An intimate chat with a dance music superstar.
Paul Kalkbrenner doesn't quite fit the profile of most of the other guests we've had on the Exchange. He has a massive record deal with a major label, he's just released an album, 7, that's at or near the top of the charts throughout Europe, and he's got a penchant for playing stadiums. Did we mention he's a movie star? We probably didn't need to. Yet somehow it felt completely natural inviting Kalkbrenner by our Berlin office for a career-spanning chat. His life as a producer has its roots in this city's '90s club scene, and he spent the first decade of his career producing for Bpitch Control. From early on, though, Kalkbrenner saw an alternate path for techno, one that led to bigger stages and brighter lights than the staunchly underground scene he grew up in. In 2015, he's made it about as big as anyone with a direct connection to techno could ever hope to. But in conversation with Jordan Rothlein, he explains why there's still a good deal left on his musical to-do list.