FIVE FAVOURITES: Das Beat

Formed during lockdown in 2020 to counteract chronic boredom and reignite their creative spark, Berlin-based duo Das Beat craft quirky electronic tunes with an indie disco edge. Together, German actress & vocalist Eddie Rabenberger and Canadian musician Agor (Blue Hawaii) blend elements of new wave, synth pop and disco to create their playful and provocative tunes, which culminated in the release of their debut EP, Identität, earlier this year.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Eddie to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to Das Beat’s single ‘Jackie’ at the end of this post.

 

1. John Cale – ‘Dying on the Vine’ (Accoustic Version)
This song has been one of my favourites for many years. I can’t help but to default to it when I am with a group of friends and everyone starts playing songs for each other. The version I love is from a live concert Cale plays with Nick Cave, only piano and vocals. It’s a great concert but especially this song sticks out to me. I love the rhythm of the voice and the lyrics. It just makes me happy and a little sad and that’s the way I love it.

2. Luis Ake – ‘Liebe’
I must mention this amazing German contemporary artist. He writes beautiful lyrics and songs. Especially in the new song ‘Liebe’ it all comes beautifully together to me. This song is about falling out of love with someone but instead when you listen you just have to fall in love with the music. There is also a great music video made from Tereza Mundilova, it’s super and I definitely recommend watching and letting yourself be carried away by the beautiful tunes of Luis Ake.

3. Brutalismus 3000 – ‘Good Girl’
A new band from the Berlin underground scene. But I am sure soon they will be known internationally. You listen to the music and you wanna dance – this is what being in a club should sound like. Amazing beats by Theo Zeitner joined by the incredible vocalist Victoria Daldas. When I listen to their songs it makes me feel powerful and strong and on top of the world. This song is about how impossible it is to be a “good girl” and that as a woman you can not do anything right, you’re always blamed for the actions of others. It is simple but genius and I hope soon everyone will party to this gorgeous music.

4. Gina X Performance – ‘Be a Boy’
Such an icon. Gina Kikoin is such a wonderful queer figure from the German 80`s scene. The song gave me strength as a little girl, not having to be the classical girl that society wanted. Helping to break out of gender conformity. Now I feel more secure with my self and also my “femininity”, but Gina X Performance definitely helped me on the way to define myself on my own terms, not others. It was a little hard here to choose one song, because to be honest all her albums are great.

5. Grace Jones – ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before’
Every time this song comes on it gives me the goosebumps, it’s so mystical and elegant. My fantasy immediately goes wild and then Grace’s beautiful voice comes in and I am gone. I can connect with the feeling and the lyrics. I love Grace Jones and it would be crazy not to mention her here.

Thanks to Eddie for sharing her favourites with us!

Follow Das Beat on Spotify & Instagram for more updates.

Photo Credit: Peter Zeitner

FIVE FAVOURITES: Velvet Volume

Sibling trio Velvet Volume have turned a DIY attitude and the power of sisterhood in to riotous sounds reminiscent of Veruca Salt, The Donnas and Sleater-Kinney. Comprised of twins Noa (guitar) and Naomi (bass), drummer sister Nataja, the Denmark-based band released their debut album Look Look Look! back in 2017 to crticial acclaim in their homeland, and are set to re-release the record via Nettwerk internationally. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is to ask them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with the Velvet Volume sisters to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five songs which have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you watch the video for their track ‘Pretty In Black’ at the end of this post.

Last Shadow Puppets – ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You’
Nataja:​ I always get very emotional when I hear this song. I almost always play it when we sit in the tour-bus, it sets the mood when we have been driving through Switzerland. The composition of this song is absolutely perfect, and I adore the way they manage to use such romantic strings alongside such extreme western guitar sounds. I don’t think that anybody can pull off such a sound, mixing so many different moods and genres together. Which is why I have so much respect for their songwriting skills, and I always try to pull it into our own songwriting process.

Grace Jones – ‘Walking In The Rain’
Noa: Grace Jones is one of the most important artists in my development as an artist. I remember watching her for the first time on Vh1, performing ‘walking in the rain’, wearing a dark suit illuminated by a spotlight. I was so persuaded by her energy and character and how she almost appeared like an alien-like creature. She had so much power and confidence that it almost confused her audience. I had never seen a female artist like that before! And then I just really started digging her whole career as a musical artist, actor, and model.

David Bowie – ‘Starman’
Nataja: Again, a professor in brilliant songwriting. Starman is one of my all-time favorite songs, mostly because it has the best chorus ever written… Period. In general, we actually have a saying, that comes from some of the more “epic” Bowie songs which we call “higher than life – feeling”. Especially on songs like ‘Heroes’ and ‘Space Oddity’. It’s the very emotional and sad but at the same time, happy and uplifting feeling you get when you listen to it. It’s is the “everything is sad right now, but it’s gonna be alright” – feeling, hahah… if you don’t get it, then just listen to the songs, and the feeling you get is THE “higher than life – feeling”. And it’s something we’re trying to incorporate into some of our own songs. It could be cool to give people that same feeling by listening to our songs.

The White Stripes – ‘Blue Orchid’
Naomi: I remember when my father played The White Stripes for me as a little kid, and I immediately fell in love with the energy and the power of just two instruments. It blew my mind! It was a huge inspiration for me. To experience how you can make two instruments sound like many, and make the music sound big, but yet minimalistic at the same time! I loved Jacks simple and powerful riffs like this one in Blue Orchid, and I definitely wanted to write riffs like that as well!

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood – ‘Some Velvet Morning’
Noa: okay the whole album is just a true masterpiece. But especially this song. It really captures the thing I love the most about the album. The very romantic and dreamy/dramatic vibe, in the lyrics and the grandeur compositions, – and then the very traditional female/masculine dividing in the melody and the responding/conversation between them, which we use a lot in our own songs. I really like to use both the masculine and feminine side, which kind of symbolizes the fact that we all carry both around in oneself, and we use it in both singing and playing our instruments!

Thanks to Velvet Volume for sharing their favourite songs with us! Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Daniel Aude

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut