School buses aren’t the usual catalysts for great musical achievements, but this was where Arndt Roerig and Marko Vidovic – now known around the globe as Tube & Berger – first started their musical journey. Now 15 or so years later they are two of the most seasoned house producers and in-demand remixers around, with an acclaimed studio album, releases on an array of prestigious labels, gigs at the world’s finest venues and over 25 million YouTube plays to their name. One of the biggest selling acts on Beatport in 2013 and 2014, Tube & Berger is already one of the hottest duos in the world; but this is only the beginning.
Never ones to follow in others footsteps, the duo inject spontaneity into their lives wherever they can; travelling to unusual destinations on a whim and deeply contemplating the end of the world are just two of the ways Tube & Berger gain creative inspiration.
From early experiments in the world of punk, the German duo’s first breakthrough came with their 2004 hit ‘Straight Ahead’, which featured the vocals of Chrissie Hynde and shot straight to the top of the Billboard Dance Radio Chart. Since this early success their output has evolved significantly, incorporating real-life recordings, samples and an intricate, emotion-laden production style to create records that are organic and evocative, without losing focus on packing that dancefloor punch essential for the modern-day DJ.
Deep house boom
“We always say that it’s always important to change and we like to be dynamic” says Roerig of their current aesthetic. “When the deep house boom came around we were both pretty tired of the minimal, cold and non-melodic sounds that were around. Suddenly more vocal bits and more melodic parts came up and we felt like that was much more our thing.” If the “deep house boom” was the catalyst for the change in style, then Tube & Berger in turn have undoubtedly become one of the most celebrated proponents for it, crafting several of the scenes defining records in the last couple of years. More notably perhaps is ‘Imprint of Pleasure’, a heart-wrenchingly poignant dancefloor anthem released on Suara that was named as Beatport’s 9th Top Selling Track of All Time, racked up a hefty 13 million views on YouTube and has provided the soundtrack for festivals and dancefloors for over three years.
Perhaps one of the greatest strings to their bow has been the success of their own label Kittball Records, which they run along with friend and fellow DJ Juliet Sikora. As well as releasing their own music, Kittball has helped nurture the careers of Milan Euringer (alongside whom they wrote the huge underground hit ‘Lovebreak’), Jerome Robbins and Kolombo to name but a few.
It was on Kittball that Tube & Berger released their debut studio album ‘Introlution’ back in 2012. Aiming to “convey mood, great vocals and plenty of emotion”, the album boasted a collaboration with Chicago House legend Robert Owens as well as a further 14 tracks that moved from glitchy, jacking house to stripped-back Baleric vibes. This year Kittball celebrates ten years in the industry with a European tour throughout the year.
Tube & Berger’s first release in 2014 proved to be an astonishing success. Produced alongside long-term friend and label partner Juliet Sikora, ‘Set It Off’ was labelled an ‘Essential New Tune’ by Pete Tong before going on to reach the dizzy heights of #1 and #2 on the Beatport Deep House and overall chart respectively, and amassed 3 million plays after just 9 months. The track was quickly signed to Pete Tong’s FFRR with a full commercial releases in the UK, Germany, France and US later on last year. Their remix of Daniel Steinberg on Defected was also named an Essential New Tune, making it two in the same year, and made it to number 2 on Beatport.
2014 also saw the release of their ‘Entourage’ EP that has acquired over 400,000 streams on Soundcloud since it’s release in October, as well as ‘Deeper Sessions’ on Armarda – a compilation with 16 of the greatest tracks they’ve played on their monthly radio show on Sirius XM. In terms of live performances – Tube & Berger never tire. Last year the guys proved they are Ibiza heavyweights with frequent shows at ANTS in Ushuaia and Booom! Ibiza. Festival-wise they had sets at Tomorrowland, Loveweek Festival, Eastport Festival among others, and played dates at ADE including the opening and All Gone Pete Tong. They also had a European tour and finished the year off on a ‘Deeper Sessions’ tour in the US and Canada. The duo carried the momentum into 2015, selling out their first headline show in London.
Tube & Berger are currently working on their follow up LP due in the next year, the release will pick up where ‘Introlution’ left off: a combination of their big club records to date, some vocal tracks featuring some very cool names and some more thoughtful electronica pieces.
“We are really hoping that with this body of work we can start to make the transition to a live act” they add. “The album will definitely be full of us playing real instruments as we come from that indie rock background and we are determined to take it on the road.”
Until then, Tube & Berger will continue doing what they do best; creating thoughtful, considered house music that pulls just as incessantly at the heart as it does the feet. And with the quality and consistency they’ve shown to date, there’s no limit to what they might achieve.