Lea Porcelain + Special Guest: Anika (Solo)
For both members involved, Lea Porcelain still feels like a project that was meant to happen. Having released their debut album, HMYNS TO THE NIGHT, in June of 2017, Julien Bracht and Markus
Nikolaus still can’t put a finger on why everything clicked when they first shared a recording space and made music, but it did. Nor can anyone truly fixate on why the duo’s music — a hybrid of genres,
orbiting different worlds between songs — is affecting so many people inside and outside the industry.
Before this project, Bracht and Nikolaus were working within completely separate musical spheres.
Bracht was a successful techno producer touring the world, Nikolaus a go-to independent musician,
navigating between Berlin and the rest of the world.
From the start, they shared one thing in common. Both frequented legendary club Robert Johnson, in Frankfurt. Bracht was a regular fixture, and Nikolaus was drawn to the way his future bandmate
favoured live instrumentation over the norm. “I was impressed that there could be so much soul in this club music,” he remembers. Both still pursued their separate paths, but they kept in touch. “We
said from the beginning that there would be a time we’d try something new,” Bracht says.
One year later, the foundations of Lea Porcelain began to fall in place. Bracht had grown tired of the nightclub scene, too accustomed to “the people taking drugs, living from one weekend to another.” It had grown stale. “I renovated my studio, cleared some stuff out. Then I told Markus we should try
Within hours of their first session, Bracht promised he’d bid farewell to solo success in order to make this project work. “The first session was a complete new experience of making music,” he
remembers. “There was such a power behind this music.” Bracht was convinced Lea Porcelain was the future, but Nikolaus took some convincing. “It was so simple, it was too good to be true,” he
laughs. Never confined by genre, they’re free to pursue any kind of song, through whichever route
Lea Porcelain aim to make “universal” music; songs people can treasure in day, night, between different states of mind. They want to make music for “the entire world”, and this partly stems from a
globe-trotting past. Bracht toured the globe after growing up in Spain, France and Germany. Nikolaus lived in Cork, Ireland, and both have spent time recording and living in London.
Meeting at Robert Johnson, they now base themselves in the FUNKHAUS, a Berlin broadcasting house created under Soviet supervision that now houses the world’s biggest recording studio — even bigger than Abbey Road’s Studio 1. According to Bracht, the space’s owner “really supports the artists who are working there.” Dozens of musicians — including Nils Frahm and Ry X — write, practice, record and play shows in the same place, allowing creativity to thrive. It’s the perfect home for Lea
“Not many bands can sound completely different from one track to the other and still be themselves,” they say. Musical heroes include Radiohead, a band who transgress and reinvent without fail, while
still retaining their trademark. No matter the genre, range of instruments or sound palette, their presence is unmistakable. Eventually, Lea Porcelain want to have this effect, this idea that “when the track starts, you know it’s them.” Every song is tied together by the duo’s ethos, their free approach towards making music. In the standout moments of their recent debut, HYMNS TO THE NIGHT, everything spills outwards, drums cascading into the distance, a cross between self-destruction and complete euphoria.
Annika Henderson is a musician, poet and artist who rose to fame as ANIKA with two highly acclaimed eponymous records (Recorded with Geoff Barrow of Portishead and his band Beak>, released on Invada UK and Stones Throw in the US), and was touring the world. She is well known as a DJ too, hosts a radio program on BCR – Berlin Community Radio, is seen and heard in experimental cinema and collaborates with a variety of artists and musicians among them Jandek, Shackleton, Michael Rother (Neu!), Dave Clarke (Skint), Andreas Reihse of Kreidler, T.Raumschmiere (Sleeping Pills and Habits), Doireann O'Malley, Ricardo Domeneck, Stine Omar / Max Boss (EASTER), Phillip Geist (for a live video mapping project and soundtrack in Tehran, Iran) or Yann Tiersen. Last year Anika released a self-titled debut album with her Mexico City-based project, Exploded View, on US indie label Sacred Bones.
In 2017, we saw Anika release a string of new material comprising of two releases with new partners, Shackleton and Dave Clarke, and a follow-up EP from her Mexico-City based band, Exploded View. It began in July with the release of ’Behind the Glass’; a full length EP with bass outsider Shackleton, to be released onShackleton’s own Woe To The Septic Heart! label. The project was unveiled at Atonal Festival 2017 in Berlin, with follow up performances in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan and Mira Festival, Barcelona. Second came the release of the single, “I’m Not Afraid”; A collaboration with techno legend Dave Clarke and the second single of his long-awaited full-length LP ’The Desecration Of Desire’, released in October on Skint Records. The year came to a close with a follow-up EP from her Mexico City-based project, Exploded View, released in November on Sacred Bones (US).
ANIKA LIVE SOLO:
For the first time, the multi-faceted poet, singer, DJ and musician takes to the stage alone, boldly reinterpreting the original tracks from the LP and EP (recorded together with Geoff Barrow of Portishead and his band Beak>) as solo works, aided by musical arrangements produced in collaboration with Andreas Reihse of Kreidler, giving the political, trashy, dub, punk, funk an edge of sinister dance.
„A haunting performance that plays with different sound textures as well as stretching the capabilities of the voice for a truely dramatic and theatrical effect.“