Anden is a New York City based electronic music DJ/production duo comprised of brothers Pete and Tom Cuppernull. Classically trained on the violin, cello, and trumpet, the brothers’ club-centric music has supported their rise as one of New York City’s breakout house and techno acts. Anden’s organic and warm productions have garnered cross-genre support from Pete Tong and Solomun to Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren, making the brothers one of the most in-demand acts from The Big Apple.
Today we chat with Anden to talk about their new release via Zerothree Music.
Electronic Groove: Hello, guys, thanks for your time today. How’s the year been so far for you?
Anden: Thanks for having us! 2019 is our busiest year so far in terms of making music and traveling for gigs. We’re building off an exciting last year, having landed on a few big labels that have always been at the top of our list, but this is definitely shaping up to be our most rewarding year yet.
EG: How would you define your sound?
Anden: Genres are constantly shifting, so it’s tough to use traditional means to describe our sound. We think our music straddles the lines between progressive house and techno, where we’re finding a unique balance between organic and industrial sounds. We’ve always been intrigued by analog sound design, but finding a way to balance it and be experimental without it feeling chaotic is important to us. We’re also really proud of how our melodies and vocal tracks are adding to the current landscape — we write our own lyrics and sing on the majority of our records to tell stories about real people and their experiences, which we think helps listeners connect in a more meaningful way with our music.
EG: You just released a new EP entitled ‘Flicker/Escalus’ on Zerothree. What was the inspiration to produce these tracks?
Anden: ‘Flicker’ and ‘Escalus’ both tie together some melancholic synths and distinct vocal elements — they leave the listener feeling hopeful because the songs are about overcoming the challenges we face on a daily basis. The lyrics for ‘Flicker’, like many of our songs, were inspired by our personal experiences, in this case, it was overcoming uncertainty in relationships. For ‘Escalus’, we feel that Robert F. Kennedy’s words are especially relevant to many of the challenges people face today. We actually wrote the instrumental for that track last year, but it wasn’t until we came across the audio recording of RFK’s speech and pieced it into the track that we felt it fully came together.
EG: Can you describe the production process?
Anden: No two songs have the same lifecycle, some come together in one sitting and some take days or weeks to really get right. ‘Flicker’ came together exceptionally fast for us, we had a full demo in only a couple of hours. We added the vocals a bit later and played it for the first time at our Sound Room Live event in New York back in March.
‘Escalus’ was also a bit unique for us since Pete wrote the initial idea for it while on a flight, and we rarely start new tracks outside of the studio. The chord changes in the breakdown were one of the last things we added to the record — they almost didn’t make the final version, but looking back, we’re glad we went this direction with the track since that moment is always special on the dancefloor.
EG: What else is planned in the coming months in terms of releases?
Anden: On the music side, we have new releases scheduled on Anjunabeats, This Never Happened, ZeroThree and Colorize. It’s a mix of originals and remixes, including our first collaboration. We’re also just wrapping a remix for one of the most influential house producers of our time, so stay tuned for more details on that one.
EG: You both come from New York, how would you say this city has influenced you in terms of musical taste?
Anden: There is a certain edge and grit to New York that has had a profound influence on our production style. Many people move here because they have something to say or want to create something rather than just moving here to “experience the big city”. The energy and atmosphere that creates is contagious. We’re surrounded by truly talented producers and artists and have the opportunity to share studios with them, attend events and see them perform, all of which helps tremendously when it comes to idea generation for new music. We’re lucky to be in a place that’s a constant source of inspiration.
“We think our music straddles the lines between progressive house and techno, where we’re finding a unique balance between organic and industrial sounds”
Electronic Groove: What about gigs? Any special one you are looking forward this summer?
Anden: Lots of exciting gigs coming up, as well. We have tour stops in Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, our first show in Asia (Bali), and we’re returning to Amsterdam for ADE. I think we’re most excited, though, to be playing a big show at the Brooklyn Mirage this September — it’s always nice to be performing close to home.
EG: What’s the hardest part of working as a duo?
Anden: It’s tough to be living in separate cities right now — that’s probably the most challenging part currently. When we’re physically together, we can more seamlessly share music, collaborate on projects, and actively engage in each other’s ideas. It can be a challenge to feed off of one another’s energy at that same level when we’re apart.
EG: And the easiest?
Anden: The easiest, and best, part of this duo is that we’re brothers. We’ve been working on the whole trust and teamwork thing since we were kids and there’s just no way to top that. There’s an unspoken level of understanding that makes us a pretty solid team. It’s also a ton of fun — we work really hard to make good music and keep growing Anden, but we thrive off of this sibling energy and it makes every day pretty interesting.
Anden’s ‘Flicker/Escalus’ are now on Zerothree Music. Buy and stream here.