Paul Kalkbrenner Talks His Viral Techno History Lesson
Rolling Stone peels the layers back from German techno producer Paul Kalkbrenner and discuss the history of techno. Looking back on the days before and after the collapse of the Berlin wall, and how techno played a role in Berlin's transformation.This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone
Techno superstar Paul Kalkbrenner has dominated the German charts for well over two years with a single song, spun in front of a half-million people to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, and starred in Berlin Calling, the hit film about a DJ in the city's exploding techno scene at the turn of the millennium. Kalkbrenner, however, vows he's no longer a DJ, and has refused to play anyone else's music since 1998.
That is until this summer, as Kalkbrenner releases a trio of mixtapes aptly dubbed Back to the Future, parts 1, 2 and 3. Deep-diving for a year-and-a-half into the rabbit holes of YouTube, Kalkbrenner culled over 5,000 songs from his youth and assembled them into glorious mixes of techno history. And he's releasing them all for free, with downloads. These mixes aren't merely relics, rather he dissected the tracks, pulled them apart and reconfigured them into hour-long meta-retrospectives that any fan of EDM should enjoy. And many clearly have: Together they've been downloaded and streamed nearly a half-million times.
Rolling Stone caught up with the techno historian before he drops the third and final Back to the Future installment on August 18th.
Follow the link to read the full interview where Paul Kalkbrenner discusses the transformation of German techno – by Nicolas Stecher for Rolling Stone