Thomas Brinkmann was born in 1959 in Germany. He studied art at the Düsseldorf Academy. Brinkmann debuted his own productions with the founding of the Ernst label. Brinkmann also launched two other labels – Max and Suppose, which featured full-length releases Totes Rennen and Weisse Nacht by the alias "Ester" Brinkmann. Brinkmann's next step involved reworking the dozen 12-inch singles originally released during 1996 by Plastikman's Richie Hawtin in a series called Concept. After traveling from Cologne to Hawtin's base in Canada, Brinkmann thrilled Hawtin with the results and by early 1998, a CD of Brinkmann's Concept variations was released on Hawtin's M_nus label. A year later, Brinkmann contributed a volume in the 20' to 2000 series and inaugurated his own Ernst series with "Anna/Beate."
Thomas Brinkmann is featured in Edition: Refresh!