The Electronic Beats 2020 Holiday Gift Guide
The EB staff presents a comprehensive list of 50 must-have items for every type of music lover in our constellation.
2020 may have been a difficult year, but it has given us the gift of time. So while that’s certainly appreciated, it also means there is no excuse for thoughtless holiday gifts this festive season. Plus, all of us deserve something much more than our usual generic go-tos (unfortunately plain socks and Christmas sweaters just won’t cut it.)
For those still searching for a dose of inspiration or even hunting for a splurge item to underscore twice on their wishlist, the EB team has assiduously curated a comprehensive gift guide featuring 50 must-have items. Support the efforts of the artists and creatives who orbit throughout our cultural universe in the selection below. Whether it is a book of essays on global dance scenes, a Bicep-approved chocolate bar, a pair of scuba diver-meets-trailblazer running sneakers, or a selection of bedroom studio gear, there is something here for every type of music lover.
Browse through or click to jump to the following categories:
1 – Benefit Black Luminaries
Los Angeles brand Brain Dead is no stranger to leveraging their designs for a good cause—like earlier this year, when they made a collaborative charity T-shirt with Dev Hynes (AKA Blood Orange) that raised $500k for The Movement For Black Lives and the LGBTQ Freedom Fund. Now Brain Dead is collaborating with enigmatic producer Actress on a T-shirt capsule in benefit of Black Minds Matter, a UK charity that provides free mental health services to the Black community. The Unseen_Werk tee is available in black and white, printed with a design as sparse and abstract as the music you’re likely to find on the mixtape of unreleased Actress tunes it comes bundled with. (Unseen_Werk is Actress’ third release of the year. Check out our impressions of 88 and Karma & Desire.)
45,95€ | Buy here
2 – Vinyl Trouser Flex
Add edge to every outfit with one easy, glossy finish. We particularly love these high-waisted, straight-leg pants made from 100% Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) by Berlin label GmbH. Designed with cool and totally functional two-way zipper detail on the front, dress it down with some plain white tee or up with the next item on this list.
377,00€ | Buy here
3 – Trippy Mesh Top
Mesh tops are a dime a dozen, but here’s one that, in our opinion, sits above the rest. Worn by the likes of LSDXOXO and Herrensauna residents, Olivia Ballard’s single-layer long-sleeve tops in two-tone tie dye print capture the look of the underground zeitgeist. Handmade in Germany’s capital and available at either Isla Berlin or made-to-order on the designer’s website, it’s a trippy choice for COVID-compliant gatherings, Zoom meetings, or live streams.
85,00€ | Buy here
4 – A Tracksuit to Show Up Santa
If you were to make one winter wardrobe investment this year, make it something you can wear every day for an entire week with no regrets—this Sheriff&Cherry tracksuit. It is woven from 100% organic cotton, which means it is 100% cozy too. The retro-country vibe with its fun fringe detail adds a swashbuckling accent to the silhouette, plus the full-red color is a strong stand out statement at any holiday party, virtual or otherwise.
290,00€ | Buy here
5 – Public Possession for Personal Possession
Nothing combines cool and comfort quite like this eggplant sweatshirt by Munich label-slash-record shop Public Possession and Carhartt WIP. From the brand’s new podcast Relevant Parties, hosted by our columnist Chal Ravens, it features an on-trend oversized fit and is designed with what looks like a gregarious, music-loving cat on the back.
89,00€ | Buy here
6 – The Utilitarian Art Project
We have to admit, this gift guide is also our own personal wish list. And among the things we’d want to add to our own carts is this Veggie two tone cotton long-sleeve tee from OTTO 958, a diffusion line from acclaimed Bulgarian designer Kiko Kostadinov and Los Angeles’ Morán Morán Gallery. Oversized and in washed black, it’s an understated uniform for anyone infatuated with utilitarian workwear.
130,00€ | Buy here
7 – Ungendered Satin Undergarments
Heat up any winter wardrobe with this Extra Space Panty from Berlin-based upcycler Melisa Minca. Designed with a high-waist ‘90s-inspired silhouette, elastic waist, and a reflective print that says “Pay Me,” the cheeky piece is handmade in the designer’s Berlin studio and can be customizable to any size.
25,00€ | Buy here
8 – Conscious, Curated Style
For that friend who loves vintage fashion as much as vintage vinyl, may we suggest checking out The Black Market, a BIPOC, female-owned online fashion shop that is based in Berlin, but ships worldwide, which features curated vintage collections, reworked clothing for all genders, and jewelry made by young designers. Find the best styles for friends with cool finds like ‘90s Moncler jackets or plenty of Y2K Dolce & Gabbana. Support sustainable small business.
