Oliver Koletzki is one producer who's been there for most of the development of house and techno. He started making music on early Commodore 64 and Amiga computer systems at the ripe old age of 12. His journey in music began with him making hip-hop on early computer systems, but soon found himself being attracted towards the gravity of electronic sounds.
It took some time before things really heated up for Oliver's music career. In 2005, he pressed 500 copies of his track "Der Mückenschwarm" to vinyl. One of them ended up in the hands of Sven Vath no less. After Sven had signed the track to his Cocoon label, it became the best selling techno record of 2005. The rest from then on out for Oliver is history. Come some years down the track, and Oliver is now an international touring producer with a very successful label called "Stil vor Talent" under his management. Before Oliver's trip to the land down under to play at Pitch Music & Arts Festival , we shot over some questions to the German. He is what he had to say.
SR: Hi Oliver. Looking back on 2016 as a whole, how was the year for you? Now that we’ve entered 2017, have you set some goals that you want to accomplish this year?
OK: The year 2016 has been really good. Heaps of amazing gigs and I finished writing my 6th album. So one big thing in 2017 will be the release of this album and to prepare the live show.
SR: You’ve played in Australia previously. How have your past experiences been? Any memorable stories to tell? Is there something that you’re looking forward to doing with your upcoming trip?
OK: I love this country. I've been here quite often in the last 12 years. So this year I will be discovering New Zealand. My girlfriend and me are doing a 3 week roundtrip along the coast from north to south.
SR: You’ll be playing at Pitch Music & Arts Festival in March this year. The buzz around the festival is that it’s one of the best electronic lineups that Melbourne has ever seen. What’s your thoughts on the festival as March approaches? Are there any other acts on the lineup that you’re a fan of personally?
OK: There are so many stunning artists. The lineup is huge. Nearly everybody I met in the last week here in Melbourne was talking about Pitch Festival. And I'm curious about the festival site.
SR: Australian bush festivals are quite notorious as we have a very unique natural scenery which makes the perfect backdrop for a party. Down here we call them “bush doofs”. Have you heard of the Australian “doof” scene before?
OK: Of course I've heard of the doof scene! I've been going to Rainbow Serpent every year. That one's a prototype of a doof festival, right? If being at a bush doof means being a hippie raver, I'm definitely a bush doof myself.
SR: You’ve recently been getting back into playing harder techno during your DJ sets. What has fuelled you getting back into playing harder and faster techno? Is this a trend that will make it way into your productions?
OK: Yes, I've been playing harder again for the last 2 years (not faster). It's fun. I was a little bit bored of deep house after doing it for 6 years. So people at Pitch festival can expect a more tech-y set. Fun fact: the new album coming out in may is a 75% shamanic downbeat album. :)
SR: Some of your recent productions are contrasting to your DJ sets. What makes you produce more chilled/ relaxed tracks when you're in the studio?
SR: I want to talk about your record label Stil vor Talent, which translates to “styles before talent”. Could you explain the meaning behind this name for the readers?
OK: Oh yeah, I know it's confusing. When I was younger people always told be I don't have any talent for music. I got thrown out of the school choir and stuff like that. So when I had to decide for a name for my label 12 years ago I set style above talent. But of course that's ironic.
SR: Stil vor Talent has been around for over 10 years now. What have you learnt from running a record label? Has it been harder than you thought or has it been something that has just flowed organically?
OK: I never thought we will be that successful and could survive for such a long time. The first years were quite hard. It was so much work to bring the label to where it is today: a real company with 5 employees and 3 trainees where everybody is doing what they love.
SR: What direction do you want to lead Stil vor Talent towards in 2017?
OK: It's flowing naturally. We are focussing on releasing outstanding music and organizing label showcases. This year we are doing a 3-day festival near Berlin for the first time.
SR: How do you balance your time between running Stil vor Talent and writing your own music?
OK: I have the best team in the world in our Stil vor Talent office. They clear my back so I can concentrate on writing music and playing shows.
SR: What’s some advice that you have for the younger generation of up and coming producers? Considering how many people these days produce, what’s the best way for getting your music noticed and out there?
OK: Learn to play a real instrument. Study your music production software. Don't send a demo after finishing your first track. Have fun and go for gold.
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