Paul Kalkbrenner came of age in East Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when techno arrived in the city. His two plus decade career is intertwined with the genre that emerged from Detroit and became a global cultural force.
Paul’s grand techno sound has seen him fill stadiums and top charts, yet this new EP is deeply club focused music. It’s evidently Kalkbrenner, but Speak Up is also lean and hard, its four tracks that return Paul to his rave roots, music for late nights, dancing in the dark. Laser In opens the EP, with a broken beat sound. It’s all drums, skittery and distorted sounds that coalesce as the track moves along. It’s is a spikey track, dancey punk; it’s almost the opposite of Eyes Open, whose dark, squelchy and warm synths and melodies envelop you and pull you deeper.
Check Yourself is pure techno, propulsive, percussive, frantic and big. It’s music centered around the kick drum, an anthem designed to move a dancefloor. The EP closes with Speak Up, an example of what Paul does best when working with vocals. The track is simple, haunting and beautiful, full of melody and warmth, but minimally produced. Speak Up follows the recent success of Kalkbrenner’s last vocal single ‘No Goodbye’, which has received over 15 million streams to date.
This past weekend, Paul debuted a special studio session livestream from his studio. The stream has already netted hundreds of thousands of views – Paul goes into the detail about why he’s not so focused on creating albums anymore, talks about his similarities between him and his character Ickarus from the famed Berlin Calling, growing up with the legendary Sascha Funke and playing out 2 new songs off the EP including the eponymous Speak Up.
Paul’s Speak Up EP will be available as a limited edition vinyl – only 500 copies available worldwide on June 5th and it will feature an exclusive extended version of Speak Up. The vinyl pre-sale begins May 22nd.