I am OK, reads the title of the new album by the Berlin-based producer, DJ and label-owner Oliver Koletzki. The heading0s ambiguity is, of course, deliberate: theres a deeper meaning hidden behind the humorous facade that is Chrisse Kunsts hand-drawn cover, which depicts an unadorned thirteen-year-old Oliver sporting nerd glasses and a striped jumper: I am Oliver Koletzki, raw and authentic. Because musically, on his fifth studio album, Oliver Koletzki looks towards the unaffected freshness of back in the day, and thus, consciously returns to his roots.
The nine years that follow his breakthrough with Der Mückenschwarm, which was released in 2005 on Sven Väths legendary Cocoon imprint, see Oliver travel to 211 cities in 39 countries. Next to the worlds most renowned clubs, he plays the large festival stages at Timewarp, Rock am Ring, Rainbow Serpent or MELT!. During the week, however, hes locked in his studio. Thus, the successful long-players Großstadtmärchen (2009) and Großstadtmärchen 2 (2012), as well as his debut Get Wasted (2007), and Lovestoned (2010), a collaborative effort with the singer Fran, are born. Simultaneously, Oliver Koletzkis label Stil vor Talent has been setting new trends in electronic music since 2006 as it has evolved into a stepping-stone for hot newcomer talents. Whether its the discovery of David August, Sascha Braemer or HVOB: Olivers knack as an A&R is almost uncanny. He does, however, always remain faithful to his penchant for melodic and emotional house music. Over the course of eight years, Stil vor Talent thus grew from a small DIY-operation into a large independent label with an attached booking agency and fashion branch. In 2012, Oliver Koletzki founds a second label, Light my Fire, which is focused solely on the dance-floor.
Similar to his philosophy as the head of two labels, the songs on I am OK exemplify the effortless balancing act that has become a Koletzki-trademark: a breath-taking symbiosis of groove and melody. After the more pop-oriented long-players of recent years, Oliver returns to the club, without every losing sight of his unique musicality, of course. Throughout its 13 tracks and eight collaborations, we encounter music for festival stages, basement venues, and radio stations alike. Nods to elevating disco, old-school hip-hop, electronic broken-beat, smooth soul, UK garage, dub techno, mellow deep house, and clever electro-pop merge within a beautifully produced house music framework.
NÖRDs Leo Eisenach delivers emotional vocals on After All, which float through Oliver Koletzkis tight arrangement of heavy electronica beats, areal synths, creaking bass and nostalgic piano keys. Up in the Air featuring Fran takes a more organic approach, as it picks up where everyones favourite Hypnotized left off: feel-good sunshine boogie led by Frans extraordinarily iconic voice. Summer is on its way!