Paul Kalkbrenner Paul KalkbrennerIcke Wieder
Paul Kalkbrenner doesn’t deceive, nor does he try to. He knows his action radius is limited to the cerebral cortex of the Homo Ibizens, which is why he continues to produce tremendous hits with the gaze fixed on the eternal summer of love on the Balearic Sodom. His goal is not to change the music world, nor does he wish to transmit any existential angst. Life has been smiling upon the man, he’s king of Ibeefa, a rock star, he starred in the film “Berlin Calling”, he’s shared his bed with the most beautiful people, makes an indecent amount of cash, Germany loves him more than they love Der Kaiser, so it’s only normal he’s become one of the main man in this business of feel-good music.
Jokes aside, the German has proven that, within the limits of the dancefloor and in the right environment (holidays, summer, VIP after parties on Ibiza, beach bars full of catwalk models), his velvet tech-house is one of the best options for a good time, without having to sit through Erick Morillo’s latest single. With “Icke Wieder”, Kalkbrenner tries to avoid the spotlights where he was crowned one of the biggest DJs on the planet, to show us that success hasn’t led to mainstream sounds, as far as he’s concerned: he keeps going his own way, manufacturing dance music for all audiences, but without stepping into the trap of making all too obvious, commercial stuff for the masses. In other words, polished 4x4, smooth rhythms, well-placed synthesisers, catchy melodies (and not too obvious, as said), nods to the Berlin underground and good vibes all around.
On his seventh album, the Teuton takes this philosophy to the maximum, a credo of “cool fiesta” for moderately sophisticated palates. Far from being an artist devoured by his own success, what we have here is a specialist exploiting (without fear of being typecast) what he knows best: one formula with slight variations but always defined by an inalterable DNA. In that sense, “Icke Wieder” isn’t that different from what he offered on the soundtrack of “Berlin Calling”. PK doesn’t make things complicated: he uses beats and effects from the 90s to tighten up “Schnakeln”, and he makes a soundtrack for the summer like few others do (check out “Keines Bubu”). In that kind of textures he’s a master, yes, but when needed, he also knows how to watch the sun come up with minimalist house, sexual basslines and splashes of emotive trance, like on “Sagte Der Bär” or the moving and danceable “Kruppzeug”.
Few can beat him there: the man is a specialist melody maker. “Boxing Leise”, for example, is unbeatable, it’s pure and uncut dope, and the same goes for “Jestrüpp”, another perfect combination of Ketamin contractions and Berlin sounds. Effective, constant, ideal for getting the crowds moving; the music of Paul Kalkbrenner is like a glass of iced cava on the Mediterranean beach while you’re getting a massage. Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera, who needs them?