Despite having their 20-year anniversary tour postponed due to the global pandemic, Berlin-based musicians Inga Humpe and Tommi Eckart of 2RAUMWOHNUNG are continuing to create music through the crisis.
How did you each get into music and what were some of the first tracks you remember listening to/being inspired by?
Inga Humpe: I first got into music during the ’70s. I learned to play guitar and started singing and listening to English and French pop songs.
Tommi Eckart: The guitar was also my first instrument. I took classical lessons at first, but then, punk rock happened.
How did you two meet and what made you decide to start producing music together?
IH: We met at record producer Moritz von Oswald’s studio. He’s a very good friend of ours. We have always appreciated each other’s music and so the decision to start working together came very naturally.
Where does the name 2RAUMWOHNUNG come from?
TE: In the east side of Berlin people refer to a two-bedroom apartment as a 2-Raum-Wohnung, whereas the phrase in west Berlin is 2-Zimmer-Wohnung. We both come from the west side of Berlin, but we decided to use the east side word so that people would think we were an east Berlin band.
How would you describe your style? I’ve read that you bring together influences from punk, new wave, and techno.
TE: 2RAUMWOHNUNG aims to combine influences from club music with pop music.
Ever since we started making music as a duo, we have been interested in how the world’s musical landscape develops and shifts, the new styles that emerge, and how existing styles are changing. There were a lot of intense shifts in music when punk and new wave came on the scene, and also when techno music started to become popular. We include references to all these styles in our work.
“The absence of concerts and parties this summer will be very hard for Berliners. But I also think it will help us all to be grateful for the things we usually take for granted.”
What have you been up to during the global pandemic?
IH: We have been bouncing back and forth between our studio, our rehearsal room, and our office. Our daily routine in lockdown hasn’t actually been too different from our usual one. That being said, we do have more time to do things we wouldn’t usually be able to do, such as looking closely at our back catalog. We found some old vocal tracks that we then sent to some DJ friends who have put them together into some great mixes. We’ve collected sound banks, listened to music intensely, and started to write some new tracks. Our tour celebrating 20-years of 2RAUMWOHNUNG has been postponed though, which is disappointing. We are hoping that we will be able to complete it in Autumn of this year. We’ll have to see how things develop!
How do you think coronavirus is going to change the music industry/scene? It’s going to be a pretty odd summer for us here in Berlin with concerts…
IH: Yes! The absence of concerts and parties this summer will be very hard to take for Berliners. But I also think it will help us all to be grateful for the things we usually take for granted.
How did you select the tracks for this mixtape?
IH: Our playlist was inspired by what music as an artform is capable of. Music makes people come together. We cannot wait to play, sing, and dance with people at concerts and parties again. In the Western world, we are usually able to live very freely, which is such a privilege. Hopefully, the global pandemic will help us to realize that we should be fighting to make the world a place where nobody has to suffer from restrictions on their freedom. Let’s do it!
2RAUMWOHNUNG is a German electro-pop band based in Berlin. Made up of Inga Humpe and Tommi Eckhart, the duo have been producing music together for the past 20 years. This interview was produced as part of our Mixtape series, in which international creatives curate playlists of music that inspires them. Head over to the Mixtape section to find out more.
Text: FvF Team
Photography: Carolin Saage, Julija Goyd