AIAIAI's TMA-1

The Danish design team get together with Tartelet Records to make the new elite DJ headphones...

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Denmark's AIAIAI teamed up with a selection of art design and architectural agencies, production companies and a music label to design the new headphones having closely worked with DJs, for DJs. Entering the drawing board with Tomboy and Fredski of the Tartelet record label, production team Mannhandle, architectural designers KiBiSi, and graphics agency Thank You For Clapping, Jacob Moesgaard and his AIAIAI partners have created a new league of headphones specialised for DJing, but also for everyday use and production.

Tested by some of the world's biggest DJs such as Seth Troxler, Tiga, Erol Alkan, Luciano, James Murphy, Matthew Dear, MSTRKRFT, Claude VonStroke and Kode9, the TMA-1's were designed with DJs in mind, where the development process followed painstaking testing to ensure the best results were achieved. Named after the 'Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1' in reference to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey, the TMA-1's are coated in durable nylon with three options of leather, semi-leather, and foam cushions positioned in front of its resistant ABS material with embedded silicone rings on the headphone cups making it the perfect DJing tool. Dazed flew over to the land of Kroners and delicious pastries to find out more about the project launching during the city's Distortion Festival along the way...

Dazed Digital: Did you plan for the TMA-1's as serious competition for headphones like the HD 25's and if so, why did you feel such headphones were necessary on the market?
Jacob Moesgaard: We can definitely compete with the HD 25’s. We wouldn’t have involved all these DJs had we not been able to. It won't bend in the brace like the HD25 and it won't fold like the Beats by Dre. These features were taken out of the design to make it more simple and sturdy. And it still holds the key functionalities required for DJ’ing. It’s become this “murdered out” tool, something that’s been very important to our DJs since they tend to seek away from shiny 'trance' headphones that have bling bling and logos all over. 

DD: Do you think general consumers will be put off from buying the TMA-1's as they think it is for DJing only or do you think that will make them see them even more as a desirable item?
Jacob Moesgaard: I hope they’ll see it as a desirable item even though they are not DJ’s. I think our approach to bringing the product back to basic and focusing on only the most important features will be well regarded for a lot of people – even the ones that are not DJ’s.

DD: Do you DJ yourself? Or have any interest to?
Jacob Moesgaard: Only one of our crew members DJ professionally (Kasper Nørlund), but we used to own a club (A-huset or The A House) where we’d often wrap up the nights with a bit of rock’n’roll. They were never super smooth sets, but it work out very well anyway. Still from time to time we are asked to perform a guest set, but that’s is only for fun. But the idea of doing this DJ headphone definitely came from our days with a club and loads of DJs coming through.

DD: I spoke to Tomas Barfod the last time I was in Copenhagen about the launch of these headphones... I think I heard him mention something about production headphones... are there plans to make a set of headphones for production or did he mean these were suitable for both tasks?
Jacob Moesgaard: This version actually works in both settings. Jon Schumann, our main sound engineer, is a renowned producer and he's made an effort to have it work in both production settings and stage settings. On that note we do have several new versions in the pipeline. One is a bit bigger in the cup and added a bunch of technical features that are not really seen in other headphones to date. Can’t reveal much on it now, but again it is developed with all our DJ’s and Jon Schumann as the main sound engineer. This one it set to launch in a good year from now.

The TMA-1's will be pre-launching online at The Glade on the 28th of July and with a launch event in their new Berlin shop Firmament on the 4th of August, before being available worldwide from select boutiques such as Colette, and Phonica.
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