Founded in Hamburg in 2011, it considers itself a "band" for contemporary music and is one of the most innovative and unpredictable young ensembles on the new music scene.

Surprising collaborations, experimental instrumental music, multimedia elements, and conceptual performance art all play a large role in Decoder's programming. Decoder greatly stresses the contemporary format in the presentation of their concerts, incorporating carefully selected performance venues and an overarching dramaturgy.

One of the main focuses of the ensemble is the collaboration with young composers and providing them with a platform to realize their works at the highest level. All members of Decoder specialise in contemporary music, with three members doubling as resident composers. is constellation, together with the extensive communication between composers and performers in the development of the works, allows for the creation of unique and authentic performances.

The Ensemble performs internationally at festivals of contemporary music on a regular basis. In 2014, Decoder's self-titled debut CD on Ahornfelder Records was produced in cooperation with German Radio Cologne. Beginning in fall 2017, Decoder will be presenting their own concert series at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.