Varying prices | Buy here
9 – Celebrate 20 Years of Electronic Beats
We don’t want to shout our own praises but, yeah, we’ve kind of been around for a while. To celebrate our 20 exciting years, we’ve compiled a 304-page book reflecting on two decades-worth of music, society, and culture. Available exclusively in German, the compendium of essays and artwork is available for pre-order on December 15th. FYI, the first 50 purchases come with a limited edition wool-silk jacquard protective mask exclusively designed for us by GmbH, the Berlin-based label born on the dancefloor.
34,00€ | Pre-order here
10 – The Iconic Hedonistic German Novel
We all have that friend who deeply aches for days when we danced and lost ourselves to the pulse of techno. Or maybe that friend is in all of us. Whatever the case, Rainald Goetz’s novel Rave is both a recommended read and a fitting gift for anyone nostalgic about the good ol’ days (whether that means the mid-’90s or just our pre-COVID lives).
A deep dive into the ‘90s subculture told through stories of debauched club encounters and intense after-party conversations, it is translated for the first time from German to English this year, and published by cult independent publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions.
£12.99 or about 15,00€ | Buy here
11 – A Global Tour of Ten Cities
Travel from East to West without having to leave your bed with Ten Cities, a compilation of stories on the club culture of ten urban destinations across Africa and Europe including Nairobi, Cairo, Kyiv, Johannesburg, Berlin, Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, and Lisbon.
Initiated by the Goethe-Institut, the project is a comprehensive meditation on global dance music; it brings together three editors, 21 authors of various backgrounds, and 19 photographers to compile playlists and photographs, as well as thought-provoking insider accounts of each scene and how it has evolved from the 1960s up to now.
40,00€ | Buy here
12 – A Soundsystem (Oral) History Lesson
Here’s something for the bookish and music-obsessed among us: Bass, Mids, Tops, an oral history of Britain’s sound system culture from esteemed music journalist Joe Muggs. It features interviews with Dubmaster Dennis Bovell, Norman Jay MBE, Youth, Adrian Sherwood, Skream, Rinse FM’s Sarah Lockhart and many others, plus black and white portraits captured by photographer Brian David Stevens.
$29.95 or about 25,00€ | Buy here
13 – A Tribute to the Late, Great Innovator Andrew Weatherall
British club magazine Jockey Slut pays tribute to one of acid house’s most influential figures, the UK DJ and producer who passed away earlier this year Andrew Weatherall, for one of its latest paperback releases. The book includes stories of the artist’s beginnings at the influential Boy’s Own fanzine, sets at Shoom and Sabresonic, and partnership projects such as The Woodleigh Research Facility, A Love From Outer Space and Convenanza, his festival held on the grounds of a medieval hilltop castle.
18,00€ | Buy here
14 – A Wall-Worthy Slipmat
Bishop is a Wata Igarashi-approved online shop that sells items that promise to “enrich a DJs life.” So if you have a DJ friend, why not enrich their lives with this beautiful slipmat set featuring a reproduction of the 18th-century Japanese national treasure Red and White Plum Blossoms, a Ogata Kōrin masterpiece. While made to protect your records, we wouldn’t judge anyone who decides to just frame and hang it on their wall.
9,800 JPY or about 78,00€ | Buy here
15 – Hands-free Sound Experience
Take those morning runs or casual walks to the supermarket to new heights with Sennheiser’s new Momentum True Wireless 2. Some features include integrated equalizers, a noise-canceling option, Smart Pause, and seven-hour battery life. We can’t think of a better gift to give the most demanding—and on-the-go—of sound connoisseurs.
299,00€ | Buy here
16 – Hi-Fi Audiophilia
The award-winning manufacturer of the world’s finest high-fidelity audio devices V-Moda just came out with its first ever reference studio headphone. Dubbed M-200 and part of the company’s partnership with Roland Corporation, it combines meticulous Japanese engineering with Italian quality. The result is a crisp and refined sound that caters to musicians and sound professionals alike.
370,00€ | Buy here
17 – For the Discerning Vinyl Collector
London’s techno and house pioneer music label The Trilogy Tapes and Ferrara-based streetwear brand Slam Jam join forces for an exclusive collection, which features a no-brainer buy for vinyl collectors out there: the 100% Cotton record bag with an eye-catching graphic on the front. The three-piece capsule line also includes a shirt and a long-sleeve for those feeling extra generous.
