The work of industrial designer and media artist Stanley Ruiz reflects a raw yet modern aesthetic—resulting in folk-inspired objects that tell some sort of story about how they came to be. We think his Playlist does the same. Take a listen.
What do you listen to while you work? It usually depends on the time of day. In the morning, I usually listen to loud and fast songs from the likes of Minor Threat and At the Drive-In to keep me up and running. Midday, I settle for slower instrumental music, sometimes Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You. Evenings are tricky because my mood varies—sometimes I indulge in heavy, slow music by tuning to Black Sabbath, Sleep, or Om. I listen to a wide variety of music and it keeps me from getting bored. I also listen to a lot of folk/global music from Sublime Frequencies or the Smithsonian.
How do you listen? My desktop computer is hooked to a low-end speaker system. The sound is kind of lo-fi, but hey, that’s how I like it! In the studio I can plug in my iPod onto a dock…an iPod with Altec Lansing earphones would get me through most of my day—on the subway, etc.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Sometimes I listen to Pandora, which is kind of nice depending on the station you set up. However, I noticed that sometimes the same songs are playing over and over again! For getting updated on music/gigs/bands, I check out ohmyrockness and Brooklyn Vegan. To get my avant garde fix, I go to UbuWeb.
Does music influence your work? Yes, it does. Growing up, I was heavily into punk and hardcore music, scenes that are based on the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethic. Somehow that’s how I approach my designing—to make do with what’s available and make something and try to be independent as much as possible. Having said that, I wouldn’t mind receiving some funding for my projects!
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Most of the music I listen to is from way back—like Black Sabbath and bands that they influenced (like Sleep, that eventually reincarnated as Om). So it’s like a family tree of sound. Sometimes when I listen to a random track in Pandora and like it, I then search for that band. I also go to see bands play live, which is the best way to experience music. My musical taste has evolved over the years, and I can’t pinpoint any particular person to blame for it but myself. Now I can listen to Operation Ivy and right after that, a flamenco tune from Paco De Lucia, or a Gamelan ensemble from Bali, and not feel guilty about it.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I would have to say the Japanese noise-rock band Ruins. They are raw, loud, tight, and just crazy! They are more like a concept band—most of their songs are about ruins, artifacts, and archaeological sites like the Stonehenge. I think that’s how I see my own designing as well.
Arcarsenal, At the Drive-in
Snowblind, Black Sabbath
Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead, Om
Loomer, My Bloody Valentine
Meeting of the Spirits, Mahavishnu Orchestra
Death That Sleeps in Them, Jonas Hellborg, Buckethead, Michael Shrieve
Your Hand in Mine, Explosions in The Sky
Just Like Heaven, The Cure
Can’t Find My Way Home, Blind Faith
Images: Stanley Ruiz and Tammy David