Paul Kalkbrenner – Techno Master Wearing a Rockstar Superhero Suit

Few people in the world can hypnotise tens of thousands with just one note, verse or beat. Even fewer have this superpower in the realm of electronic music and clubbing, but one name is always on everyone's mind when it comes to that topic. Paul Kalkbrenner.

13. April 2023. — Author: EXIT

This man has cultivated his image for almost 30 years and is becoming increasingly popular among millions of clubbers worldwide. Since the late ’90s, he has constantly refined his style of warm, melodic tracks rooted in minimal techno.

After the well-received album “Self,” published in 2004, he made a significant breakthrough in 2008, when he composed the music for the film “Berlin Calling”, in which he also starred. This film featured the gigantic hit that has defined him throughout his career – “Sky and Sand.“ His brother Fritz Kalkbrenner sang the song. Without modifying his sound or simplifying his style to pander to the mainstream audience, he reached the #1 spot in the European album charts with both “Guten Tag” (2012) and “7 (2015).

Some would say that this is where his journey would slowly come to an end, but in fact, this is where it truly begins. He signs with Sony Music, a bigger and more commercial label, and becomes a massive star, filling stadiums and headlining important festivals worldwide. His hit “Feed Your Head,“ in which he sampled the timeless song “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, becomes the anthem of all who want to lose themselves in a crowd full of good vibes. 

Paul Kalkbrenner is a rock star dressed as a techno producer. He is one of the few who step in front of an audience with their own songs. Not tracks, not remixes, projects or whatever term we use today. Songs. He does not shy away from presenting himself with his hits or, dare we say, bangers. Where his colleagues sometimes try out new material and test the limits of our patience, Kalkbrenner pulls out his Best Of catalogue, without which his parties are unimaginable. On top of being indispensable on the biggest stages of electronic music festivals, he has often shared the stage with famous bands and rock stars.

We have met with Kalkbrenner several times over the past few years. The location was always familiar. EXIT’s Dance Arena glowed with this wizard behind the counter. The Arena and Novi Sad have a special connection to this musician. He premiered his latest big hit, “Si Soy Fuego,“ in front of EXIT crowd, and the video, which has almost three million views, was shot right at the Petrovaradin Fortress. The Serbian festival was also his first stop after an 18-month break due to the COVID pandemic.


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Now we will watch and listen to him in another arena – Štark Arena in Belgrade. EXIT and the TMRW conference will provide us with a seldom-seen audio-visual spectacle and allow us, on 12th May, to feel some of the energy and excitement that awaits us in full force in July when the party moves to the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.

Written by: Miloš Dašić