Upfront profile: Claudia Brücken
Claudia Brücken is one half of Onetwo, a new electro-pop group. Here she gives us an insight into life in Düsseldorf, the neighbouring town of Cologne and city she grew up in.
What are you up to right now?
I’ve been working with my new band Onetwo (that’s Paul Humphreys from OMD and myself) for the last eighteen months and we’re about to release our debut album, Instead. Paul and I have co-written pretty much all of the songs (there are 13 on our album) and there’s also a track called ‘Cloud Nine’, which I co-wrote with Martin Gore from Depeche Mode. Paul and I are releasing our album on our own label There(there) (www.theremusic.com) and right now we’re rehearsing our band for the UK-Germany tour, which will take place around the time of the album’s release — 12th February, 2007.
I’ve been travelling to Cologne on and off for the last five years as I’ve been working quite a lot with the fantastic DJ team Blank & Jones. They do great remixes and they are also very talented musicians. You can get a flavour of their music at www..blankandjones.info. They are based in Cologne and have introduced me to some great places.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Taku Restaurant — fantastic Asian cuisine in the Excelsior Hotel Ernst (www.o-taku. de) which is as good as anywhere else in the world, including Tokyo. Plus it’s right next to Cologne’s famous Cathedral.
Where can you get the best view of Cologne?
Osman 30, a nice restaurant and lounge in the new media tower of Cologne (www..osman-cologne.de). It’s a very sexy place and is especially great at night with the lights of the city around you.
What’s your favourite open space in the city?
The Rhine promenade with its spectacular view of Cologne’s cathedral (pictured below). It’s perfect any time of year, but is especially beautiful in Spring and at Christmas. You can see all the amazing bridges and stop off at the Catheral or the Ludwig Museum.
What’s your favourite shop?
Taurus & Twins (www.taurusandtwins. de) is a extremely fine designer label from Cologne, which also stocks well-known European and international designers such as Martin Margiela.
Where do you go out drinking and why?
The whole Friesenviertel area is a great place to hang out. You find some original Cologne breweries (Päffgen), and also some very cool lounge bars. Friesenviertel has lots of great stores and record shops too. These days Cologne is very much the modern European city!
What nightlife tips would you give?
Check out the Triple A Club, it has a great variety of musical styles and the people are always friendly. It’s definitely a good way for the visitor to capture the current mood of Cologne nightlife.
What are your favourite things to do on a day off?
I like to browse in record shops, go to lunch with friends and watch movies (check out Pan’s Labyrinth, it’s wonderful!). I also love going to art galleries: and Cologne has so many and such a variety of artists … go to www.koeln-galerien.de.
INTERVIEW BY RICHARD BENCE