Tag: Headphones

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

 


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

 


RBMA // IARAHEI

5elect5 Essentials Iarahei Hands

Chilean musician, producer and DJ Iara Espinoza Dos Santos AKA IARAHEI is a bundle of energy and talent. Aside from the selection of essentials below, her studies in tarot and astrology are the other source of inspiration for her music. The musical influences by artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Daft Punk and M.I.A shape the sound of IARAHEI. Listen to her latest work as a member of the synth-pop band Sri Lanka 100.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Iarahei

1. COMPUTER (APPLE, CHECK HERE): My computer is EVERYTHING for what I do. It the tool that gets me making new music, listening and discovering music, and express my feelings and desires. It also knows when i’m sad and cheers me up. It’s a wonderful partner that comes in almost every musical activity that i do, but sometimes I try to make sure it gets some rest… I love you, sweetie!

2. LITTLE POCKET ESSENTIALS (A COLLECTION): For this journey in the academy, I tried to used this little bag somebody gave me to carry around some tiny essencials: My stones for energetic help/healing, my usb sticks for some little CDJ magic, a lip balm to take care of my lips and a misterious potion that you’ll have to figure out what it is for…

3. DRUM MACHINE (TEENAGE ENGINEERING, CHECK HERE): Last year was a turning point for getting to know some analog (portable) equipment. This PO-12 I bought from a friend is a very powerful tool that creates tons of charming and wonderful sounds with just a couple of clicks. The resolution of its sound is amazing and sometimes I plug it in with my Volca Keys for some fun glitchy-hoppy jams.

4. SOUNDCARD (FOCUSRITE, CHECK HERE): If my computer was the milk for my music, the soundcard is definetely the Oreo (cookies). I also take the soundcard literally everywhere with me, and it’s the one that can make me do a song in just five minutes, record some random vocals and get together musical ideas that can leave in just a glimpse.

5. HEADPHONES (AIAIAI, CHECK HERE): It may sound stupid, but when I say I cant live without music, it’s because literally I cant even FUNCTION without listening to it. I need at least an hour of music in the morning so I can properly start the day. I take my headphones everywhere too (if I dont, I feel incomplete) and these ones are very good to capture more sophisticated details after some proper personalized EQ of my own choice…


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Iarahei Message


IARAHEI’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
MIXES
INSTAGRAM

 


RBMA // MAQUETA

5elect5 Essentials Maqueta Hands

Argentinian Ariel Schlichter is a composer, arranger, producer and mixing / mastering technician. If he is not releasing music as Maqueta, he produces music for local Buenos Aires bands or composes original soundtracks for documentaries, short films and plays.

His latest work includes the soundtrack for short film “Sudden Landscapes” by Javier de Azkue and an original score for “Enchant”, a Christmas theme park in Vancouver.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Maqueta

1. GRANULAR CONVOLVER + CONDENSER MICROPHONE (RBMA, READ HERE):  This amazing instrument made by Tatsuya Takahashi, Maximilian Rest and Christoph Hohnerlein for RBMA Berlin is a unique tool for creating sonic textures. You can record into it any sound you come across, and then convolve it with another. Having this tool has made me aware of the sounds of my surroundings a lot more, since now I’m always looking to capture a particular one.

2. PORTABLE COMPUTER (APPLE, BUY HERE): Well of course this is the centre of operations of a mobile studio. I use it for recording, editing and mixing, also for playing live and also for writing this and many other emails. It’s a must have and I would be lost without it!

3. HEADPHONES (PIONEER, BUY HERE): I’m always trying to listen to new music and I love to walk around, so for me the perfect combination is to do both at the same time. Being in a new city, I just load a bunch of new records, look at the map, and just intuitively walk from point A to point B without ever checking the map again, while listening to something new. The music then is then associated forever to that walk. Besides that I also use them for pre-mixing and editing whatever I’m recording on the go. Another must have!

4. MIDI KEYBOARD (MIDIPLUS, BUY HERE): This sturdy little guy has been with me for a while now. It has USB and MIDI DIN output so you can connect it straight to the PC or to another synth. Lately I’ve been using it to control samplers that I load with sounds from the convolver. A perfect match. P.S it fits into almost any backpack which makes it super practical.

5. MIDI CONTROLLER (YAELTEX, CHECK HERE): This custom made MIDI controller was manufactured by my friends from Argentina YAELTEX specially for my Live set. It controls 4 individual LOOPER devices within Ableton and 8 effect parameters on each of them and on two input channels of my usb audio interface. Therefore I can record loops with or without fx and then add fx later to them. These guys make customized MIDI controllers for any use, so check them out!


