Tag: Tools

FILE 100 // MAX COOPER

5elect5 Essentials Max Cooper Hands

UK-based artist Max Cooper merges electronic music, visual art and science through installations, live audio-visual and immersive sound experiences. Growing up, he pursued both of his passions – music and science, earning a PhD in computational biology. His background and education seems to now influence his creative process. Cooper shares that his projects start with an abstract idea / concept first which he explores further to make them tangible as well as relatable. His label “Mesh” is an embodiment of these passions and an outlet for music which is part of wider collaborations in the arts and sciences.

Following the successful multi-media “Emergence” album and tour, this year he released his third album “One Hundred Billion Sparks” with an all new and evolved 270 immersive audio-visual shows – a light field installation of countless shimmering points, hovering overhead the audience, creating 3-dimensional moving forms in sync with music. Experience the next one at Funkhaus in Berlin.


MY ESSENTIALS

5elect5 Essentials Max Cooper

1. FLIGHT ESSENTIALS (A PERSONAL COLLECTION): This is my flight essentials pouch to cover the travel basics I need to maintain good vibes despite nasty turbulence, screaming babies, boredom, hang over, or any of the other common travel ailments.

Firstly there’s the noise cancelling headphones which allow me to work, particularly on low frequencies, despite the engine rumble, then there’s a few really handy headphone connectors – a splitter to share if I’m with a friend, a flight adaptor for those old style headphone sockets on flights which need two inputs, and most importantly, an attenuator: you know when you’re watching a movie and dosing off on a flight and suddenly there’s an announcement from the pilot waaay too loud in comparison to your film audio?….get the attenuator in there, turn up the film audio and turn down the level with the attenuator, so that any announcements are nice and quiet and you can maintain your zen.

Also in the pouch, backup movies and music on USB, spare earbuds cut in half for sleeping on, and painkillers plus diazepam for long-haul knock outs, waking up at the other end B.A. Baracus style.

2. SNACKS (RANDOM COLLECTION): Emergency stroopwafel and gummibärchen for the moments when I’m lost in the wilderness on tour and have no sustenance. These should give me a couple of days walking energy to escape most foreseeable disaster situations.

3. EARPLUGS (NO BRAND): Spare earplugs for noisy raves when I lose my proper moulded plugs. Earplugs are so easy to lose, drop them once in a dark club and they’re gone. So backups are very useful to save my already battered ear drums. Also I often end up giving them to my friends who come out unprepared for the audio barrage, when we’re lucky enough to get it in the places that aren’t so tight on their decibel monitoring.

4. BOOK (A BEAUTIFUL QUESTION, CHECK HERE): I have to admit I’ve been carrying this book around for some time, as you can see by the weathered cover. Over the past couple of years I’ve discovered that science audiobooks are perfect for travelling, allowing me to still learn something when I’m too tired to read on tour, and their narratives are forgiving to the odd doze off too. But this book is something special, and wasn’t available on audiobook format, so I’ve persevered. It’s about whether nature, fundamentally, embodies beauty.

Researchers often talk about using beauty and aesthetic judgements in guiding their paths towards discovering laws of nature. And that’s more or less the focus of my approach to music videos and live AV shows in the opposite direction, where I try to use nature and its embodiment in natural laws to provide something beautiful for us to look at.

So a great book to read, written by a Nobel prize winner no less. Other recent books of note would be Antonio Damasio’s “The Strange Order of Things”, and Peter Hoffman’s “Life’s Ratchet”.

5. ELECTRICAL TAPE (SCAPA, CHECK HERE): Boring yeah, but this can save me from all the music going off mid-set and everyone staring at me like I’m a massive moron who can’t figure out how to press play on a CDJ. Clubs generally have a lot of bass, and bass shakes things, and likes to shake cables out of their sockets. So I stick electrical tape on all the socket-cable connections. Generally only needed for USB connections, RCA/phono connections are fine.

6. MAGAZINE (NEW SCIENTIST, CHECK HERE): Great for the science news, properly explained and referenced. It doesn’t go into as much depth as I’d like, but many a good project idea has started with an article or book review in here which I’ve gone on to read about more deeply.


MY NEXT BIG THING
5elect5 Essentials Max Cooper Message


MAX COOPER’S LINKS
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER


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 // 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

 


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 98 // BÉZIER

Hands Bezier 5elect5 Essentials

Taiwanese – American musician, producer and DJ Robert Yang AKA Bézier is one of the key figures in the San Francisco queer music scene. As one of the founding members and residents of the city’s Honey Soundsystem crew alongside Jason Kendig, Josh Cheon and Jacob Sperber (AKA, Jackie House), he is part of a new electronic music movement which is receiving recognition and a great following around the world today.

This year, Yang released his long-awaited debut album “Parler Musique” on Dark Entries, the label founded by Josh Cheon who believed in the “Bézier” sound from the beginning as a friend and as a collective member.  With “Parler Musique” (French for “Talk About Music”) Yang also reveals his talent for creating romantic narratives around his prodcutions for it to be more relatable and tangible for his audience. The “Bézier” sound is complex and rich in musical influences – so is his background as a multi-instrumentalist inspired by a wide spectrum of music genres from punk, synth pop, industrial to new wave and house.

Yang enjoys finding clear order in creative chaos. The photo shoot took place at an apartment he had rented outside the city center on purpose to create a safe home base to create and rest. This genuine and focused character is also reflected in his essentials: gifts from close friends, self-care items and music gear –  the true source of strength and inspiration on the road and a reminder of his roots.

