Interview: Tube & Berger
School buses aren’t the usual catalysts for great musical achievements, but this was where Arndt Roerig and Marko Vidovic – now known around the globe as Tube & Berger – first started their musical journey.
Now 15 or so years later they are two of the most seasoned house producers and in-demand remixers around, with an acclaimed studio album, releases on an array of prestigious labels, gigs at the world’s finest venues and over 25 million YouTube plays to their name. One of the biggest selling acts on Beatport in 2013 and 2014, Tube & Berger is already one of the hottest duos in the world; but this is only the beginning.
From early experiments in the world of punk, the German duo’s first breakthrough came with their 2004 hit ‘Straight Ahead’, which featured the vocals of Chrissie Hynde and shot straight to the top of the Billboard Dance Radio Chart. Since this early success their output has evolved significantly, incorporating real-life recordings, samples and an intricate, emotion-laden production style to create records that are organic and evocative, without losing focus on packing that dancefloor punch essential for the modern-day DJ.
Perhaps one of the greatest strings to their bow has been the success of their own label Kittball Records, which they run along with friend and fellow DJ Juliet Sikora. As well as releasing their own music, Kittball has helped nurture the careers of Milan Euringer (alongside whom they wrote the huge underground hit ‘Lovebreak’), Jerome Robbins and Kolombo to name but a few.
See also: Suara Brings The Big Cats To ADE15
Tube & Berger will be joining Coyu, Dosem, Yousef, and the entire Suara crew on Friday, October 16 as they will be the cats special guest during Amsterdam Dance Event. Anticipating this event, we caught up with the guys to discuss some of their Amsterdam experiences, sprituality in the studio, and more.
“…you can’t force the flow.”
What was the first gig you guys played as Tube & Berger? How did this compare (if it did) to your first gigs as solo artists?
TB: That was back in 2004 in a legendary underground club called Harpune in Düsseldorf (Germany). OFF label owner André Crom was the promoter by the way. We remember that we brought many friends and loads of live equipment and had a wild jam session.
We both have never really been solo artists and even if we sometimes split and each one of us plays gigs alone we prefer the “band” thing and like to jam.
How do you define creative spirituality? What about when DJing or playing LIVE, do you guys have a certain ritual you do beforehand, in order to get the right frame of mind?
TB: Creative spirituality is often far from showing up in the studio. We learned that you can’t force the flow.
But when it’s there it’s a magical feeling and all in all it’s the main reason for us to make music.
We gave up most of our rituals over the years because most of them were a bit unhealthy. We still think it makes sense to be in the club at least an hour before our gigs to get in the mood and have a look at the crowd but that’s not really a ritual neither is getting high or having too many drinks. Wow..we became old and boring.
Why would you say the idea of spirituality is important to the creative process?
TB: Well..music is something we all feel. Music affects your body, your soul and even your cat or your dog. It’s something we all share. They say House Music is a spiritual thang… So the idea of spirituality is probably most important for us in a creative process. But we don’t have a formula or a guide line. Spirituality comes or stays away…
As you are also label heads of Kittball, what do you look for in the personality of the artists you sign/work with? Does his or her own spirituality play as a factor in your decision to work with someone or not?
TB: We don’t see us as judges here. Sometimes it’s enough to be a cool person and send us a great demo.
As Kittball is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, how do you guys approach the notion of “relevancy” in such a crowded scene? Do you ever think about how to stay “relevant” as defined by the digital age? Has your approach to this changed since you first launched the label?
TB: We think about that most of the time. It was always important for us to be dynamic and to open up our minds for new ideas, trends and vibes. A lot of changes have happened at Kittball over the past 10 years and we’re sure there will be a lot in the future. More important than staying “relevant” is having fun with what you’re doing. We think that people can feel if you like what you’re doing or if it’s just about staying relevant.