Paul Kalkbrenner, the iconic electronic producer whose name is synonymous with Berlin techno, has signed a long-term deal with Sony Music International. It’s the first time in a decade that the artist has worked with a label outside of his own imprint, Paul Kalkbrenner Musik. Sony Music International's CEO Edgar Berger said the label was eager to welcome an electronic music purist into its global network.
"Paul has been instrumental and most influential in the development of the electronica genre," Berger said in a statement. "He has built an impressive global fan base, and we look forward to embarking on the next chapter with the release of his forthcoming seventh studio album.”
Born in Leipzig, Kalkbrenner, 37, has released six studio albums over 14 years, and is perhaps best known for his platinum-selling single “Sky and Sand.” The song was originally produced for the 2008 film Berlin Calling along with his brother, Fritz Kalkbrenner, and spent more than 125 weeks on Germany’s singles chart. On stage, he uses a combination of software and hardware synthesizers, MIDI controllers, drum machines and Ableton, which has lead to him being classified as a live act rather than DJ.
"I am so excited Paul has joined Sony," said Patrick Moxey, the president of electronic music for Sony and founder of Ultra Records. "He's truly one of the legendary electronic artists. His music is uncompromising with artistic integrity."
In November, Kalkbrenner performed for 500,000 people at Brandenburg Gate in a historic ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now, executives say he's at work on developing a new live show, which he'll unveil at upcoming concerts in London, Paris and Berlin in May.
Wolfgang Boss, Sony Music International's executive vice president of A&R, seconded Moxey's enthusiasm. "The greatest thing about being an A&R is when you actually sign and work with an artist that you’ve admired and respected for years," he said.
Boss will work with Kalkbrenner on his seventh album, which is due out later this year on Columbia Records.
Photo by Thomas Lorh