Features: Autograf

This up & coming Thursday, May 4, the trio Autograf, from Chicago, will perform live at Gretchen. The sound of the band is often described as electronic pop or future house. With more than 139,000 Soundcloud fans and almost 90,000 Facebook likes, the group’s fan base is more than established, but the bands focus is not only on the music but also on the whole presentation. What that means? Well, let me give you a clearer view on what these guys are all about.

The three members of Autograf, Mikul Wing, Louis Kha and Jake Carpenter began not as the enigmatic and dreamy house group it is today, but as a visual art outlet for creatives who wanted to return to their roots. They all come from visual art or design backgrounds, but during the years before the formation of the group, in 2013, they found greater success as solo artists and in groups like Midnight Conspiracy. Right from the start Autograf’s plan was to provide something different. Their first show was an event at the House of Blues, titled “Warhol’s Factory.” At this event, the group transformed the venue into an art installation. This included a massive re-creation of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup piece, which the group continues to use, and Brillo boxes. After that first successful event, Autograf continued with a serie of events at Chop Shop & 1st Ward (former auto body shop and now butcher-deli-restaurant and bar with a 6,000 square foot event space) with Collaboraction, a local mixed media theater and arts company. Just like the first event at the House of Blues, these Chop Shop & 1st Ward spectacles had a theme and transformed the location Continue reading “Autograf”

Features: Mndsgn & Kingdom

This up and coming Saturday, April 29, we will take you on a trip to the stars. Two very inspiring musicians will jump in their spaceship to showcase their talent at Gretchen. Both are based in Los Angeles and have made a name for themselves during the last few years with their unorthodox productions. You would like to know who are these two astronauts that we are talking about? Ringgo Ancheta and Ezra Rubin of course! Oh, you still do not have a clue? Well, let us get more into detail then.

Ringgo Ancheta, better known by his stage name Mndsgn, pronounced “mind design”, was born in San Diego to former members of the Philippine arm of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, a doomsday cult that was originally founded in Japan in 1984 and gained international notoriety when it carried out the deadly Tokyo subway sarin terror attack in 1995. His parents were granted political asylum in the U.S.A., otherwise his life probably would have taken a different route. Spending his childhood on the edge of a commune with no electricity and mostly no technology, he did not had access to any kind of modern music until he sneaked out and hitchhiked to Philadelphia where he got in contact with the sound of hip-hop for the very first time and immediately fell in love with the art form. A Philly resident, who explained the art of sampling and beat making to him, inspired him so much that he acquired some equipment within the same day and started to work on his own productions. From then on he went more and more often to “The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” (author’s note: common American nickname for the city of Philadelphia.) which finally led to a move to Los Angeles to be a full time musician. Continue reading “Mndsgn & Kingdom”

Features: SHAPESHIFTER

There are many bands out there who have tried to play live drum’n’bass before, but none of them have brought it to a level of perfection as these guys, multiple award winning, platinum selling, world famous Shapeshifter from Christchurch, New Zealand. They will be back in Berlin, April 20, to play one of their energetic live shows at Gretchen. Since their formation in 1999, Shapeshifter have worked their way up to be one of New Zealand’s top musical exports and definitely have caught worldwide attention with their live performances. We have had a look at the bands history and have brought together all the interesting facts about them in this little article.

The four founding members, Devin Abrams, Redford Grenell, Sam Trevethick and Nick Robinson met first at the Christchurch Jazz School. Their wide musical background included dub, jazz, hip-hop, metal, funk and electronic, this led into the decision to bring all these influences together and create live drum’n’bass. In 2001, Shapeshifter released their first longplayer entitled “Realtime”. For the album they worked together with producer Kaps and Tiki Taane, a member of the famous New Zealand dub/reggae formation Salmonella Dub. It also features the sweet vocals of Ladi6, who has been called “New Zealand’s answer to Erykah Badu”, on the track “Move With Me”. At the 2002 b-Net New Zealand Music Awards the album was awarded as the “Best Electronic Release” and was also nominated for “Best Electonic Album” at the Rainz New Zealand music Awards. Continue reading “SHAPESHIFTER”

Features: Jeff Parker and The New Breed

This week we will continue our series of jazz events with a truly outstanding artist. On April 7 we are opening doors for Jeff Parker and The New Breed. So many interesting facts to talk about, where do we even begin?

The American jazz and rock guitarist, born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1967 was attracted to music from an early age on and decided to study at the Berklee College of Music. Soon after he moved to the jazz capital Chicago and started working on his career as a musician. Parker  became a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a non-profit organization, which supports and encourages jazz performers, composers and educators. According to its charter the ACCM is devoted “to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music”. Also members of the organization are, for instance, George Lewis, Chico Freeman, Anthony Braxton and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. But Parker was not only interested in playing jazz, his skills as a rock musician were widely acknowledged when he joined the famous post-rock band Tortoise. The almost entirely instrumental music of Tortoise is quite experimental and, rather than the standard rock and roll sound, a mixture that incorporates everything from the so called krautrock, dub, minimalist music, electronic to various jazz styles. Their last album “The Catastophist” was released, by the Chicago based indie label Thrill Jockey, i Continue reading “Jeff Parker and The New Breed”

Features: Hospitality Night Berlin

Gretchen is proud and happy to host the Hospitality nights in Berlin. The next one is right around the corner, March 25, and the Line-up speaks for itself. A true Jungle/D&B legend who have not played in Berlin in a long long time, a superstar of the genre and one of the most talked about of the last years. But before we take a closer look at these guys, let us find out more about Hospitality, a name that rings a bell of junglists and bass addicts all around the globe.

It is 1996, Forest Hill, South London, two enthusiastic men with a plan are starting their independent label Hospital Records. Tony Colman, also known as the man behind London Electricity, and Chris Goss had a vision and were ready to jump into cold water to swim with the sharks. Their engagement and hard work paid off relatively fast, as Hospital became a well known name and was mentioned in the same breath with leading labels of Jungle/D&B at that time like for instance Metalheadz, Moving Shadow or Reinforced. Releasing artists on the imprint such as London Electricity, the Austrian duo Camo & Krooked, Danny Bird, Nu:Tone, Logistics, Fred V & Grafix, and the list goes on, guarantee a level of quality that makes it hard for other labels to keep up with and almost unlikely to even top it. The sound of Hospital Records is warm and easy, soulful but impulsive. Music for the dance floor as well as hanging out with friends or in your car driving down the highway. In 2001 Hospital came to the conclusion that it was time to start their own event series. Maybe the parties at that time were not what Colman and Goss were looking for, be it the atmosphere, ticket prices or door politics. Or maybe it was just the wish to present their very own idea of Jungle/D&B, in the right environment and with a Line-up that they could put together themselves to feature the labels artists as much as possible. They named it Hospitality and the first event took place at the, now closed, Herbal club in Shoreditch, East London. From there Hospitality took it to several London clubs such as Heaven, Matter and all the way up to the Brixton O2 Academy. But London became too small, so they started to throw regular events all over the UK. From Brighton to Bristol, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and everywhere else where people were asking for it. But guess what? Great Britain became too small, so Hospitality took it to Miami, Tokyo, Ibiza and many other locations across the globe, until they finally landed in Berlin where Gretchen was their first choice. We are feeling honoured and looking forward to a long partnership with many great nights at our club.You probably want to know who will be on the wheels of steel this time? As usual Hospitality will not disappoint you: This card is something for everyone from the old school to the next generation of D&B heads. Continue reading “Hospitality Night Berlin”