From taking piano and guitar lessons as a child to bumping electronic beats on his comodore 64. German born DJ and producer Oliver Koletzki is today nothing short of a star. Having deep roots in the Berlin underground attributed to his massively successful reccord Der Mückenschwarm which got him the attention of the prominant imprint Cocoon and its legendary label boss Sven Vath, Oliver Koletzki has since then become a multifaceted electronic artist as well as the proud head of his own brain child Still Vor Talent Currently on the move and set to make an appearance at the mostrously popular Pitch Music and Art festival, home of a passionate fanbase endeared to his sound Oliver asnwers some questions regarding his journey and a life centered to music.
Had you stayed with hip hop who are some artists you would’ve loved to work with? Do you ever wonder what could’ve been if you continued down the hip hop route?
I think that would have be Erykah Badu or the Fugees. I was producing a lot of hip hop when I was 20 years old, but that’s a long time ago. And I’m really happy to have switched from hip hop to electronic music, so I’ve never really asked myself that question.
Break-dancing and Hip Hop were both massive influences of yours when you were younger. When did you deviate down the path of dance music?
It was in the mid 90s. Until then, hip hop culture was album music, break dancing and graffiti. All of a sudden it turned into this this gangster culture and people forgot about their roots. That was the point at which I moved on.
2000 you were moved to Berlin to study music. What institution and aspect of musical knowledge were you pursuing at the time?
I studied the musical science, which was boring as hell. I was a bit desperate at the time as I wasn’t able to make a living from DJing. Luckily that changed after three semesters – believe me, I quit immediately. The deep house vibe and heavy techno drive these are all things that you are known and loved for.
The inaugural Pitch Music Festival is set to be one of the Australian festivals of the year. What can the crowd expect from your sets on this tour?
I’m not sure yet. Maybe I will forge a bridge from Electronica to Techno. The people at Pitch Festival can definitely expect good music!
Still Vor Talent was a dream come true for you. How do you find the constraints of being a label boss while constantly travelling? How does it challenge and push you to be ahead of the game?
For the last few years it’s become much easier because I have a really good team at Stil vor Talent. There are six people working at our office in Berlin, three of whom are employed full time for five years now. I love to travel and I love to be a good boss.
As a label boss you would come across a lot of up and coming artists, tracks and remix’s. Who are some artists or tracks we should be looking out for?
Reinier Zonneveld from the Netherlands released his first album on Stil vor Talent last year, which was very successful, both artistically and how it was received. Moonwalk, Klangkuenstler and Several Definitions are other upcoming artists you should definitely keep an eye on.
Being an artist with deep roots in the underground, what was it like receiving wide commercial acclaim for your work? Have you ever felt a sense of backlash at any point from the fans of your earlier work?
Of course it felt good to be successful, even though it wasn’t planned at all. The backlash was relatively small, to be honest, because the more pop-leaning music I made at the time was nonetheless ambitious and had style.
Some of your songs such as U Bachn have great lyrics ( i used a translator ) They are touching and humanising. Are they the result of a creative process or does the creativity flow when putting pen to paper?
Apologies, but I’m incredibly bad at writing lyrics. Haha. All of the lyrics on that album were written by each vocalist respectively. I’m not a good singer and not a good lyricist.
Not only do you mix and produce you’ve learned piano and guitar as a child. Alternative parties have often called in the creativity of DJs to question for playing pre-recorded sets at parties. How do you feel about this? And do you feel it is as prevalent throughout the industry as some people report?
Honestly, a Dj that is playing pre-recorded sets is not a real DJ. Those people are the idiots who give our scene a bad image. Maybe its prevalent in the US EDM scene, I’m not sure. But it’s definitely not a thing in the underground house and techno scenes I move in.
Your fans in Australia have nothing but love for you and your work. What do you enjoy most about travelling Australia? Do you have any places you make sure to go to on your time off?
This year I’m visiting Australia for the 8th time. I simply love it here! Melbourne, Bondi Beach, Byron Bay. This year I did a 3 week roundtrip through New Zealand on top of my trip to Australia, which was breathtaking.