Oliver Koletzki: Light My Fire

Oliver Koletzki
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

DJ, producer and label manager Oliver Koletzki is taking a break from filling clubs around the world to return to Australia in 2013 for one performance in Victoria.

Where did your interest in electronic music come from?
Some of my first idols were the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode. I tried to copy their songs from a young age onwards on the computer Commodore 64. That really left a lasting impression on me. As house came to Germany in the early 90s, I was able to find elements of their music in those tunes and was completely swept up by it. Moreover, I was always very interested in technical stuff – keyboards, the latest computer advances.

What is the German electronic music scene actually like?
I think that the German music scene is very lively and geared towards progress. We have a lot of up-and-coming artists and young talents, especially here in Berlin. It’s also particularly successful on a global level. A lot of German producers and DJs get the chance to travel and you always spot German producers in the top ranks on Beatport. You can really feel that there’s a whole professional industry behind electronic music in Germany, a big support network, because people love it so much.

This will be your second time performing in Australia. How was your music received last year when you were in the country?
This is actually my fourth Australia tour. The first two tours I only played DJ sets, but last year I was touring as a live act with my wife Fran. For me the annual Australia tour is something really special — to tell you the truth, I look forward to it all year! I love the country, the culture, how open-minded the people are and, of course, the amazing beaches, but also the metropolitan cities like Melbourne or Sydney. The people welcomed me with open arms and I’ve made great friends. The crowd responses are usually really awesome during my sets in Australia.

You’re a label manager and a producer as well as being a DJ. What else are you working on away from your DJing at the moment?
I’ve been managing the label Stil vor Talent now for 7 years and we were able to build a strong following in Germany and the rest of Europe. But some of our other artists – Niconé, Sascha Braemer, Dapayk and Niko Schwind – have made their way over to Australia, too. This month I am going to launch a new underground label that is aiming to be very international. It’s called Light my Fire. I am putting a lot of energy and passion into this project and I promise you that you can look forward to innovative and interesting music in 2013.

You’ve filled dancefloors all over the world. Do you have a favourite club or city to DJ at?
Berlin is actually my favourite city to play in, not because I live here but because the city with its people, clubs and the diversity it offers just really has a lot of inspiration to give. Every year I also play a two week long tour in Thailand, which is a very exotic experience. Spice Club in Sydney definitely belongs to my list of favourite and best venues in the world, as well.

‘Großstadtmärchen 2’ is your new album. In what way is this a sequel to ‘Großstadtmärchen’?
It is sort of a concept album with a little more pop appeal and a lot of guest vocalists. Both albums were very successful in Germany, maybe because a lot of the lyrics are in German. At the moment I am working on a proper dance LP geared towards the clubs.

What production equipment or software do you use?
I’ve been working with Cubase for over 10 years now, which is the sequencer software that I started production with on the Amiga back in the day. Moreover, I have a couple of e-pianos, such as the Fender Rhodes MK1 or the Korg SV-1. I love playing the piano and its melodic possibilities. But I am also a child of the sampling generation, which is why you can find samples of old jazz and funk records in my productions time and time again.

What do you consider to be the most important piece of equipment or software in your production set up?
Of course, software and hardware is really important, but I actually got my experience from song writing and used to play in bands as a teenager. That’s why the idea of a song, the composition of an amazing melody or an intelligent lyric is far more important to me than the newest or most expensive equipment.

Oliver Koletzki performs at Rainbow Serpent in Beaufort (VIC) from January 25-28. For more info, head here.

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