Exclusive Interview: Brigade


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International Communication – the dreamy new single from German production duo and hotly-tipped, live electronica act Brigade  – is out now via Berlin-based imprint Laut und Luise. The first single to be taken from the outfits’s eagerly anticipated debut album Hard Times, Soft Music (set for release on October 14), International Communication sees close friends and production partners Julius and Niels draw on their combined wealth of studio experience and bountiful creativity to deliver an exquisitely crafted lo-fi electronica cut, replete with complex analogue textures, stripped back refrains and a cosmic groove that drives the record across its four-minute duration. We caught up with Julius and Niels to find out more.

Hi Brigade, welcome to We Own The Nite NYC!

Thanks for having us!

Please can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Sure. We are an electronic music-duo from Berlin. Sometimes we make house, sometimes we make really chilled home listening stuff. Currently we are bringing out our first album on vinyl.

How has 2022 been for you so far?

Really fun actually. We finished an EP and the Album, a music video and two completely different livesets with new material. We also got into pokemon go like 100 years too late. I’s awful and surveillance capitalism (Zuboff ftw) sucks but we’ve been catching a lot of Eevees whilst touring.

How long have you been making music together, and how did you meet?

We met around 2014 or 15 when we were both resident live-acts at the now defunct Keller club in Berlin where we had this crew of producers/live-acts and worked together on releases. It kind of clicked and we just went from there.

Congratulations on the release of your new single ‘International Communication’. We’re absolutely loving it here over at WOTN! Can you talk to us about the record and the creative process?

Glad you like it! International Communication is just this really fun sample-heavy tune that is meant to be kind of a sonic hug. The track is not really for the club but we guess you could still play it if you are a really brave DJ. 

Tell us about your new album ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’.

The last few years we were fairly focused on writing club tracks, after corona came to Germany we wanted to make something a bit more away from that. As a result the record is filled up with some super relaxed, jazzy hip-hopish sound. The first single feels like a pretty good compromise between both worlds. We would definitely recommend taking a nice warm bath while listening to it.

Is there a specific message behind the title?

We decided on the title over a year ago when covid was in full swing and I think we all had some rough patches. Little did we know that whilst the album was printing the world would turn even more insane. So, since hard times is a little of an understatement for a lot of people now there’s really not much of a message behind the title anymore. 

What roles did you each assume in the studio when making the album?

We usually both have our own workstation. Julius uses a lot of hardware synthesizers, whilst I (Niels) just mess about with Max patches or some generative music programs. We have it all synced up over Ableton Link. This way we can just improvise for a while and collect material. In the end we hope really hard that it results in a good song.

What are your favourite pieces of studio equipment right now?

We absolutely love the Roland JV 880. We also have a JX-8P that we use for a lot of the pads. Then there are a lot of custom Max/MSP patches, VCV Racks and Tidal Cycles scripts. Generally any tools that take you out of the linear Ableton workflow.

Top 5 favourite records you love to listen to at home right now (please feel free to answer separately)?

Greatest Hits – Radiohead

Oval – 94diskont.

LTJ Bukem – Producer 01

LTJ Bukem – Producer 05

Sido – Meine Maske

What else do you have coming up over the rest of the year? Any other projects you can tell us about?

We are currently building a whole new club-oriented live set that is quicker and a little more dub-techno influenced. Then we’ll probably put out another EP at the beginning of next year. Let’s hope for the best.

Where can we see you live this year? Any plans to come to New York at any point?

We’re setting some dates now but we’ll be mostly around Europe. Definitely Berlin, Switzerland, Austria etc. No plans for New York yet but who knows 🙂

Do you have any final words for our WOTN readers?

You do you but please stop with the glitter and the hang drums. Please.

Thanks Brigade!

Brigade new album Hard Times, Soft Music will be released on October 14 via Laut & Luise.