Myths abound in the north when it comes to techno ground zero, and they refuse to go away. Oliver Huntemann is one of a handful of children of the north who, for what seems like an eternity, add an element of credence to the mythology. He does not, of course, live in a snowy forest or at the edge of the polar oceans. The sun does, on occasion, shine down on Hamburg. Nevertheless, there is a tendency towards hypothermic reduction in the rigorous efficiency of the Huntemann oeuvre. Images of cold storage warehouses, desolate heavy plant sites and bluish flesh are not entirely misplaced. Shards of German Engineering glimmer in his music, laced with persuasive logic, gruesome Darwinism. What remains: what works.
In “Brighter than the sun“, the English music theorist Kodwo Eshun depicts the birthplace of Kraftwerk, Dusseldorf, as the “Mississippi Delta of Techno“. Huntemann’s tracks may well have dragged themselves out of the same primeval soup, but it was the far north which fired them with the necessary steel for clubland. The resulting creations are linear, free of fancy, charmingly direct. One particular London arbiter of taste sought to label the
nature of his skeletal sound as “bare and striped back to the metallic core“ – whereby Huntemann’s reduction does not end in thin minimalism, it draws attention to the core itself. Less is more to the max. The only luxury is a little dirt.
Whilst hordes of German producers and DJs set their satnavs for Berlin, Oliver Huntemann chose to head back home. His epicenter is, and will remain, the north. Hamburg, to be exact. This is where he produces his music and it is from here that he sets out into the world, thrilling the populous with his DJ sets.
Oliver Huntemann’s concrete roots can be traced back to early techno. Had he been any younger, he would undoubtedly have sucked electronica like mother’s milk from a C64 chip. Like so many of his colleagues, his route to techno took a tour through electro and rave. He could tell the usual veteran tales when it comes to influences, his first record purchases, or on the subject of the good old days. Been there, done that! It was more difficult maintaining a low profile.
Since 2008 Huntemann has been running the Ideal Audio label. A new chapter after more than fifteen years Confused Recordings plus a host of sub and sister labels. As well as numerous 12 inches and almost as many remixes (for Underworld, Chemical Brothers and Depeche Mode, to name just a few), he released his third album, “H-3“ in 2009 to critical acclaim on Ideal Audio.
Oliver’s expertly constructed productions quickly gained him countless admirers within the techno-elite, and it wasn’t long before he struck up a devastating partnership with Dubfire. In 2008 the pair released the awesome ‘Dios’ which was followed last year with the first part of their ‘Elements’ series: ‘Terra’ and ‘Fuego’. The highly-anticipated next installment of the ‘Elements’ series is scheduled for release later in 2012 and initial reactions indicate that ‘Aqua’ and ‘Aire’ are set to be just as big as the duo’s earlier productions.
In November 2011, Oliver released his second artist album entitled “Paranoia”. Maintaining the lofty standards already set by his previous musical output, Paranoia, received glowing reviews across the board and further cemented Oliver’s position as one of techno’s most sought-after artists. Furthermore, with guest vocals from the world-famous and highly sought-after American Robert Owens in addition to the supremely talented Danish singer Ane Trolle, Paranoia demonstrated Oliver’s enduring skill and versatility as a producer.
Now for 2012, Oliver is lining up the latest instalment of the hugely successful PLAY! Series which is preceded by a new EP release aptly entitled “PLAY! 04 EP – Tasmanian Tiger / Melbourne”. Oliver’s contribution to the mix series follows in the esteemed footsteps of previous PLAY! CDs (D-Edge in Sao Paolo, Rex Club in Paris and Cielo in NYC) and is recorded live from the ‘Roxanne Parlour’ in Melbourne Australia.
Spread over 2CDs, PLAY! 04 relays the natural energy of the dance-floor and the gig, whilst also indicating that the listening experience is in the hands of an artist who has a clear vision for his musical journeys. PLAY! 04 is an accurate representation of the music Oliver is currently playing at his DJ gigs, and the selection reminds us why he has remained relevant for nearly two decades. With so much fame on his plate, he has done remarkably well to stay out of the spotlight. That’s how it is in the north, actions count, not appearances.