👋 Hi, I'm Roel

Photo of Roel in his garden holding up red berries

I am a product designer living in the Netherlands, interested in how my design work can contribute to a more sustainable way of living.

Latest blog posts

March 29, 2023 12:06

Niche mixes in Spotify

Spotify lanched new "niche" mixes, which combine your favorite music and new tracks into weirdly specific mixes, like "170 bpm", "saturday uplifting" or "funky carioca". You can find them in the "for you" section of the app.

Spotify’s Niche Mixes spare you from building your own weirdly specific playlistsSpotify’s Niche Mixes spare you from building your own weirdly specific playlists
March 29, 2023 11:59

New life simulator: life by you

Paradox announced a new life simulator: Life by you. I'm playing Sims 4 pretty regularly and this trailer looks awesome! It features an open world, and every character in the game is simulated.

Life by you interview on TheVergeLife by you interview on TheVerge
March 10, 2023 15:10

New series: Silo

I completely missed that Apple was developing a TV series based on one of my favourite sci-fi novel series: Silo by Hugh Howey. Until the trailer dropped, and it looks awesome!

If you haven't read the 3 books that this is based on, I can recommend them!

Watch the Silo trailer on YouTubeWatch the Silo trailer on YouTube
March 10, 2023 15:10

How to build a cablecar

Last week I was in Kitzbühel, and took the 3S cablecar to Jochberg. It was terryfing and impressive at the same time. The cablecar spans over 3 km and only has a single support. It flies over the valley below at 400 meters above the ground. I looked up how it was constructed and found a whole channel of cablecar company Doppelmayr where they show some of the incredible things they build. 

See the 3S bahn on YouTubeSee the 3S bahn on YouTube
March 8, 2023 16:40

Cities Skylines 2 trailer

Cities Skylines 2 was announced yesterday and it looks great! I've played the original Cities Skylines for hours and hours so can't wait to play this! Only problem is I have a mac and the game will only be released for PC and consoles..

You can wishlist Cities Skylines 2 on steam already, it will be released later in 2023.

View the trailer on YouTubeView the trailer on YouTube
February 19, 2023 21:14

Review: Falcon Lake

3.5 / 5
Bastien, a young teen, spends his summer with his parents at a cabin with their friends and their daughter. She is a bit older than Bastien and he is immediately drawn to her. And she to him. This is a friendly coming of age movie with mysterious elements in it which I liked. Some scenes felt a bit awkward to watch due to the age of the characters.
Watch on PiclWatch on Picl
February 8, 2023 9:16

Review: M3GAN

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

I'm a sucker for the whole "human creates robot and things go horribly wrong" movie genre. And M3GAN is a prime example. First it made me want to own a perrrpetual friend toy (a modern furby), but at the end of the movie I was ready to remove all smart home tech from my house and never use siri again. A sequal is already planned for release in 2025..

Watch M3GANWatch M3GAN
February 1, 2023 21:20

Review: Puss in Boots: the last wish

⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
Puus in Boots: the last wish is beautifully animated. Every scene with fast paced action switches to a comic book style with lower frame rates and popping colors. And the animation of puss is really cute, when he switches from humanlike to cat like behavior is really funny. The story is a little weak however, and I altough i giggled every now and then, it wasn't really funny either.
Watch via Google PlayWatch via Google Play
January 30, 2023 21:29

Roel radio on Spotify

Now that my first song is released on Spotify, they created a "Roel van der Kraan Artist Radio" playlist. And it is awesome! Just of the one song that I've uploaded, the Spotify algorithms created a list of nice instrumental electronica, including some artists that I absolutely love, like Jamie xx, Plaid and Weval. Give it a listen!
Listen to Roel van der Kraan radio on SpotifyListen to Roel van der Kraan radio on Spotify
February 1, 2023 21:20

Review: the Menu

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

The Menu is a great movie that is a smart parody of Chef's Table mixed with a good thriller story ala Knives Out. A young couple goes to an exclusive restaurant on an island. The high-end restaurant bullshit bingo starts right from the beginning. You can watch it on Disney+

Watch the Menu via Disney+Watch the Menu via Disney+
January 24, 2023 16:23

New song: Major Lazer - Koo Koo Fun (rule remix)

This was a great opportunity: Meta Pop hosted a remix contest for Major Lazer's "Koo Koo Fun" track! The original song has a really relaxed vibe that I tried to keep. The stems (that are the individual instruments and vocals for the track) were a lot of fun to work with!

Listen Koo Koo Fun (rule remix) on MetapopListen Koo Koo Fun (rule remix) on Metapop
January 28, 2023 17:02

New song: Desert Nights

For a Metapop contest I created a song using Hypha, a new synth from Native Instruments. In this song I use 17 (!) instances of that synthesizer. It produces nice organic sounds like organ and bell sounds. Only the drums in this song are made with another instrument. Listen on Spotify:

Or via YouTube:

Listen to Desert Nights on SpotifyListen to Desert Nights on Spotify