Kölsch’s new album, I Talk To Water, is the most personal statement yet from one of techno’s most singular voices. Memorialising the producer’s father, it weaves intimate home recordings from his father’s musical archives into some of Kölsch’s most poetic productions yet. It’s a beautifully resonant album that shivers with emotional candour, grappling with the complexities of mourning and family in profound, thoughtful ways. His fifth album for Kompakt, after 1977, 1983, 1989 and Now Here No Where, it also deftly navigates terrain that has long been natural to the music Kölsch makes – deeply moving, texturally rich, gorgeously melodic.
It's a path he’s been pursuing since his first productions as Kölsch started to appear as part of Kompakt’s Speicher series. On those early cuts, he was focused on the energy and intensity of the dancefloor, somewhere that still feels like home for the producer. As his musical voice developed, his music has tentacled out to other terrain, but with one keen eye always on the fundamental architectures of techno. A considered producer, he’s also alive to the wild moment, the spark of creativity and play, the exuberance and the physicality of the genre he still calls home. It’s something that’s served Kölsch’s music well – the blissed-out contours of his hit “Grey” have led to 5.5 million views on YouTube, and close to 50 million plays on Spotify.
This creative malleability doubtless comes from his rare upbringing – half German, half Irish, living in Denmark, he grew up in the hippie commune Christiana, in Copenhagen; his father spent some time as a practicing musician, which can’t help but have informed Kölsch’s decision to move into the creative arts. A smart decision, then: with an international profile as a DJ, having played extensively and at some of the biggest venues in the world (fabric, Berghain), and a long, prodigious stretch of productions for Kompakt, and his own label IPSO releasing collaborations with the likes of Michael Mayer, Tiga, and Sasha, Kölsch’s vision is one that’s true to the self, feverishly creative, unpretentious, and deeply committed.