So what happens when you mesh these stories with two guys’ dream to bring high quality music into the most unexpected places? JukeCase by Son Valise.
If you love music, you’ll love JukeCase. But if you just love haute unique pieces, you’ll also love JukeCase.
These high performance upcycled speakers encased in stylish vintage suitcases are designed for the highest audio quality and are as individual as the case’s previous owner. Put simply, they’re furniture with function.
“They’re a portable audio player,” the design mastermind explained. “They have an internal rechargeable battery and amplifier. They’re completely portable units and just designed for high quality audio.”
The JukeCase is the brainchild of Vincent Corneille. With business partner Rubin Utama, the pair make up Son Valiese, a Melbourne-born design house that aptly translates to “found suitcase”. Together these guys are transforming portable music sharing. And if you ask me, they’re hitting all the right notes.
“We’re big fans of music so we like to listen to things as close to what the artist recorded,” Vincent said. “The JukeCase originally came about because there was a gap in the market for portable audio being high quality. A lot of people were making things that were addressing the portability and functionality aspect but I think they were selling themselves short – or their customer short – by not aiming for really good quality music. That’s what we’ve tried to do since day one…I think people are usually pleasantly surprised with how they sound.”
Vincent’s father and musical mentor was the first to put the concept into practice around three years ago, composing the first JukeCase – a grungy “dad-looking” case with sharp edges and dark masculine features. A case which Vincent concedes is totally cool and totally suited to his dad.
“That’s what’s so exciting about these pieces. While they have an innocence and simplicity about them, no JukeCase could ever be the same and no product could ever offer the same personality, history and functionality combined in one. Each JukeCase is just waiting for someone to take it home and continue its story.”
“You definitely feel like they’ve got a story about them,” Vincent agreed. “Sometimes you’ll open a case up and it might have been an old school case from the 1960s and it’ll have the address of the person who owned it. Some have travel stickers on them. On the weekend there was a case that had been to New Zealand in a certain town and a certain hotel, and a guy who was looking at the case had actually been to that hotel before. That’s kind of interesting.”
The guys have found some weird and wonderful possessions inside the cases they’ve transformed: from the hundreds of lawn bowls stacking up outside their shop, to piles of vintage picnic gear. “I think the weirdest thing we’ve found was old barbie doll parts: heads and arms and things. It looked like a bit of a nightmare when we opened that.”
That’s what’s so exciting about these pieces. While they have an innocence and simplicity about them, no JukeCase could ever be the
same and no product could ever offer the same personality, history and functionality combined in one.
While Rubin proudly displays his first JukeCase in the window, the story of Vincent’s is still being written.
“It’s actually funny I don’t really have one of my own. I guess I never really needed to because there’s always one around that I can use. But I bought this case quite early on. I never spent as much money on a case as I did on this one. It’s a really top-notch 1940s Samsonite fake crocodile skin case and it’s really beautiful. So I’ve had that in my possession for a while and I’ve just been waiting to purchase some outrageous speakers for it. That’s in my mind but it doesn’t exist yet. I think it would be quite outside our usual budget. Until then I’m just enjoying all the other ones around.”
“Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult parting with them because we spend quite a bit of time with them in store and listening to them. You always create things that you would like so sometimes when they sell you’re a little bit sad,” Vincent said.
You can forgive the guys for getting a little attached since Rubin and Vincent design each case individually, from choosing a suitcase “that has a style and a substance about it” to selecting speakers that work both aesthetically and for optimum sound quality.
“At the end of it all once you’ve wired it up and you have that first sound test, it just feels really nice hearing what you’ve been looking at for the last few days or few weeks,” Vincent said.
The pair are beginning to experiment with steamer trunks and picnic baskets as well, promising some exciting JukeCases in 2014.
Juke Case by Son Valise has just opened their first flagship store in Collingwood’s Johnston Street and the cases are available at selected stores around Australia as well as online at www.jukecase.com