Welcome to the final round up of the year as we take a look at what happened in the world of Electronic Beats over the last 12 months with change and rejuvenation, unforgettable live music experiences, and in depth cultural exchanges.
2011 began with a new outlook and a fresh perspective. In April our beloved print magazine was relaunched with a bright new design and outlook as spearheaded by new Editor in Chief Max Dax. Max bought a wealth of experience and a new perspective to our quarterly document, shifting the focus to conversations between people – frank and sprawling discussions with artists including Ai WeiWei, Caribou who spoke to us in depth, Bjork or Brian Eno in conversation. We were honoured to be able to present such a broad range of cultural comment as part of the Electronic Beats Programme. Changes were happening elsewhere too. EB.net was given a complete redesign making our online portal an even more essential destination for cutting edge music and culture as well as all the latest on EB events. The website generated debate as well with articles from our editorial team that looked at gender discrimination in electronic music, the new digital reality and the changing face of new music. Add to that literally dozens of exclusive video premieres such as Dillon, Tarwater and Jeans Team and we can count 2011 as a pretty successful year. We also staged our very first editorial takeovers with Azari & III, King Midas Sound and Modeselektor taking over the website for a day. Modeselektor found it so stressful in fact they ended their working day with a massive party in the EB offices with sets from Shed, Phon.O and Doc Daneeka streamed live on Ustream to nearly 7000 people!
Then there were the live events and what events they were! Starting in May in Cologne with Modeselektor and Holy Ghost, before we knew it it was June and we were on our first whirlwind tour of Europe, stopping in Prague and Vienna. On the line up we were pleased to bring to the Electronic Beats Festival artists such as Apparat and his brand new live band, Plannigntorock, Bonaparte, When Saints Go Machine and Animal Collective. Fast forward to October and we returned to Vienna with the stunning live techno of the Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, Peaches and Wolfram. More trips to Bratislava with Lamb and Who Made Who and possibly one of the biggest, craziest EB festivals ever in Zagreb. Digitalism and Roisin Murphy and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs almost created a riot with the thousands of fans later signaling their approval on the website. Then to close the year, Groove Armada, Zola Jesus, Wiley, The Drums and Buraka Som Sistema bought some heat for the winter months to Budapest and Warsaw.
Not only did we have the festivals, we also presented Azari & III and Apparat on more intimate club tours as well as one of our biggest events of the year in December. Not Christmas –Bryan Ferry performing in Berlin. A true icon who alongside his ten piece band played a stunning show which we continued to enjoy at the star studded after party. And seeing as we had Ferry in town, we also took the opportunity to host an exhibition of Ferry’s photos form his long and illustrious career at our new print HQ of .HBC which in fact continues until January 8th.
Elsewhere Slices went from strength to strength, as we opened arms to new music from Gold Panda the Wolf and Lamb crew and Laurent Garnier who we spoke to in an epic extended interview. We looked at different music formats in a lively exchange on DJ technology and made more of our archive videos than ever available online. We also presented exclusive interviews with S.C.U.M, Zola Jesus and more for EB online. In the meantime the EB Radio sessions continued to present state of the art DJ mixes from all over the world, collecting the best from house to techno, from dubstep to all forms of broken beats or disco madness.
Finally, Electronic Beats managed to collect a cool 5500 euros for the Youth Centre charity at our auction in the 4010 store in Cologne earlier this month. A fitting end to an amazing year.
All that remains is to thank all of our readers and the whole Electronic Beats community for your support and wish you a happy Christmas and a successful new year.
It was a great year here at Electronic Beats, and the cherry on the pie came late in 2011: Bryan Ferry stopped by in Berlin for the opening of the EB presented exhibition (open until January 8th 2012) and concert at Admiralspalast.
At the end of Ferry’s Olympia tour, the gentleman crooner & EB Magazine cover boy now released a previously unknown, alternative version of ‘Running Wild‘. The closing track of Roxy Music‘s 1980 album Flesh + Blood is back in style, 31 years later as a free download.
Grab the track from the player below, and don’t forget to watch the recap from Ferry’s Berlin stop at the bottom of the page. Most important, stay tuned for more Electronic Beats event news by subscribing to our RSS feed, liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter.
