Kalkbrenner delivers euphoric electro experience


Illustration: Eddy Vazquez


Before I went to Berlin, I didn’t understand electronic music.

Since then, a year’s worth of memories have coded themselves into the beats and sparse melodies of German techno––ecstatic nights tumbling through city streets, the laughter of friends, and the intoxicating lights and shadowy corners of clubs. Over all the DJs we danced to, Paul Kalkbrenner stands supreme. His tracks evoke the spirit of Berlin, the desire to party and push the limit, to experience life in its full intensity. With his video album Paul Kalkbrenner 2010: A Live Documentary, Kalkbrenner transports us straight to the party, with live music videos from various cities on the tour and an hour-long documentary with more live and behind-the-scenes footage.

Whether at an open-air festival in Germany, an arena in France or a club in Turkey, the cathartic power of Kalkbrenner’s music transcends borders. The cameras move in a dynamic tango between Kalkbrenner and his crowds, catching personal moments of swept-up bliss. A woman pumps one hand against the air, head thrown back in rapture, eyes closed. Friends embrace, couples kiss. Electronic music is a genre that speaks without language––barring occasional vocal hooks, the music flows and pulses wordlessly, weaving an emotional landscape bound to the beats and rhythms innate within all of us. Kalkbrenner is the master at work, controlling each tiny shimmering facet of the music. Too absorbed to reach for a drink, he sips through a straw while an assistant holds the glass. He dances over the mixer, caught in his own net, feeding back the energy of the crowd.

For $11.99 on iTunes, this video album is a steal. With two hours of total footage, the album provides a pleasing blend between whimsical snapshots into Kalkbrenner’s life on the road and uplifting concert clips. Whether you’re taking a study break, looking for the perfect party soundtrack or on a plane to Berlin itself, these videos are sure to lift your mood and get your feet tapping.