Tag: Instrument

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 // 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 // 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 // AKEMI FUJIMORI

Hands Akemi Fujimor 5elect5 Essentials

French musical multi-talent Akemi Fujimori started her career as a singer and pianist writing songs. After she gathered further experience as a live performer and studio musician, touring with bands all around the world, she is now busy producing and performing as the electronic duo dismaze along with musician friend Léa Moreau. Their latest release and video for “Human Sense” is a beautiful invitation to experience Fujimori’s musical world.


MY ESSENTIALS

Essentials Akemi Fujimori 5elect5

1. KEYBOARD (DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS, BUY HERE):  I discovered that synth playing with La Féline a couple years ago, I now use it on stage and in the studio, for my music as well as with other artists, it’s become my faithful musical companion.

2. CAMERA (LOMOGRAPHY, BUY HERE): I love instant cameras because they’re all about the now. No retouching or picking the best picture, there’s just that moment you shot and it is what you get. These days I find this feeling very precious. At RBMA, I’ve made a portrait of every participant so that I’d always remember these great times.

3. CROSSWORDS (FIND AT YOUR SHOP): On tour, in the metro or in a plane, you can do crosswords anytime. It reminds me of my grandpa, he would do crosswords everyday. Also makes me remember the existence of some pretty cool French words I never use!

4. AVOCADOS (BUY AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET): I have to admit, I’m an avo addict. On toast, in a guacamole, in salads or simply as is, it is always amazing. It’s not always easy to find good ones, but at least that helps me keeping my consumption rate at reasonable levels.

5. T-SHIRT (THE VILLAGE COFFEE, CHECK HERE): This t-shirt is from a coffee shop in Utrecht called The Village Coffee. Because I love a good coffee. And the design is great. Somehow to me this phrase represents a good part of the vibe at the academy. A bunch of music nerds embracing together their special uniqueness!


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

Illustration Quote Akemi Fujimori 5elect5

 


AKEMI FUJIMORI’S LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
INSTAGRAM – PERSONAL
INSTAGRAM – DISMAZE

 


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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 // SVETLA V

Russian singer and producer Svetla V works and lives between the two cities Bergen and Stockholm. Being on the road most of the time, her studio set up is optimized to to be simple and portable.  The sound on her latest album “Mattias”, which was released on the Siberian cassette label Perfect Aesthetics and will be re-released on Norwegian record label Eget Selskap, however, is nothing but simple and includes lyrics in English, Russian and Norwegian.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials SvetlaV

1. KEY AND PAD CONTROLLER (AKAI PROFESSIONAL, CHECK HERE):  This is about the only piece of music equipment I use apart from my computer and microphone, so it is almost 100% responsible for the execution of my music production and performance. I love it a lot, it is functional, cute, and fits in a laptop bag. Since I travel all the time, that’s exactly what I need. I put those heart stickers on it in case I am too stressed to remember what keys I should press when I play live. Also, these hearts have some sort of Sailor Moon vibe, it feels great.

2. LEATHER BRACELET (PILGRIM, CHECK HERE): I wear it just like people wear a watch — all the time. And it has been so for more than 5 years now, so it is quite worn out already, and when I forget to wear this bracelet, I feel something is missing. It is made by the Danish jewelry brand Pilgrim, and my mom bought it for me on board of Scandinavian Airlines flight to Copenhagen. I have been in love with Scandinavia for a really long time, and this bracelet reminds me of my time there. Besides, it goes well will all the clothes I own.

3. DAISIES / GERBERA (NATURE): Always make me feel happy. The first time a boy gave me flowers, it was gerbera, and since then I find them the most perfect type of all. They just go well with my personality I think — not too posh, bright and monocolored, with tall stems and not requiring too much care. I often decorate my living space with those and use them in my performance. And people around me always know what present would make me genuinely glad.

4. PERFUME (TOMMY HILFIGER, CHECK HERE):My best friend gave this perfume to me as a birthday present, and that is the best perfume I’ve ever tried in my life. Not sweet yet summery, it reminds me of light Mediterranean breeze. I use it all the time and it brings me lots of confidence somehow. Also, so far it is the only perfume I’ve tried that I am not allergic to, and I think it is pure magic, I didn’t even know it was possible for me not too sneeze after applying a perfume before this one.

5. TEA (A SELECTION): I drink oceans of tea, 5-7 cups a day to be precise. And as much as I want to think of myself as a tea nerd, it is any tea I could drink. So this is not the selection of my favorites, I just don’t have any preference. But I am hoping to one day learn tea ceremony or something. Very unlikely it will happen though.


MY RBMA EXPERIENCE

5elect5 Essentials SvetlaV Message


SVETLA V’s LINKS
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
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