Spoiler alert! Watching the YouTube video embedded below might ruin ‘Breaking Bad‘ for you if you haven’t seen season 4 of the highly successful AMC TV series yet. If you’ve already seen it you might have noticed that the music playing in the grand finale is the instrumental version of Apparat‘s ‘Goodbye’ – a very fitting pick from the ‘Breaking Bad’ staff.
— Electronic Beats (@EBnet) October 13, 2011
We were caught by surprise when seeing the season 4 finale, and found it quite charming when Apparat’s label Mute records decided to release the ‘Goodbye’ instrumental (original with vocals by Soap&Skin) into the public, especially since Electronic Beats and Apparat joined forces during 2011 a couple of times for EB Festivals and Apparat’s EB recommended winter tour.
The year is nearly over now, and Apparat will be playing his tour’s last shows in Berlin with his latest album The Devil’s Walk. With all three shows being already sold out, here’s your chance to get to the ones on the 20th and 21st of December free of charge: by winning them.
Simply fill in the form below for your chance to win two tickets for either of the two dates (with support by Oval, Dec 20th, and a very special guest on Dec 21st), keep your fingers crossed and grab the free ‘Goodbye’ download from within the Soundcloud player. See you at Electronic Beats recommends Apparat Band down-the-line and let’s say ‘Goodbye’ to a great 2011 all together.
– – – Competition is closed, winners have been notified – – –
Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you to everyone who made it to our Electronic Beats Charity Christmas Bazaar in Cologne last Friday. We’re delighted to report that we have raised €5350 for Cologne’s activity centre company “Kölner Jugendzentren GmbH“. And we’re even more happy to announce that you too can do something good for Cologne’s children as the EB charity bazaar at 4010 Telekom shop will be open until December 24th.
Think EB city guides, t-shirts, our limited 2011 double vinyl compilation, 4010 accessories as well as signed CDs, DVDs and posters from various EB related artists and institutions such as Domino Records or Intro Magazine – all these are up for sale until the Christmas festivity. Come along and buy something – all benefits will be donated to Cologne’s activity centres afterwards.
Let’s try to bring the benefits to €6000 in total.
The Admiralspalast in Berlin was the setting last night for the much anticipated performance by Bryan Ferry, presented by Electronic Beats. A show by one of the world’s most stylish and iconic pop stars was on the cards and with some familiar faces from the previous evening’s retrospective photo exhibition in attendance, there were ripples of controlled excitement running through the crowd of over 2000. Somewhat unusually for Berlin, and perhaps as a sartorial nod to the star of the evening, there was a high proportion of men in suits and a glamourous air about proceedings. Arriving on stage just fashionably late at ten minutes later than scheduled, Ferry was accompanied by a full band including backing singers and sequinned dancers.
Starting with ‘The Main Thing’ Ferry then dropped the pace and eased the crowd into the evening with the likes of ‘Put a Spell on You’ segueing perfectly into ‘Slave to Love’. What followed was a set that navigated through forgotten classics such as ‘If There is Something’ and crowd favourites like ‘Don’t Stop the Dance’. With an ever changing backdrop of noire graphics and old-time gangsters that morphed into Russian motifs and abstract animation the sold out crowd was rapt throughout. Ferry even surprised some of the audience by sliding behind the keyboard and effortlessly playing the keys on ‘Hurricane’ before getting back behind the microphone for ‘Tara’. Images of the universe then became Native American Indians for a stunning and unexpected cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’.
Visibly nervous at the beginning of the evening, Ferry became more comfortable as the show went on and the funk flexed louder and harder on the likes of ‘Love Is the Drug’ Ferry and his ten person band gelled as one. After what seemed like no time at all (in fact over ninety minutes) the show was almost over.
With the shortest of pauses Ferry treated the appreciative and vocal audience to an encore that included ‘Jealous Guy’ and ‘Let’s Stick Together’. As the sequin covered dancers and backing singers left the stage and the lights went up there was a truly rapturous response. And that was it. With guest such as The Pet Shop Boys watching from the wings Sascha Ring, aka Apparat as well as Yello’s Dieter Meier headed to the Flamingo club for the after-party. For some of the team however it was time to go home and reflect on a wonderfully sophisticated evening of art rock, funk, ballads and some of the most recognisable and enduring pop songs from last 30 years.
Photos: ©Grey Hutton, ©Roland Owsnitzki