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Maqueta Message


MAQUETA’S LINKS
INSTAGRAM
BANDCAMP
WEBSITE
YAELTEX

 


RBMA // AKIKO HARUNA

5elect5 Essentials Akiko Haruna

Brighton-based artist Akiko Haruna is known for her audio-visual work melting experimental sounds together with abstract moving images. Trained as a pianist, violinist, flautist and dancer, her recent work span the wide spectrum between avant-garde, classical and deconstructed club music which can be seen in her latest video for “i, omega,”. Haruna’s next record will be out on “Where to Now?” Records soon.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Akiko Haruna

1. SKINFOOD (WELEDA, BUY HERE):  My skin drinks this stuff. I use it everywhere and anywhere.

2. SUPPLEMENTS (A PERSONAL SELECTION): Health is wealth! This one contains ‘Viridian Balanced Iron Complex’. Anyone with heavy periods or longer/irregular cycles should try out a good iron supplement. After coming off the pill my cycle was all over the place (as were my energy levels). Shortly after I started the Iron/B vitamin supplements my period is back on track! It’s a damn blessing! Probably a good idea to check with your doctor first though.

3. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE (G-TECHNOLOGY, CHECK HERE): I bought a laptop with the highest specs I could afford for my work. I skimped out on storage and went for one with better processing power. So now I have to run everything off an external hard drive. 

4. LAPTOP (APPLE, BUY HERE): My Laptop.

5. HEADPHONES (SENNHEISER, CHECK HERE): Good for listening to tunes on the train when the person next to you is having a really loud phone conversation.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials Akiko Haruna Message


AKIKO HARUNA’s LINKS
Instagram
Vimeo
Website


FILE 99 // MARLON HOFFSTADT

Hands Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5 Essentials

The Brand “Marlon Hoffstadt” stands for a lot of things but always promises fun and quality. The Berlin-based producer, DJ and musician is continuously challenging and re-inventing himself to widen his own musical horizon and discover new opportunities. After successfully running his first label “Retrograde Records”, he launched a new beautiful imprint called “Midnight Themes” last year to share a different, more matured “Marlon Hoffstadt” sound. But this is not where he stops – the empire expands and takes physical form when he starts a new party series called “Savour The Moment” – safe place to switch off your phone and focus on the music. This way, Hoffstadt actively encourage attendees to forget their virtual life and focus on the real-time experience on the dance floor. With high-quality flyer designs and clever merchandise, he does make it seem very easy to throw parties with such a strong concept and big international line-ups in the electronic music capital of Germany.

Hoffstadt’s essentials reveal a key ingredient to his success: the effort to connect – with people and with himself.  In this fast-paced digital age, he reminds us to appreciate every personal relationship found through music and creates opportunities to discover more of these wonderful moments. His latest release on Ransom Note Record highlights this message very well: in form of a special collaboration with friend Raf Rundell and the title “Treat Yourself”.

Essentials Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

1. T-SHIRT (SAVOUR THE MOMENT, CHECK HERE):  For me there is nothing worse then hanging out with people who are always on their phones. You also find this quite often in clubs or while traveling using trains, planes or the bus. By wearing this T-Shirt you can always just say hello to someone and point your finger on the logo, with a bright smile in your face. Mostly the reaction is great. People start talking to you or at least smile back and put their phones away. Ah, and Savour The Moment is also an event series that I am promoting at Wilde Renate and ELSE.

2. FLYERS (SAVOUR THE MOMENT, CHECK NEXT PARTY HERE): As i just mentioned I am not only a DJ but also a promoter and I wouldn’t be a good one if don’t always have invite flyers / cards with me. It doesn’t matter where I travel, I make sure to let everyone know about the party and the idea of a phone free environment in general. Its also a nice way to interact and promote yourself on a face to face level, which is quite a rare thing these days. Everything happens in the internet. A good old face to face conversation is always the best way to go if you want to leave a lasting impression. 🙂 

3. RECORDER (TASCAM, CHECK HERE): I think everyone knows this little baby. The Tascam DR40 is my steady partner on the road and while playing. When i’m submitting podcasts to blogs I always try to send in live recordings because my mixing then sounds as natural and real as possible. Recording mixes at home never feels the same as when you record them in clubs. Maybe my imagination is just not good enough but i’m always missing the connection and interaction with the dancers.

