Funprox had a chat with Brigitte Enzler from Augsburg, Bavaria. She has a musical career spanning over 20 years, starting in the punk/wave/noise scene. Nowadays she is active with her solo project Beta Evers, various collaborations and her own succesful electro label Kommando 6. Brigitte talks about her past, her current activitities and plans for the future.
I am Brigitte, better known as Beta Evers, musician and owner of the German electro label Kommando 6. My main residence is in Augsburg, the third biggest city of Bavaria (South Germany).
More than 20 years ago. Around my 15th birthday I founded my first band called Pervers. It was a punk/new wave/noise band in the tradition of those female German avant-garde bands existing between 1978-1982 like Malaria, Östro 430, Carambolage and X-mal Deutschland. We were a girl trio and we used a guitar, drums, metal cans, electronic instruments and lots of distortion. I also appeared under the name Deutscher Abschaum (duo with one of the Pervers girls). With Pervers we had two releases on my own tape-label and two record releases on a punk and new wave label from Frankfurt called Zweckfrei.
The first EP was really rough stuff, recorded in bad quality in a cellar, but it found some attention after a positive review in the well-known US-punk fanzine “Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll”. In 1989 both bands ended for various reasons. During the 1990’s I didn’t make music, but started and finished two studies at the university, I wrote articles for the German Trust fanzine and organized some parties. After I had founded Kommando 6 (aka K6) in 2000, the wish became stronger and stronger to make music again. In 2001 I bought some equipment and began to produce as Beta Evers then.
First of all I make my solo stuff as Beta Evers, second I am involved in Black Spider Clan, my project with Dystronic. I had also a studio project with C. Kent (also member of the K6-circle) called Flying Bodies, but due to a lack of time, there are no plans to continue that.
A friend of mine organized a party-series called Elektrik Nacht between 1996 and 2000. It took place in our local underground club (“underground” stands here for a sub cultural agenda and non-profit parties). Our preferred local DJs and live-acts played there once a month. When he felt it was time for some changes and the club was going to be closed in 2001 anyway, I decided to take over with a kind of network, to continue with good parties and to set up some other projects. That was in 2000. In fall 2001 I decided to make the Kommando 6 network also a record label, because some of my friends made good music and I wanted to publish it.
Actually I wanted to release 3 to 6 records with the music of my friends from the Elektrik Nacht circle only. But soon I felt the wish to continue and the feedback on the first releases was really good. After a while I started to include also selected international artists to the label. Now, after 20 records and 5 years of action I often feel lately, like my “K6 mission” is actually done. Successfully done. Also, there are three things which let me hesitate to make a lot of future plans at the moment. First of all there is a real lack of good demos. I don’t receive new tracks from my local circle anymore. Beside Dystronic and me, nobody is producing on a regular basis. Most of the guys here have founded families or have demanding jobs, so that I don’t expect further releases with them. I receive loads of demos from all over the world, but only one demo a year fits my idea of Kommando 6. All that stuff I get is perfectly produced, but I miss a certain mood, style or atmosphere in the most demos. It seems, that the electro that I like, is very hard to find. Secondly, we always had and still have a difficult situation regarding distribution, although the label enjoys a good reputation. What we need is either a good exclusive distribution, that works worldwide, or some more small distributions in different countries. Due to our distribution problems there are still too many people who don’t know K6 and too many shops where K6-records are not available. I get so many mails like “I want to buy your records, but they are not available in my area”. Third, the increasing demand for digital media and the decreasing demand for records is something that could affect my future label work. More and more people want music not on “touchable” materials but in digital form. That could become a serious problem for record labels. Not drastically yet, but in the future. I love vinyl and as long as it is possible, I will continue to release music on vinyl and not through digital formats like mp3. Well, back to the presence… honestly said, I am at a point right now, where I am not sure how it goes on. One sure thing is, that in march 2006 the missing K6-19 will be released: Dystronic’s EP Rude Tunes. After that is sold, I will see…
Yes, it is true. In fall 2006 I want to start the Bodyvolt label. This label will not be based on a local network idea like Kommando 6 was, but is totally focused on the music itself. At Kommando 6 I made some compromises on three or four records of local artists, because the thing that stood above all was that social idea at Kommando 6, the idea to feature the music made by our local circle. At Bodyvolt I won’t make such compromises and at Bodyvolt it plays no role anyway, where the artist comes from. It is hard to describe what styles I am looking for. Kommando 6 was focused on today’s electro-styles, Bodyvolt won’t. I could say, I look for certain styles of early-80s-inspired electronics. But then again, maybe I look less for styles, but more for feelings and moods. Those feelings and moods that I experienced when listening to certain new wave, ebm and electronic avant-garde in the early 1980s. Important is, that the music is in “today’s clothes”, because I am not fond of “straight retro” / “let’s-copy-the-80s” stuff… similar to Kommando 6, I will look for melancholic or darker tunes and not for “light” stuff like electro-pop or -disco. All together I think it will be not so easy to find what I am looking for, but I believe some of that kind of music is out there. To find, to release and to feature it, is the vision and the mission of Bodyvolt.
Yes, it is very rare that I enter a stage. This is the main reason: I find it difficult to perform with instruments and vocals at the same time. I would need someone who assists me on stage, cause when I sing, I sing and don’t want to do anything else, like tweaking knobs or opening filters. As yet I haven’t got such an stage assistent. The few times I played on stage, I had to do it without vocals (for the reason I just gave) and in the end it didn’t really satisfy me to perform alone. I rather have a real band experience on stage. Therefore me and Dystronic work currently on a Black Spider Clan live-set. I am curious how that works for me then. In june we play live first time, in Paris.
My three EP’s were made in very different phases. At the time were I made Passion I listened a lot to minimal electro. And, I was a total beginner on my new all-electronic equipment, what gave these first tracks a fresh, pure, but also a rough note. Besides, I had a very turbulent time in my life and many of my moods flew into these tracks. Some people felt that and described my production style as “aggressive”. When I made the tracks for Confusion I was already more experienced with the machines and the software. I listened a lot to less danceable and slow electronic music those days. In comparison to Passion I sound more calmed-down on Confusion.
The last EP, Eruption, I made while having a 80s-flashback with my new wave record collection. After two almost completely instrumental records, I finally felt like using my voice. I enjoyed to sing and will continue with it for a while, but I will surely produce instrumental tracks again as well. Basically I can say, that my tracks are always influenced by my emotional background and by the music I mainly listen to at that time. I think I am not able to produce a certain style or mood on demand.
I am waiting for some compilations to be released, where I contributed a track for. I made a remix for the French 80’s band Trisomie 21. It will be released on a CD with other remixes of female musicians on the label called Productions Speciales from France this year. Then I also wait for the release of my track “Real Touch” on another women compilation on the Dutch Angelmaker label. Furthermore I wait for a special compilation project on the German We Rock Like Crazy label, where I was asked to produce a track for kids for. That was an interesting experience and the style of the track I made, sounds quite different to my usual stuff. I hope it is out soon. Upcoming is also a track of Black Spider Clan on the Dutch Enfant Terrible records. And, last but not least, I work slowly but surely on tracks for a fourth Beta Evers EP.
No. thanks for your interest!