DJs, clubbers, and music fans around the world are rapidly becoming intimately familiar with the roster of Berlin’s mobilee label as its artists become driving forces in the electronic-music scene. Ralf Kollman has yet to put his name to any of the label’s productions, but his DJ sets suggest that he might just be the label’s secret weapon.
By day, Kollmann runs mobilee’s operations alongside Anja Schneider. But nights and weekends he trades the desk for the decks, where he spins up driving, percussive sessions full body-moving minimal techno, resonant deep house, and the occasional curveball. A Ralf Kollmann set combines tight track selection with even tighter mixing, and is likely to be flecked with all manner of unreleased material—one of the benefits of Kollmann’s position in the heart of Berlin’s techno nerve center.
Kollmann has been playing deep into electronic music since the beginning of the ‘90s; his early education took place as a young clubber at Frankfurt’s legendary club Omen. As a developing DJ, Kollmann’s sound was influenced primarily by early techno protagonists like Bell, Hawtin, Robert Hood, and DJ Funk and labels like Chain Reaction, Relief, Peacefrog, and M-Plant. You can hear those roots in his sets today, where the newest of the new rubs up against stone-cold classics.
Kollmann holds a monthly residency at Berlin’s Weekend club, where he and Schneider have created a platform for labelmates and like-minded musicians to explore their deepest, most hedonistic side. He’s also been a resident DJ at Berlin’s Watergate and WMF clubs (do we see a “W” theme developing?), and he’s a frequent guest in nightspots around Europe.