Exclusive Interview: Brigade

Hard Times, Soft Music – the eagerly-anticipated debut album from Berlin-based live duo Brigade – is released today, October 14, via Laut & Luise. A diverse and multifaceted body of work spanning myriad sonic influences, the long player features a total of twelve exquisite original compositions as well as previously released album singles, International Communication, Vendetta Theme and Worshipping Comments.

In a time where electronic music gets harder and faster each day, Berlin-based duo Brigade’s debut album Hard Times, Soft Music reclaims easy listening as a badge of honour. Out now, the record is a meticulously calibrated work of room temperature, a home cooked meal between friends or a warm sonic blanket that tucks you in after a rainy day. Pushing their club roots to the side, Brigade’s debut album confidently sits between ambient, house and hip-hop.

A beautifully crafted record encompassing moments of stripped back ambience alongside a manifold offering of laid-back, groove-inducing cuts, Hard Times, Soft Music is an emphatic stake in the ground from the in-form duo, who have been going from strength to strength since forming back in 2013.

Hi Brigade and welcome to House Music With Love. Where are we speaking to you from today?

Thanks for having us. We’re based in Berlin of course. Living the absolute cliche and loving it. 

Tell us a little bit about your background, and how you came to be musicians.

I (Julius) was really good at counter strike when I was 15. Like semi-professionally good. Then my older brother got FL Studio and changing priorities from gaming to producing music felt kind of natural. Some years later I met Niels and the Keller Club in Berlin (RIP) gave us space for a studio, let us play livesets at their parties and from this point we somehow got where we are now.

Who have been your biggest supporters in your career so far?

There are a lot of super nice musicians around us who are very supportive but they are way too many to name them all. We’ve also been trying to get a Malboro sponsorship but they’re not responding to our emails 🙁

What have you been up to so far in 2022?

Pretty solid so far. We finished an EP and the Album, a music video and two completely different livesets with new material. Also Niels got a cat. You can tell it has been an emotional year. 

What inspires you the most when making music? And how do you stay inspired?

Working as a duo has its perks. Even if you’re having a really uninspiring day, chances are the other person will come up with something interesting that you can use as a starting point for your own creative process. Also, it’s much easier to tour together. I think if either of us did this alone we would’ve quit some time ago. 

What would you say has been your biggest career highlight to date?

Our mums said once that they like it. We’re still getting a lot of energy from that moment.

What is the best venue you have played to date, and why?

Festivals are great and you can upload a set and people will listen to it but honestly, a small club with good monitors and where you are really close to the people are always the best. Super fun clubs like Kauz in Zürich, Uferlos in Luzern or Arche Ahoi in Innsbruck come to mind.

What can you tell us about your new album “Hard Times, Soft Music”?

We wanted to make something a bit more away from the club thing than our usual output. So the record is filled up with some super relaxed, jazzy hip-hopish sound. Hard to describe but we kinda feel like you can hear a french guy whispering comforting things to your ear at a super low volume when you listen to the record. Maybe if Air had had a phase where they got into Madlib and used some bad equipment they would’ve made this kind of thing.

If you could put on your own show anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you have join you on the lineup?

We would just book LTJ Bukem and let him play in our kitchen all night long. We would then observe the set from a safe distance half smiling half crying.

Beyond the album release, what is coming up next in the world of Brigade?

We just finished a whole new live-set that is all groove based dubby house at around 127 bpm and are looking for a good place to record it at the moment. Also we have finally started to do DJ gigs next to our live sets which has also been lovely. 

Where can we see you perform in the near future?

Our next gig will be the 10 years Kauz party in Zurich on 06.11. Check our SoundCloud page for all the other dates.

Where is the best place to stay up to date with you?

Give us a follow on instagram. @brigade_international where we only do selfies if the situation really calls for it.

Thanks for chatting to us today guys, and best of luck with the album release! Hope to see you soon!

Thank you!

Brigade – Hard Times, Soft Music is out now via Laut & Luise