and soul in tune. I love this place.

2. COMPUTER (APPLE, CHECK HERE): My whole musical identity is on that computer. Whenever I go out the house wondering if I really switched off the stove, it’s the only thing I am worried about. (Besides my plants.)

3. SHIRT (TRES RASCHE, CHECK HERE): That T-shirt just makes me feel good an powerful. Besides, the label is awesome.

4. BOOTS (DR. MARTENS, CHECK HERE): Same with the boots. I can wear them whereever, whenever. I wear them all the time. The help me keep my feet on the ground.

5. GUITAR (A GIFT): She was given to me by someone who holds a special place in my heart. She’s my baby.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Jeannel Message


JEANNEL’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
WEBSITE
INSTAGRAM

 


RBMA // BRUX

5elect5 Essentials Brux HandsBRUX is a singer-songwriter and producer from Australia. BRUX is also the ticket to a new type of audio visual experience the artist uses to explore the darker side of her musical interests with no inhibition and no rules. Story-telling with a strong look and feel is part of the BRUX effect. Her attention to detail, hard work as well as fun essentials have led to recent collaborations with LA producer Madeaux on “The Wave” on Fool’s Gold Records and artists such as dBridge and Kabuki.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Brux

1. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE(WESTERN DIGITAL, BUY HERE):  My external hard drive, my life. Having a backup of the backup of the backup is key. Also, I chose orange because it’s one of my favourite colours

2. SYNTH (TEENAGE ENGINEERING, BUY HERE): My op-1. I bought this powerful little beast 2 years ago and have not put it down since. Every song I write I use my op-1 and it’s my absolute favourite bit of gear in my synth collection.

3. NOTEBOOK (A GIFT): My notebook. I’ve gone through many notebooks over the years that are full of lyrics, life plans/calculations (lol but true) & manifestations but this is my latest and greatest. My boyfriend brought this one back from New York for me earlier this year and I love the colours. So far it’s only 1/4 full of world domination plans.

4. SUNGLASSES (NO BRAND): My favourite pair of sunglasses that always make me feel fabulous, they go everywhere with me.

5. MEDICINE (ARMAFORCE): Armaforce – my drug of choice when I start to feel a cold set in. All natural, all herbal and almighty.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Brux Message

 


BRUX’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER



RBMA // ATARIAME

5elect5 Essentials Atariame Hands

Russian singer-songwriter and producer Natalia Salmina AKA Atariame is an explorer of sound. She found her mission to experiment the depth of fragile folk, warm ambient and soundscape downtempo together. Her instruments of choice to craft the complex sound include a synth, a 12-string guitar and a simple voice pedal. The selection of essentials give her energy and inspiration on this journey.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Atariame

1. CHOCOLATE (ANY KIND):  Since I remember myself I’ve always been eating chocolate: even during school lectures, even when I make music. Here at RBMA there was a lecture of Nina Kraviz, and she told that while making her first album she used to stay late, drink tea and eat chocolate — oh, I know that feel, bro.

2. STICKERS & LAPTOP (A SELECTION): My collection of stickers. Which is also a laptop. Dive is a bar in Tbilisi in which I DJed once, Balera is a nice place in Berlin where I used to hangout with friends, another sticker by a bank in Russia that keeps reminding me of a hipster-friendly marketing. There is also a sticker with Schroedinger and a cat, or.. without a cat?

3. HEADPHONES (PHILIPS, BUY HERE): Cheap headphones for making music. These are very cheap and old headphones that I’ve been using all the time that I make music: 5 or 6 years. They are most comfortable for me to work with, and even though I really have to change for something more accurate and transparent, I’ll keep these too for a quick work. I recorded and mixed my Fear is the World album and another upcoming album, so that’s a quite meaningful thing for my music.

4. PIN (VICTOR PIVOVAROV, READ MORE HERE): A Pivovarov’s fox. This is a pin from an exhibition of a Russian contemporary artist Victor Pivovarov. In his project, the fox is an imaginary God of an imaginary religion professed by imaginary folk. This fox keeps reminding me that I still have to read more about contemporary art, especially about performance art which I’m interested in right now.

5. TRANSPORT CARD (TROIKA, READ MORE HERE): This is a card for all the kinds of transport in Moscow. I keep losing these cards all the time, so I’ve got a bunch of them at my home, in bags and in pockets. The name of the card is the name of an old transport: troika, 3 horses harnessed abreast which people used to ride in the old time. I love the design and this historical reference, and this card keeps me excited about the new things happening in Russia right now – e.g. design, new creative people, music and this special sense of a culture code which we all understand and share.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Atariame Message


ATARIAME’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
BANDCAMP
INSTAGRAM