Essentials Bezier 5elect5

1. MATCHA KIT KAT (NESTLE, CHECK HERE):  It’s really a special thing to have a Kit Kat bar taste like matcha green tea (and strawberry as well). My friend Moritz gave this to me to snack before a show and today I’m a better person because of this.

2. WALLET (GIFT): A wallet that my friend Jordan gave to me while in Hanoi. It’s made of cotton with natural dyes from the region of Sapa. It has never left my side as I use it as a protective sleeve for all my important travel documents.

3. REMOTE SHUTTER (CAMKIX, CHECK HERE): A remote bluetooth shutter when I need to go handsfree and take a photo of myself with my phone.

4. INHALER (MENTHOLATUM): A little menthol inhaler when I get headaches on the road or nausea. It’s a panacea for what ails me.

5. SYNTHESIZER (VERMONA, CHECK HERE): I try to travel light for shows but toggling between live and DJ sets I can only carry what I can hold. This Vermona mono lancet is my replacement for a Moog Miniature that fell apart in my initial travels. It’s been road tested for three years now and will stay with me until she stops functioning.

6. STYLING WAX (GATSBY, CHECK HERE): The Gatsby styling wax is some kind of witchcraft for my hair. I’ve been using this paste since my Japanese cousin left it at my parent’s house when I was 19. It’s amazing and turn my fine hair into locks. I’d be lost without it.

7. FRAGRANCE (DIPTYQUE, CHECK HERE): I decided I needed a new fragrance for when I’m at shows. After touring through Asia and just having all my clothes smell like stale smoke I thought a lil scent would help me stomach the travels and perhaps more approachable. I didn’t want to get something that was too strong, like the cheap, strong (yet aggressively, luxury branded) alcohol smell a lot of Europeans and Brits fancy. I didn’t want people to smell me coming miles away so I needed something lighter, more vivacious. After consulting with my friend Aaron Choe at the duty free section at Incheon airport I stuck with Diptyque.

Wish Illustration Quote Bezier 5elect5

Footer Bezier 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 93 // DETROIT SWINDLE

Hands Detroit Swindle 5elect5 EssentialsThe Amsterdam-based duo of Maarten Smeets and Lars Dales – Detroit Swindle started their individual music careers  before they joint forces in 2011, to produce, DJ, play live and run Heist Recordings together. Their knowledge and passion for diverse music genres from Classic House, Jazz, African funk to Disco shaped the Detroit Swindle’s signature sound as well as the ability to put any audience on a musical journey. Their continuously developing and seemingly expanding live set up is probably one of the most impressive and elaborate with tables filled with multiple synths, drum machines, samplers, pad controllers and cables.

When Maarten showed us his 7″ record collection along with the beautifully crafted vinyl weights and personal rotary knob mixer, we understood the passion and dedication that got the duo to where they are now. There is always an “easy” route in every career, but Maarten and Lars take up every challenge to grow and evolve their music – which brought them to a collaboration with the nine-piece brass brand Jungle by Night for their new album “High Life” (to be released on May 28th) to make their music more “live and jazzy”. Essentials can be living proof of your career as well as a reminder to where your roots and core inspiration lies: in Maarten’s case clearly his family and the music.

Essentials Detroit Swindle 5elect5

1. FAMILY (POLAROID AND GIFTS): I always carry my family with me, in 1 way or another. My wife is a big Polaroid geek, so we always have those little photo’s lying around the house. This one of my daughter is already a few years old, but it takes me back to a lovely holiday to St. Maarten in the Caribbean, so i still carry it around with me. My wife’s name is Roos (dutch for Rose), so hence the pin. My 3 year old son is a big Lego head and ever since he accidentally dropped some lego in my record bag when he was helping me choose the records for the weekend, i kinda stuck with

2. VINYL WEIGHTS (SOFT LEATHER CO, CHECK HERE):  We found these 2-in-1 vinyl weights and 7 inch adapters at a really cool shop called The Scout Leather company. They’re really heavy, which works well for those old warped records and they look nice too. We always need some extra time to explain what they are going through airport security, but with a thick pile of records, they’ll stop you anyway.

3. 7″ RECORD BAG (A GIFT): Lars gave me this bag for my birthday last year. I was always messing around with silly ways to bring the 7 inches, and this little bag is great. it holds more than enough for a weekend, and i can stick it to my Rimowa case with industrial strength velcro. pretty cool :).

4. MIXER (A GIFT, CHECK CONDESA): This mixer was handmade for us in Australia by the lovely people of Condesa. It’s a great sounding machine, fully analog and those potmeters look so lovely. It’s a joy to play with and in the 2 years that we’ve taken it on tour, i can’ remember a single sound engineer that wasn’t head over heels in love with the sound. And that says quite a lot.

5. BOOK (YANN MARTEL, CHECK HERE):  I’ve been wanting to read more for a long time now, but with a full bag, it’s not always easy to find a nice, smaller sized book. I’ve actually just bought an e-reader, so this might be the last book i’ll take on tour. It’s one i’ve read a long time ago, but I really enjoy reading stories like this for a second time, to discover more meaning behind it, and pick up the nuances that you might have overlooked the first time. It’s a great book about a Taxidermist and a writer who’s decided he’s no longer a writer. The storytelling is enchanting and there’s a lot of hidden layers of meaning in the book, which i really like.

Writing Illustration Quote Detroit Swindle 5elect5

Footer Detroit Swindle 5elect5

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