Paul Kalkbrenner Shares Groundbreaking Music Video “Schwer”

Paul Kalkbrenner

Independent Creative Agency Mother Berlin partners with award-winning director Jovan Todorović and production company BWGTBLD to bring techno icon Paul Kalkbrenner’s new single to life with a groundbreaking music video.

The track, “Schwer,” Kalkbrenner‘s first release since 2021, takes inspiration from the German word “Fremdkörper” or foreign body, which is used as the film concept.

Schwer” builds as an ongoing loop of scenes we all know from our daily lives. Each appears completely normal at first, but every time we revisit a scene the content slightly alters, building an arc from normal life to complete absurdity.

The camera moves through these scenes, making the viewers wonder if what they see is real or not. All empty backgrounds of the video are shot throughout Berlin to which the characters are added.

Rather than using actors, digital technology was deployed to render 4D-volumetric people in place. This used 42 camera capture to lock the motion of each person, making it possible to be used as a 3D element within the final film.

The technology allowed each scene to be a canvas, where we could paint carefully created compositions that match the part of the songs and the overall arc of the video. Anima, the AI-powered design-to-code software, was behind the work, which is usually deployed for architectural visualizations but was repurposed for this project.

For the cover art, the concept of the video was expanded with a shot of Paul Kalkbrenner being recorded in the 4D-volumetric-scanner, holding his hands over his face and covering his eyes. A moment that can be interpreted in many ways – from disbelief to hilarious laughter. Shutting himself off from the reality around him.

Commenting on the film, Paul Kalkbrenner said: “Incredible. This volucap technology is really another level. I feel very privileged to be able to work with Jovan, Mother Berlin, BWGTBLD, and everyone else involved in this video. It couldn’t be more on point.”

Schwer,” as its English translation suggests (hard/heavy/tough), is a hulking track suited for the massive stages that Paul Kalkbrenner is most familiar with. A minimal but dancefloor-ready synth line takes the lead while calculated hi-hats tick like clockwork at a cool 131 beats per minute. The track is unequivocally PK, leaning into his well-established sound for his first independent release following his stint with Sony Music.

Over the past two decades, Kalkbrenner has built a reputation unlike any other electronic music artist, releasing 8 albums, headlining stadiums typically reserved for rockstars, and creating a transcendent journey with his live performances using only his own music. An uncompromising talent whose career remains intertwined with techno, Paul‘s pioneering ideas have cemented his position as a figurehead of his generation. In 2023, Paul is back on the festival circuit, bringing his unique live show for performances across both weekends of Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium (and Tomorrowland Brazil), as well as several stops in Ibiza and a homecoming show at Berlin Wuhlheide.

Watch the video below.