Home Featured small Oliver Koletzki & Hidden Empire – Elevation [Stil Vor Talent]

Oliver Koletzki & Hidden Empire – Elevation [Stil Vor Talent]

10 min read

With 'Trip to Sanity,' Berlin-based producer, DJ, live performer, and Stil vor Talent label head Oliver Koletzki presents a milestone in his 36-year long musical career and his 18-year tenure at the top of global electronic nightlife – his 10th studio album.

The album’s title, "Trip to Sanity’" – a reference to the classic German children’s story of the little dragon 'Tabaluga' – reflects Oliver's own path as a DJ within the world of club culture. But it also represents the appeal to an unbroken childlike curiosity as a producer, driven by the utopias of this parallel society. Naturally, Koletzki found his creative spark while performing on the stages of renowned festivals like Burning Man, Coachella, Garbicz, and Fusion, as well as in moments of peace and relaxation on meditative hikes and long beach walks in his second home of Cape Town.

In South Africa, Oliver wrote most of "Trip to Sanity" in the winter, then flashed out and finalised the tracks in his studio at Kreuzberg's Holzmarkt. Within the last 18 months a collection of complex and varied songs formed, which, typical for Oliver's collaborative approach, were often created in cooperation with musicians like techno-pop legend Fritz Kalkbrenner, Burning Man chance encounter Talmirage, scene friends Andhim, Hidden Empire, Oliver Klostermann and Niko Schwind, or the exceptional voices Natascha Polké, Malou, LOLY and Marlena Dae. The result is a rollercoaster ride through a diverse spectrum of dance music, effortlessly held together by Koletzki's unmistakable sound signature and his intrinsic sense for the exact tension between hedonistic dancefloor focus and poppy earworm impact. At the centre of it all shines a joie de vivre that runs like a thread through "Trip to Sanity": Playful, cheeky, imaginative, euphoric, a rainbow of genres and influences flow into each other, balanced by moments of reflection, melancholy or harshness.

The journey of discovery begins with the funky piano licks of "Oliver's Silly Jam," seamlessly followed by the disco groover "Get on the Bus." The radio single "Stay Until the Light" (feat. Niko Schwind & Talmirage) then combines pop vocals with deep emotions before Koletzki, alongside his superfriends Andhim, kicks it up a notch on the Afro-house masterclass "Branka." Next up, Fritz Kalkbrenner lends his unmistakable voice to the atmospheric anthem "Heart on Hold," paving the way for "Mind Games." Here, Natascha Polké's ethereal vocals glide over an almost haunting instrumental, heading towards the night.

At the album’s midpoint Koletzki breaks away from the expectations of the typical "techno blueprint" in a formal sense. Starting with the prophetically titled "My Last Attempt," a deep and muscular downtempo workout, Oliver creates a (further) homage to incredibly long nights with "Sonne Geht Auf" (feat. LOLY) and shows a completely different side of himself on the neon-infused dub track "Midnight Reggae." This segment of strong contrasts and a desire for reinvention is rounded off by the dreamy indie-dance atmosphere of "Is It Real" (feat. Malou), slowly leading us back to the club.

Because "The Pleasure of the Very First Time," "Candyflip," "Space Papi," "Elevation" (feat. Hidden Empire), and "Mantra for Bora" are clearly designed for the peak time, which is where Oliver predominantly finds himself during his sets. This part of the album is powerful, driving, and ecstatic – it captures the sweat of the dancefloor and the pulsation of the strobe light, making it tangible while listening.

Then, another shift is presented with "Chasing Holes" and "Hasenheide," two particularly rhythmic tracks characterised by hand drums and Balearic accents. Ultimately, Oliver concludes with the bittersweet closer "Don't Ever Wake Me Up" (feat. Marlena Dae). The title of this finale couldn't be more fitting, as it encapsulates what makes Oliver Koletzki's music so special at its core – it speaks to the subconscious, the senses, hits the heart, and leads it into the here and now.

For those who want to experience said state of mind even more intensely, there’s the opportunity this winter as part of the "Trip to Sanity" live concert tour in Germany. A long term dream of Oliver’s, who will present tracks from the new album paired with highlights from his extensive catalogue – naturally performed on an array of instruments in a proper live setup and as an audio-visual gesamtkunstwerk. For Oliver Koletzki, one milestone follows the other this year.

Buy: bit.ly/3tV3pIa
Release Date: 03-11-2023

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