Marcel Dettmann is a contemporary techno figurehead. The German producer and DJ draws from a deep knowledge of the genre’s dynamic and variegated origins to put forward powerful, immaculate, and exploratory sound.
Dettmann discovered electronic music at 14 through friends’ party affiliations in Berlin, and began to spin vinyl in 1994. A longstanding resident at Berlin’s notorious Berghain and its previous incarnation as Ostgut since the club opened in 1999, Dettmann’s sound is demonstrative of the club’s signature aesthetic – spacious, punishing, impeccably produced techno made for big rooms and Funktion-One sound systems.
His own publicity describes his style: “Reformation and solid construction outplays the use of any gimmicks. Dettmann pours Detroit’s oil into European engines, puts British bass music under the control of Chicago’s very own Jack, cuts classics with abstract nuances and connects yesterday with tomorrow and today. In the unrelenting manner of a great DJ, he generates moods and connections that are age- and classless, but never irrelevant or tasteless. Marcel Dettmann links up the art of improvisation with careful preparation and finally gives techno some of its often painfully missed serious physical constitution back.”
While renowned for his extended sets – often clocking in at twelve hours long – he is also a producer. His first ever release, a collaboration with Ben Klock entitled Dawning / Dead Man Watches The Clock came out on Ostgut Ton in 2006, and his second and most recent full length, Dettmann II, was released via the same label in 2013. He has also released a large number of singles and EPs via his own MDR (Marcel Dettmann Records) label, which he launched in 2006 and has served as a platform for fellow Berghain resident Norman Nodge and T++, as well as Ostgut Ton, 50Weapons, and others. He has remixed for artists such as Fever Ray, Junior Boys, Modeselektor, and Scuba, and maintains an intensive international tour schedule. He was named by Beatport as the top techno artist of the year in 2008.