All posts tagged: Tools

FILE 100 // MAX COOPER

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 1. FLIGHT ESSENTIALS (A PERSONAL COLLECTION): This is my flight essentials pouch to cover the travel basics …

RBMA // 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 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 …

RBMA // INDI

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 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 …

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 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 …

FILE 99 // MARLON HOFFSTADT

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 …

FILE 98 // BÉZIER

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 …

FILE 96 // KASPER BJØRKE

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 …

FILE 93 // DETROIT SWINDLE

The 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 …

FILE 92 // JOHANNA KNUTSSON

Johanna Knutsson is a Swedish-born crate digger, DJ, producer and label founder/owner. Although she already had a successful career as a hair stylist, she decided to quit her business and relocate to Berlin to focus on a career in music; her second passion. It is an impressive tactic to pursue a musical career by initially focusing on a different profession. Johanna is now a full-time artist touring around the world but still enjoys to cut hair on several days a month to stay connected to her other creative roots. Running two established labels “Zodiac 44” with Luca Lozano and “UFO Station Recordings” with Hans Berg, hosting the radio show “Low Power FM” with Kate Miller, and having recently released a track on the label “Midnight Shift Singapore”, her career seems to continue reaching exciting new levels. Johanna’s essentials are a beautiful collection of gifts she has received from her strongest supporters and closest friends. She draws her daily dose of inspiration and energy from these thoughtful items and is a strong believer in a network of like-minded creatives that share, …

FILE 90 // PAN DAIJING

Pan Daijing. It’s not only the artist’s name but also stands for a singular art form because there is no genre or label that can sum up her work. Pan’s live performances take place at galleries, museums, theaters and underground venues – the space becomes a part of the experience for her and the audience to connect. Her album Lack 惊蛰 on Berlin-based label PAN is merely a teaser into her world of extremes creating an appetite for more. Pan’s work can be violent, dissonant and dark but with delicate elements, moments of relief and silence. The high contrast of her work, however, feel almost meditative and allow the artist and the audience to become more intimate. It’s a smart technique Pan has full control over because she directs and builds her shows to every detail ranging from lighting, costumes and visuals. Born and raised in China, Pan moved to Berlin 2 years ago after receiving a sound design degree in San Francisco and starting her musical career back in China’s art and performance scene. We were able to catch her in between international tours and a trip back …