Starting off our artist introduction series, we put the spotlight on the two minds behind numpad!
Both coming from the picturesque city of Ulm in south Germany, Julian S. and Sebastian W. formed the now Berlin based live project NUMPAD in 2014. From the beginning, there was a vision in their minds of playing live electronic music instead of just spinning records. With the purchase of a first hardware synthesizer, both the outline of today’s project and the obsession for these machines loomed.
In August 2015 NUMPAD had their debut in a small Berlin club at Rummelsburger Bucht. Initially they played hybrid sets consisting of their own productions and tracks of artists they liked.
A few gigs in Berlin’s underground music scene followed. When they were invited to play the LIVE-Festival for electronic live music in Munich in January 2017, they decided to play a set consisting only of their own productions. This was also their first introduction to fully improvised live electronic music.
Inspired by the creative freedom, they decided to evolve into a completely improvised act from then on.
J. as a drummer and D’n’B enthusiast takes care of percussion and sub-bass arrangements using a computer and a hardware sequencer, while S. is mainly focused on more melodic content and abstract polyrhythmic events served from his modular system. The improvisational character of their performances enables them to thoroughly engage and interact with the given atmosphere.
Each set is a new journey into unknown territories for both of them. A process of constantly creating, listening, revising and optimizing. Both their engineering background as well as their deep passion for and insatiable interest in this music and the technology behind it, enable the two to constantly critically analyze themselves and further develop their ideas.
Classic Detroit rave stabs, wide ambient pads or bustling breakbeats can always be found amidst air-cutting percussion and enthralling dark synth lines. From squelching acid to cinematic soundscapes their sound, as diverse as their musical influences and taste, always invites the listener into a vivid sound experience.
Check out numpad‘s newest endeavor, as they are featured on Halle’s well established music and culture network Station Endlos on their podcast #035 with a full 90 minute performance of pounding techno improvisation: