In the midst of a chat, German electronic duo Tube & Berger are quick to mention the artistic “flow state” present throughout their musical process. With over two decades of consistently charting new ground in tech house, it’s no surprise they can access an intuitive level of creative consciousness. This state of being has sustained their core sound and allowed them to continue their sonic evolution into a third decade of possibilities.
After meeting on a school bus and bonding over a shared love of punk music, Arndt Rörig and Marko Vidovic dove into the genre together before beginning to integrate electronic instruments into their work. They recall that “at some point we got totally lost in electronic music” once those new elements began to take shape. Thus, the now-recognizable iteration of Tube & Berger was born.
Germany was an electronic hotspot at the time, fostering many creative acts in addition to Tube & Berger. The duo were less focused on participating in the zeitgeist than challenging themselves, however.
They explain, “Musically, we’ve always been open to new things, always interested in what’s waiting outside and going new ways. “
That notion rings especially true of their breakout 2004 single “Straight Ahead,” an international smash that was unmistakably electronic yet subtly nodded to their rock roots. Organic percussion and a feature from legendary Pretenders vocalist Chrissie Hynde created a bridge between the sounds that all started on a school bus while hinting toward a vision for the future of house music.
Looking back on the success of “Straight Ahead,” the duo reflect, “We never expected to have such an impact in electronic music. I mean, the deep [and] tech house was formed in that time, so now looking back, we are happy to be part of the shaping of those music genres and also glad it worked out so well. So to all the youngsters, don’t be afraid to dive into something new. There is always someone who did it first and you just have to put your own unique style and note to it.”
Around the release of their seminal single, Tube & Berger also founded Kittball Records, a label that started as a “just-for-fun” endeavor before eventually snowballing into a respected curator of house music. Self-releasing music while curating releases from other artists like Sascha Braemer, Oliver Schories, and Moonwalk is another extension of the passion for electronic music that’s carried Tube & Berger well into the ’20s. They express gratitude for how Kittball has grown, remarking, “It evolved so quickly—we are so happy to have amazing artist releases on our label since then.”
Over the years, Tube & Berger have maintained a consistent stream of successful tunes, one being the 2013 outing “Impression of Pleasure.” It’s a deep, hypnotic exploration of house’s edges with psychedelic instrumentation and vocal samples laced through propulsive, percussive bliss.
Looking back at this key entry in their catalog, they explain that it “can be a way of life that you keep in mind. You can focus on the positive or the negative. It’s entirely up to you. Yin and yang. The song contains a lightness that we try to live, even if it is always difficult due to the current situation or made difficult.” This level of sharp insight behind their work is part of what’s sustained Tube & Berger’s success within the electronic scene as their work goes far beyond the DAW.
In 2022, Tube & Berger have continued to challenge themselves creatively with singles like “Alive,” an electronic tour-de-force alongside fellow producer Frank Klassen. Peeling back the curtain on how this collaboration came to be, they explain, “we met Frank during COVID when all the clubs were closed. We had such a nice vibe together in the studio. Frank is also a great producer, classic musically trained, and a brilliant cellist … We’re already working on our next collab, so keep an eye out for it.”
Other tracks like “Daily Twist” and “Future” are equally killer, beckoning the question of what keeps Tube & Berger motivated so far along in their career. The duo straightforwardly explain, “As an artist you are always learning and trying out new things. The same counts for collaborations. You try out as much as possible and stick to what works.”
As for what the future holds, expect more collaborations with the likes of Frank Sonic (who they describe as “a modular synth master”) and Goatchy (who they call “a great singer-songwriter who is working a lot with us on productions”) alongside festival dates and plenty of time back home dedicated to being dads. Always optimistic, they leave the conversation with a message of togetherness to take to heart: “Be kind to each other without any reason and let’s go bananas on the dancefloor!!!”
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