30,00€ | Buy here
18 – The Pocket-sized Beatmaker
This Cheap Monday PO-12 rhythm from Teenage Engineering is a 16-sound drum machine and sequencer. Tiny and portable, the compact hardware means beatmaking on-the-go is more convenient than ever—you just have to take it out of your pocket whenever the inspiration strikes. Made with parameter locks and punch-in effects, it’s an absolute steal.
69,00€ | Buy here
19 – Songs in the (LUMI) Keys of Light
While we know LUMI Keys as the piano-learning keyboard, there’s a new edition this season that caters more to musicians and producers. Christened the Studio Edition, this gear combines the original’s multi-colored, whole-key illumination with an MPE-enabled controller. Just like Roli’s super-powered Seaboard Block, this one slides straight into the backpack, too.
269,00€ | Buy here
20 – Machine MK3, the Essential Tech Upgrade
Based on user research, the new Native Instruments Maschine MK3 is now even more efficient and intuitive with its two full-color displays than its former model. The revamped tool lets you mix and edit work without having to look at your computer, and includes a four-directional push encoder that allows for quick and easy search for any project, group, sound, instrument, effect, or sample.
583,90 € | Buy here
21 – More Dancefloor-ready Equipment
Spoil them with the TRAKTOR KONTROL S2. Another solid standby from Native Instruments lets home-bound DJs blend and play wherever, whether it’s the living room, bedroom, or outside, socially distanced, on a park bench, thanks to the music developer’s flagship DJ software, TRAKTOR PRO 3. It also has a key reverse feature that lets them get even more creative with their mixes—a veritable gift that keeps on giving.
291,46€ | Buy here
22 – One if by Land, and Two if by Sea
For anyone wondering what to give a sporty sneakerhead, there is the DMX Trail Hydrex. A collaboration from emerging designer XIMONLEE and Reebok, the futuristic release combines the footwear brand’s heritage with the LVMH Prize recipient’s avant-garde aesthetic. The result is a sock sneaker with scuba boots and trail runner vibes, in a singular gray and scarlet colorway.
195,00€ | Buy here
23 – The Sneaker to Unite Them All
Berlin creative agency deadHYPE and Adidas partnered up for the latest incarnation of its classic running kicks ZX 8000. While the design was originally inspired by ‘80s army footwear, this pair flaunts a minimalistic, digital purple aesthetic that’s just elevated enough to turn heads, but simple enough to match with just about any clothing style.
116,93€ | Buy here
24 – For the Club-Slash-Hiking Demon
The balance of form and function is the backbone of any good design, and Italian brand Girolamo Deon brings that concept home with its Demon Carbonaz boots. A stunning pair you can wear for both clubbing and hiking, this style is handcrafted domestically and features waterproof durable construction, extra-light Putek textile upper, and Vibram rubber outsole—all in all, a worthy splurge.
490,00€| Buy here
25 – Functional Futurewear
A facemask is without a doubt 2020’s accessory of the year. While vaccine progress is on the way, it might still take a while for it to get to every one of us. So until that happens, we say a mask will remain the appropriate, affordable, and thoughtful gift for seasons to come. A current favorite so far? This deconstructed, ever-so-slightly shimmery Together We Dance Alone piece that’s functional enough for daily wear. Stay safe, everyone.
30,00€ | Buy here
26 – See Red Sunglasses
Rose-tinted glasses aren’t enough to welcome a post-pandemic 2021. Treat yourself, and perhaps others, to Gentle Monster’s DEUS G1 sunglasses from the Korean label’s 10th-anniversary collection, aptly called “Void.” What better way to look forward to the potential possibilities of the year ahead than through UV-protected, red-colored lenses inspired by the “brave embracement of the future”?
$325.00 | Buy here
27 – Honey Fucking Dijon, Period.
Comme des Garçons never fails to surprise us with their tasteful collaborations. This time around, the brand teams up with the American, Berlin-based DJ and producer for the launch of her namesake brand Honey Fucking Dijon. Buy her blood red, cow leather wallet on Dover Street Market’s online shop for your friend who values electronic music as much as luxury fashion.
£155.00 or about 171,00€ | Buy here
28 – Anarchic Arm Warmers
For a winter collection with the punk punch, 032c enlisted DIE TÖDLICHE DORIS co-founder and artist Wolfgang Müller to help design the Berlin label’s AW 20/21 release, which includes these bleach black, cotton-wool blend arm warmers for those who need to keep warm (not to mention, in style) whilst fighting the establishment.
55,00€ | Buy here
29 – Eardrum-friendly Earrings
Strange, stylish, and practical—we have to say these ear plug earrings from Berlin jewelry brand MIGLĖ are pretty much up there on our list of most unique gifts to give this season. Made with reusable plugs from Swedish brand Happy Ears and sleek silver, this minimalist hoop set is an ideal gender neutral present.
