Interviews: Black Sun Empire

If you are not familiar with the name Black Sun Empire, formed by Rene Verdult and the brothers Milan and Micha Heyboer,  you are either very new to the drum’n’bass genre or you are simply not into this kind of music at all. The trio from Utrecht, Netherlands, is famous for their explosive hard and heavy productions, their intense DJ sets and, not to forget, their Blackout events, held all over Europe and beyond. Traditionally the Gretchen is the home for the Blackout events in Berlin and the next one is close, May 13. After such a long time of working together our relationship to these guys became a friendship and so we thought it would be nice to sit down with a cup of tea and some cookies and ask some questions.

Jamie: Black Sun was a criminal syndicate that came into prominence during the Clone Wars as the Jedi Order focused more on military affairs and less on law enforcement. How did you came up with the name? Are you guys “Trekkies”?

BSE: We grew up watching Star Wars and by the time we really needed a name Milan was actually reading one of the books. While flicking through we stumbled upon ‘Black Sun’ and that sounded real good to us, but it needed something else. So by adding another iconic Star wars name ‘The Emperor’ we found our destiny 😛

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Interviews: Swindle

Cameron Palmer, known by his stage name Swindle, is no newcomer but definitely one of the rising stars these days. The London DJ and producer is coming to play at Gretchen for the first time, April 21, so we took this opportunity to speak to him about life, music and future plans.

Jamie: First and foremost thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for our blog. Let us start with this one: Who is Cameron Palmer if he is not playing music across the globe?

Swindle: Thats pretty much all of me! Lol, I’m also a father!

Jamie: I read that you have started DJing at the age of only 12. How did you manage to pay for the equipment and the records?

Swindle: I started playing music at 12, guitar/keyboards that my dad had. I didn’t have turntables till about 14. 

Jamie: What was your first record and have you still got it?

Swindle: Wow I don’t actually know this, I used to collect drum & bass records and at some point sold my collection. I still massively regret this today! Continue reading “Swindle”

Interviews: THE BUG

blog_the-bug_byfabricebourgelleThe Ninja Tune ambassador Kevin Martin, better known as The Bug, is about to put the pressure on us. On Thursday, November 17, he will launch his regular night at Gretchen called, don’t be surprised, “Pressure”! Also on board for the first one he invited the Japanese Goth-Trad, reggae singer Miss Red from Israel and Terror Danjah, Flowdan and Lady Chann from the UK. Bringing his own sound system to Gretchen will guarantee a bass that will move you automatically. This night is definitely something for the sound nerds. We thought it was about time to sit down and talk.

Jamie: So you have moved from the UK to Berlin and brought your monstrous sound system with you, which we can’t deny we are very happy about. What made you choose Berlin as your new residence?

The Bug: I had always loved getting lost in Berlin’s atmosphere. It had always been first and foremost a music city, offering 24 hour convenience, artistic dissidence and political awareness. So it was a no brainer. London is now only affordable to the rich and, like Manhattan or Tokyo, it has become a playground for the rich, and it’s artistic heart and soul has been ripped out.

Jamie: You have had countless projects, collabs and groups that you have formed with many other great acts and artists. During the last years one of them seemed to stand out of the rest, your King Midas Sound project with poet Roger Robinson and singer Kiki Hitomi. Where have you met and what made you want to work with them?

The Bug: I had known Roger for maybe 20 years. We were introduced by a mutual friend (A-Cydes), and at that time, I had only recently discovered Roger’s incredible Poetry, voice, tone and delivery via his work with Chocolate Art Project, so it was a sweet coincidence to meet him at that time. We clicked instantly and I invited him to guest with Techno Animal on a 12” and for some live shows with techno Animal. To be honest, I could listen to Roger recite the alphabet and still be captivated by his incredible presence. I had first heard Kiki and my now soundman Goh’s own band Dokebbi Q by chance on a visit to Tokyo and then again coincidently they played at Plastic People (my second London home…LOL) the day I returned from that japanese trip. So I went to check their show and was impressed by Kiki’s mutant approach and versatile vocals. So I guess the question is, is coincidence really coincidence or that fate you make? Continue reading “THE BUG”


bbf_blogDaniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick – Brandt Brauer Frick – have made a name for themselves with their unorthodox style and outstanding live performances. For their new album “Joy” the trio has brought the Canadian singer and songwriter Beaver Sheppard on board to produce an entire vocal-focused LP. On the Thursday, November 10 Gretchen presents the Album Release *LIVE*. We take this opportunity to ask some questions about the latest release, producing, playing live, success and much more.

Jamie: Already in early 2016 we have heard Beaver Sheppard on your EP “Holy Night” / “Poor Magic”, now he’s on the entire Album. Please tell us about how you guys met and what made you want to produce this album with him?

B.B.F.: We met Beaver in 2013 in Montreal through a good friend. He instantly intrigued us as a person while hanging out, someone with a unique and almost constant output of ideas and associations. When we found out about all the things he does, whether it’s singing, writing, story-telling, painting or cooking, we wanted to try and make music with him. A few months later we got booked for a special event series in Switzerland and they asked if we could bring a singer. So we thought of him, and used the opportunity to record with him for weeks. As we loved it, we invited him to Berlin more times and it became this album.

Jamie: Are there more projects with him planned for the near future, will it be Brandt Brauer Frick Sheppard from now on?

B.B.F.: For now, it’s for this album, but we’ll definitely do more things together, too early to think in which way. Continue reading “BRANDT BRAUER FRICK”


Because of having Schlachthofbronx at Gretchen on Saturday, October 22, we talked to them in advance to get a little more impressions about these great two guys.

The most likely first question that pops into peoples minds might be “What’s the origin of their name?” Well, there is a district in Munich, the hometown of Bene and Jakob, that is called Schlachthofviertel which is populary known as Schlachthofbronx. With that being clarified let’s talk about what is really important when it comes to the Bavarian duo, the music!

 Jamie: We have read, you once met in a graffiti crew and didn’t like each other. True? Why not and why did that change?

SHB: Yes true, we both were in the same graffiti crew back in the days. And well, we didnt really like each other for quite a long time, because we were smartasses/teenagers/you name it. But we always knew the other one was into music aswell, and followed each others work a bit … then one day we met at the birthday party of a common friend (who doubles as our driver now sometimes at shows), and started talking about music, favourite producers, and how we missed a night in Munich that played more than just one genre of music (which was the norm back then in 2007. just imagine, Myspace age..!) After a while of talking, we decided to meet up and do some music for our sets. Thats how everything started….
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