If you know Richie Hawtin, you are most likely familiar with Ali Demirel’s work. As the creative director, visual architect and engineer, Ali is the man behind all the visual aspects on and around the stage for Plastikman, M-nus, Enter and othercollaborations with Richie Hawtin. Together they have created identities and experiences that are not only entertaining for the audience but also applies innovative and cutting-edge technology. Ali’s stage designs and live visuals have true revolutionized the music industry. It was no surprise to us that he had a degree in nuclear engineering and architecture as his work seems to always incorporate scientific imagery and structural compositions with a clever twist that makes his work speak more “art” than simply “background visuals”. His selection of essentials might be proof that it does not need much to come up with creative concepts: ideas, positive energy and comfort. The only wall between the ideas and the breakthrough is the artist him/ herself and only patience, persistence and curiosity allows for the idea to grow.
1. PENCIL (NO BRAND): I think by drawing. A good pencil is crucial for me. Whenever I have an idea, I sketch it, and as I’m sketching, the idea becomes clear and develops. Sometimes I do not even have an idea but start sketching random things, then an idea comes.
2. BRACELET (FAMILY GIFT): Reminds me to be patient, and that life is an endless loop. This is a special one from my father. Made from amber, has some positive effects by touching.
3. SNEAKERS (CONVERSE, BUYHERE): A comfortable, practical and well designed leather sneaker.
Heathered Pearls is Jakub Alexander, a highly talented but humble multitasker. Working as a producer, DJ, label co-founder, A&R and curator, one might wonder how many full-time jobs a single human can handle. Jakub found a way to do them all very successfully. He is now on tour with his old friend Tycho , who recently got nominated for a Grammy. Obviously, Jakub was involved with this project as well as the A&R at the Ghostly International, a label known for its quality, individuality and forward-thinking involvement in music and art. We visited his new home in Berlin and were impressed how the space resembled his personality and sound: tastefully curated with attention to every detail. As he is based in New York, Detroit and Berlin, his belongings seem to be stripped down to only the things he really cares about: his dog Theo, records, music gear, sneakers and the essentials he chose for this shoot. We like to believe that we found an important key to successful work life balance through a peek into Jakub’s life.
1. PERFUME (MAISON LOUIS MARIE, BUYHERE): There’s a vibrancy to this scent that calms me down. The motion of rubbing your wrists together with this specific musk eases any rush i’m in.
2. SHIRTS (CARHARTT, BUYHERE):I love long sleeves in the winter, I have about 40 Carhartt shirts in total, even one from high school that’s still too big. Now they’re en vogue and they make softer ones. When they go out of style I’ll still be wearing mine.
3. RING (GHOSTLY, CHECKHERE): The ghostly ring, there’s a handful of them out there among the artists and co-workers. It’ll be my 15th year at Ghostly this year, I got this pretty guy 7 years in from Sam, I always DJ with it, he helps me pick the next track.
1. SUNGLASSES (PERSOL, CHECKHERE): I really love Italian design sunglasses and especially this polarized “Typewriter Edition” model from Persol. Apparently these models are inspired by the golden age of writing, but for me it’s just the perfect tool to hide those dark eye shadows that are impossible to avoid when traveling a lot and sleeping very little. So I use these glasses to hind behind them when I’m tired or when I feel a bit antisocial after a night out where I played till early in the morning.
2. WEDDING BAND (NO BRAND, JUST LOVE): I travel a lot, and even though I feel very privileged to be on the road, discover nice places, meet lovely people, eat amazing food and to play my favourite records, I also feel a bit lonely from time to time. I couldn’t do all of this without the continuing support and love of my partner. We got married last December and since we did I never travel without my wedding ring, which keeps me comfort during those times. It kind of feels like I’m bringing her along with me every weekend.
3. PERFUME (HELMUT LANG, BUYHERE): I’ve been wearing Helmut Lang as my go to perfume for many years. I was totally heartbroken when they stopped producing it a few years ago! Since then, I change perfume quite often. The Cologne series from Hermes is really nice, and I especially like their “Eau de néroli doré”. It’s fresh, with a lovely citrus fragrance, perfect to reinvigorate after a long night in a smoky club!
4. SNEAKERS (NEW BALANCE, CHECKHERE): I don’t think I need to explain to anyone how essential good clubbing sneakers are! The most important factor for me is that they have to be comfortable, as you need to stand or dance on them for long hours in the weekend. Asics and New Balance are among my favourites because I like how they look, but also because they are really resistant. I do have to admit that I need a new pair quite often as my clubbing rhythm destroys them pretty in record time (ha)…
1. RING (KJELD, CHECKHERE ) : This ring is a gift from someone very special to me. It is oxidised silver with a black diamond, and was made in Berlin by Kjeld and purchased at Ècole Boutique on Torstrasse. It is my good luck charm and reminds me that over everything, love is the most important thing in my life.
2. PERFUME ( PARFUMERIE GENERALE, CHECKHERE ): I was playing with Ellen Allien at Nista Club in Barcelona a few years ago, and when she arrived into the booth her perfume floored me. I couldn’t even mix tracks for a few minutes! The scent took me back to my childhood, when I was about seven or eight years old. I would to walk home from my best friend’s house in the Summertime, and on the path I would always have to stop and smell these sweet little, white flowers that hung over the wall. I can remember it like yesterday. When I wear this scent it makes me feel comforted and reminds me to stop and enjoy the moment and take things in. It is white gardenia and sandalwood.
3. GUSTAV: This is my number one life essential – my cat Gustav. He is a British longhair and from the German countryside. He was a birthday present and he’s brought so much happiness, laughter and joy into my life. He’s amazing and the best cuddle buddy after a hard tour!
1. CRYSTALS (NO BRAND, CHECK EMIKA’S KICKSTARTER PROJECTHERE): They were given to me recently by a dear creative friend, she has changed her path many times and discovered something essential in these crystals, she gave them to me before I started my symphony Kickstarter and reminded me about the power of the imagination.
2. COMPOSER NOTES (NO BRAND): I have always had a book beside me in the studio, I write everything I want to make, edit, change and produce in here. It’s a part of me.
3. DOLL (NO BRAND): This was hand made and given to me as a gift by a dear fan, I was so touched that someone had made something to give back to me, with beautiful details and execution. My fans are creatives too, and this is something I always remember.
1. ISOLATOR (BOZURE, CHECKHERE): My portable isolator, or that little box I travel around with and weird people out with various frequency amplifications and attenuations.
2. EARRINGS (NO BRAND): Earrings donning kokopelli silhouettes remind me no matter how far I travel, at heart I’m still a desert rat.
3. INCENSE (BASTET, CHECKHERE): “Bastet” incense, for channeling clear-minded creativity, lovingly and masterfully hand-blended by the eternal (and powerfully missed) Randy from Sword and Rose in Cole Valley, SF.