95,00€ | Buy here
30 – Rave-inspired Silver
Look good and do good at the same damn time by getting the coolest gift your friend will receive this holiday season while supporting independent designers with the Daemon Concept Never Hungry Again mouth guard. The brainchild of Sophia Rotas, the artisanal piece is handmade, cast in pure 925 sterling silver, and is a true celebration of individuality and freedom.
220,00€ | Buy here
31 – The Precious Ornament
A perfect chain is hard to come by, so the right one is worth the longterm investment. This 925 sterling silver choker with ovoid curb links by designer Lani Lees, who fittingly relies on music as her force for inspiration, is unisex, handmade in Germany, sustainably cast from recycled materials. This bestseller is also available in small or large sizes and for those who have slightly bolder taste, in 18 karat plated gold.
349,00€ | Buy here
32 – To-do List Protection
This lightweight notebook 13″ sleeve from Segment helps protect a friends’ ideas, notes, work assignments, and furtive diary entries from ruin. It is made from water-resistant X-Pac fabric produced by Dimension-Polyant, boasts a coated zip closure, and is built with one pocket for pens and other writing accoutrements.
70,00€ | Buy here
33 – The Dutch Power Couple Collab
Give a nod to Amsterdam legends, Dekmantel and Patta in this Adventure Flap Cap from the label and streetwear brand’s latest joint project. Embossed with the equally enigmatic and uplifting message “Wildflowers Don’t Care Where They Grow,” the headgear is made from 100% nylon taffeta and features a detachable flap to ward off the icy gales.
50,00€ | Buy here
34 – Peace Out, Caps On
Three reasons to love this six-panel cap from beloved Berlin house crew Keinemusik: First, it’s black and adjustable, meaning it’s easy to match any look and could fit pretty much anyone. Second, it’s a gift that’s easy on the wallet. And lastly, the deuces hand sign insignia makes it an acceptable holiday gift or peace offering.
39,00€ | Buy here
35 – Art Luxe Beanie
Cashmere is always a crowd pleaser. But instead of the usual sweater, switch it up this year and get them an insulating beanie. Luxe skiwear brand Jet Set has just released an upscale version that blends functionality with street style, featuring a cool pop art badge on its front turn-up.
130.00CHF or about 120,00€ | Buy here
36 – Shameless EB Plug Part 1
Electronic Beats recently collaborated with bag brand AEVOR for a super practical, water-repellent belt bag in an easy-to-match black colorway. Dubbed the “Eco Hip Bag,” the limited edition design is made from recycled PET bottles and features an adjustable shoulder strap and a mesh inner pocket to store your mobile phone for easy access.
19,90€ | Buy here
37 Shameless EB Plug Part 2
But, wait, there’s more. For DJs or promoters still stumped on what to give your friends this holiday season, we have a suggestion. A collaboration with Berlin illustrator and frequent EB collaborator Stefan Marx, our porcelain coffee cup features a funny picture alongside the words we haven’t heard or read in a while: “Sorry No Guestlist.” It’s cute, tongue-in-cheek, and is sure to put anyone in a good mood in the morning.
12,10€ | Buy here
38 – 360° Berlin Atonal Lifestyle
Berlin Atonal, the notable festival for electronic progressives, recently collaborated with Lafawndah, Nkisi, Laurel Halo, Lee Gamble, and more for its vinyl box set collection More Light. Atonal’s full-sweep release also features two exclusive tees from Parisian streetwear brand Perks And Mini (P.A.M), an Ezra Miller-designed blue and green Nalgene water bottle, and limited edition prints featuring the works by past exhibitors. Overall, it’s a well-rounded lifestyle substitute for those longing for annual calendar event.
Varying prices | Buy here
39 – Esoteric Psychedelia
Artist Oliver Hibert, who has worked with Nike and Flaming Lips, displays his penchant for psychedelia with a 78-deck tarot card set. The colorful and eye-catching design will certainly bring anyone’s card-reading obsession to a new level. It also comes with a hand-signed 20-page mini book including text, sketches, drawings and photographs, plus a limited edition velvet pouch with custom tarot eyeball patch. This recommendation comes from our in-house esotericist and Life Forces columnist, Bianca Guilione.