4. BAG (PINQPONQ, CHECK HERE): I really like practical things. This bag offers enough space for my wallet, phone, keys, stickers, party flyers, chewing gums and little apple headphones. Everything you need in one place, and no extra bag that you need to carry with you. It is also fully made out of recycled PET bottles which is a good thing to support.

5. HAT (NO BRAND): This hat is actually from my girlfriend. I always steal it because it reminds me of her when we’re not together, looks nice and its really comfortable. Back in the days when I still had long hair I never needed hats, but now with my 3mm haircut I always feel cold on my head and around my ears so this one keeps me warm 🙂

6. HEADPHONES (BOSE, CHECK HERE): Since one and a half years I am practicing a variety of meditation techniques. Sometimes its easy and sometimes i’m struggling a bit with it. Especially when you are traveling and you don’t sleep too long its hard to find and take time for the practice. The headphones are really useful because they come with noise cancellation. As soon as I sit in my seat and the plane takes off, I activate the noise cancellation function, put on some nature recordings and get into meditation. At home I often just use a boom box, but for the road these headphones are perfect.

Wish Illustration Quote Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

Footer Marlon Hoffstadt 5elect5

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FILE 96 // KASPER BJØRKE

Hands Kasper Bjorke 5elect5 Essentials

One of Denmark’s most famous musical exports is, of course, Kasper Bjørke. Known for his disco-inspired releases and DJ sets, “Kasper Bjørke” has become brand for good club and dance music. When he is not touring around the globe, he is either working on new music or humbly writing soundtracks for brands like Nike Jordan, Prada and various other art and fashion magazines. Listening to these and his latest albums on hfn music , it becomes apparent that the Kasper Bjørke sound reaches new territory outside the club music raum. He is now gearing up for the new album release which will be out on the legendary record label Kompakt this October. Besides being a full-time artist on stage and in the studio, he is also working as a passionate music manager behind the scenes – which started around 10 years ago from the pure wish to help and support his friends with their career.

Constantly exploring and pushing his artistic boundaries with collaborations with other creatives, Kasper is a full-time professional who knows what works for him as the brand – balancing both being an artist and a manager – and as an art director giving us suggestions on how to layout his essentials. Thank you, Kasper! It was a pleasure working together 🙂

Essentials Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

1. GUM (STIMOROL, CHECK HERE): I chew this particular gum when taking off and landing, because I always have issues with my ears.. and because Im really, really afraid of flying, it also helps me relax somehow.

2. GLASSES (NO BRAND): I originally bought these as sunglasses but then had prescription lenses in them because Im pretty blind. I just got some gold sunglasses clip-ons for them, which is amazing. I somehow feel like a 70 year old man when I wear them though.

3. VITAMINES (NO BRAND): All my vitamines, herbal medicine and herbal sleep aids in a metal container that looks like a giant pill. I take so many different supplements that I would probably need to check in a piece of luggage to bring all the original packages if I didn’t have this one!

4. NECKLACE (WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE, CHECK HERE): I got this necklace from my neighbour who is in the band When Saints Go Machine. They had it made as a piece of merch some years ago. Love and Respect is a beautiful message and I bring it on travels and wear it for gigs as a lucky charm…

5. EARPLUGS (ELACIN, CHECK HERE): Im a extremely light sleeper so besides my natural sleep aids I take every night, I also need to wear these custom made ear plugs that are made to seal off sound completely. I cant sleep without them anymore. They help alot on the road as well, before the hotel housekeeping would also wake me up at 8 AM when vacuuming the other rooms or opening/closing doors, which is no good when you are out DJing until 5 or 6 AM.

6. CAP (NORTH FACE, CHECK HERE): I never used to wear a cap because I had long hair and thought I looked silly with it. But now, with quite short hair, I feel naked without it.

7. DEODORANT (AESOP, CHECK HERE): I really like the scent of this deodorant. I dont need to wear it but for gigs I do it just to be on the safe side. Nobody likes a stinky DJ.

8. HEADPHONES (BOSE, CHECK HERE): Another remedy to calm my neves whenever Im on an airplane are these Bose noise cancellation headphones. I always listen to ambient music during take off and landing.

9. TOTE BAG (ABLETON LOOP, CHECK HERE): My manbag. I always have a random tote bag with me for all my stuff, this particular one I got from a dear friend…

Wish Illustration Quote Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

Footer Kasper Bjorke 5elect5

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FILE 95 // MOUNT LIBERATION UNLIMITED

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™.

Wish Illustration Quote Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5

Footer Mount Liberation Unlimited 5elect5

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