[MUSIC: Interview] Oliver$
Germany’s Oliver$ is a man of few words. He doesn’t much care for phone interviews, and convincing him to answer even a basic set of email questions took quite a bit of doing. The Berlin-based producer was pretty reluctant to talk about himself in this Q&A, so allow me to fill you in on some of the specifics: If you’re not familiar with the name Oliver$, you may well be familiar with the tracks. He first came to prominence thanks to his remix of Aloe Blacc’s ‘I Need A Dollar’ – just Google the phrase “respectable coverage amongst the online community” and you’ll get a plethora of hits confirming this. Following on from this initial success, Oliver$ released ‘Doin Ya Thing’ on the Play It Down label, and it remains his biggest hit to date; it hit the #1 position on Beatport and stayed there for an extremely respectable five weeks, going on to win Track Of The Year at the Beatport Music Awards 2012. His resume includes releases on cult labels such as Made To Play, Grand Petrol and Front Room Recordings, and he’s toured with the likes of Jesse Rose and Riva Starr. We sent off our email questions on the eve of his return to Australia, and here’s what we got back – if you enjoy eating at restaurants and using USB sticks, you and the enigma that is Oliver$ may be more alike than you know…
Berlin is one of the best cities in the world – it’s just so easy to live and eat and drink and party. Is it an inspiring place for you to be as a musician?
Yes sure – for me it’s THE place to be.
What are some of your favourite places in Berlin?
For food, it’s DUDU and Tartane. For music it’s definitely Panorama Bar, Watergate or Katerholzig.
Taking it back a little way, can you tell me how you first got into the world of electronic music?
My cousin Jan Driver was the first who introduced me to electronic music.
You’ve been working alongside Jesse Rose for the last couple of years – how did your association with him come about?
I got his email address from a friend and sent him over my ‘Hotflash’ track, and the rest is history.
Can you tell me a bit about the gear you use when you’re making tracks – does your equipment ever directly inspire the music you make?
I use Cubase as my main DAW, my tube compressors, Moog Little Phatty Stage II, Summing mixer and Transient Designer.
The remix that you did for Aloe Blacc proved to be extremely successful – did the success of that track and ‘Doin’ Ya Thing’ change things for you at all?
Of course. My fees went up, and the tour schedule got busier.
You’ve been doing a lot of touring recently – how are you adapting to life on the road as a DJ?
It can be really exhausting, but I am definitely enjoying it.
What kind of gear do you use when you DJ?
A USB stick.
Do you have any new releases coming out in the next little while, either remixes or your own original tracks?
I just finished my single for Play It Down. Besides that, I am working on many remixes for classic labels such as Strictly Rhythm and Kingstreet, as well as some major label acts such as Usher and Passion Pit. I also finished a remix for Radioslave’s label, Rekids.
You’ll be coming down to Australia next month, and stopping off in Sydney at Chinese Laundry – what can we expect from the show?
You can expect quality house music.
With: Samrai, A-Tonez, Whitecat and more
Where: Chinese Laundry, Sussex Street
When: Saturday August 4