$130.00 or about 108,00€ | Buy here
40 – Sugar Sweet Release from Bicep
Irish duo Bicep and London’s first craft chocolate maker Lucocoa join forces on a collab that would please earworms and sweet tooths. The LUCOCOA X BICEP 60% Haiti Dark Chocolate + Isles bundle includes a chocolate and Isles record format of your choice (including a download code). Heads up, this is a pre-order item and will be ready to ship at the end of January 2021. One for those who can delay gratification.
£42.50 or about 47,00€ | Buy here
41 – Mood-Regulated Music
Wouldn’t it be great if you can just go to any shop and filter items based on what you are experiencing at that exact moment? The Ghent-based conceptual online record store Objects & Sounds was conceived from this very idea. Instead of genres, the shop lets you find music based on your mood, whether you are “Calm or Collected,” “Lost in Dreams,” “Taking it Easy,” “Floating on Clouds,” or going through an “Emotional Rollercoaster”—which many of us these days often are.
A thoughtful gift for any music fan who wants to feel all the feels, the holiday set also includes a handmade sculptural candle, a handpicked vinyl record, and a limited edition greeting card designed by Kit Records artist Adam Higton. A portion of their December sales will also go to LIVE2020, a local platform that helps distribute funds to the live music sector, which has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Varying prices | Buy here
42 – A Hibernation Investment
Warm blankets are a must for the winter season. Our pick is this swathe of 100% Merino wool from Kreuzberg locals Perelic Woolen Goods. Produced in Sliven, the brand supports Bulgaria’s strong textile tradition by working with local women artisans. Each piece is handmade so quantities run small, but that just means that quality is a guarantee.
179,00€ | Buy here
43 – One for the House Heads
Natal Zaks aka DJ Central is selling prints of his graphic work he has designed over the years at natalzaks.com. According to the artist’s website, just get in touch if you have specific requests or want to inquire about the possibility of customizing a previous print. Most prints, available in various bold, pointillistic styles, are reasonably priced.
Varying prices | Buy here
44 – Detox and Purify Into 2021
With people spending more time at home these days, we’re sure anyone will appreciate this Kuumba Regular Body and Soul 12 Incense set. These sticks, which can burn up to an hour and are made from natural materials such as bamboo and sandalwood, have been specially formulated in the Japanese brand’s Tokyo flagship store basement.
12,00€ | Buy here
45 – Calm in Candle Form
Add a soothing stocking stuffer to the mix with Boy Smells Black and White Best Buds Votive Candle set that includes scents Cashmere Kush, Kush, and Cowboy Kush. Blended with notes of pot flower, cashmere wood, white amber, tulip and musk, all three candles smell as relaxing as they sound.
58,00€ | Buy here
46 – Support Independent Artistry
Gift cards get a bad rap for being impersonal, but sometimes these gifts turn out to be the most practical. Plus, they’re the ones where the receiver gets to pick exactly what they want themselves. Bandcamp offers digital vouchers that lets you purchase millions of digital releases or merchandise on its platform. Choose from 10€ to 100€ credits.
Varying prices | Buy here
47 – The Gift of Self-Care
A gift voucher, but make it personal. This season, give the gift of relaxation with a Vabali Spa voucher (for either their Berlin, Hamburg, or Dusseldorf locations) that you can personalize. Flex your design muscles by adding an illustration or image together with a personal message.
The voucher—which lets you enjoy the venue’s themed saunas, steam baths, and pools—can be downloaded and printed on the spot or sent via email, making it the best last-minute purchase for the perpetually-unprepared.
Varying prices | Buy here
48 – The Game of the Year
CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 finally drops after a seven-year delay. The upcoming action role-playing video game, set in a fictional dystopian metropolis Night City and starring Keanu Reeves, shows off impressive graphics thanks to new ray tracing enhancements with DLSS and a slick soundtrack featuring scores from Grimes, A$AP Rocky, Nina Kraviz, and Run the Jewels. It seems like the wait is all worth it.
Varying prices | Buy here
49 – Berlin-bottled Beauty
Swype Cosmetics (not related to the virtual keyboard app) is a Berlin-based beauty brand producing plant-based, cruelty-free skincare essentials in travel-friendly tubes. While you can cop products separately, the box set (which includes a cleanser, moisturizer, and anti-aging serum) is a generous gift to both give and receive.
100,00€ | Buy here
50 – Vegan, Sustainable Scents
If you’re looking for something that is small, practical, and sophisticated, Apotheke Perfume’s 7ml The Lover fragrance bottle in easy-to-carry test tubes ticks all the boxes. Inspired by the German capital, it is made from high grade oils that blend musky, cedar, and cassis notes that are at once dark and addicting.
£34.00 or about 38,00€ | Buy here
Published December 05, 2020. Words by Liz Bautista.