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DJ/producer Gunnar Stiller has seen Berlin transform considerably over the last couple of decades, soaking in influence as well as helping shape its development as a musical force, becoming a fixture of the city’s scene along the way.
Whether playing in clubs around the world such as Panorama Bar and Watergate in Berlin, Hive Club Zurich, Baum in Bogotá and Glow Bangkok or producing his own tracks for respected labels like Upon.You Records, Smiley Fingers, Voltage Musique and Ballroom Records, Stiller’s technique is deep in character, an outward-reaching combination of techno and techhouse with his trademark funk-tinged basslines.
Born in the sunny seaside town of Rostock, Germany, Gunnar Stiller found a change of scenery when his family moved to Berlin in the early 80s. Moving to such a beautifully chaotic, adventurous city was a key factor in shaping his musical perspective, and with the purchase of his well loved (and now worn out) turntables in the late 90s, he took his first step into a professional artistic career as DJ and producer.
In 2003 while working as manager for Berlin-based event agency No Ufos, Gunnar found himself in the heart of a perfect playground to gain insight and develop his own style, which at the time was focused on deep house, breaks and electro. Inspired by those around him such as Steve Bug, Matthias Tanzmann and Martin Landsky, Stiller quickly began to carve out his own sound that impressed not just the dancers filling the floor but also any promoter and organizer who was paying attention.
Pushing himself toward further success, he founded the artist alliance Edelmut in 2004 along with a few of his friends, an endeavor which quickly gained them notoriety as they played in the city’s top clubs like Watergate, Bar25 and later the infamous KaterHolzig , the latter of which invited Gunnar to become a resident DJ, a position he gladly accepted. On top of this, he became a regular player at the legendary HomeSweetHome sessions. His frequent and often lengthy sets (sometimes in excess of 10 hours) allowed him to explore the boundaries between (and beyond) techno and techhouse, creating a dramatic musical landscape that sets him apart from countless other DJs.
By 2009 Stiller had formed a solid intuition for exactly what moved listeners’ bodies (and spirits) and began his foray into production. His debut release, the Heideberg EP, and its followup the Manaus Madness EP – both on Voltage Musique – landed directly within the Top 5 German club charts, and Marek Hemmann’s remix of “Manaus Madness” was voted the #10 best remix by dance music authority Groove Magazine’s 2010 readers’ poll. It was around this time that Gunnar joined Upon.You Records as part of their label and booking roster, releasing a lot more EPs and contributing to the acclaimed label compilation Upon.You Diary, which was compiled by himself in 2014. These where followed by collaborations and remix projects with artists like Solomun, AndHim, Layo & Bushwacka!, Alex Niggemann, Danny Serrano, Ray Okpara, Nikola Gala, Larry Cadge, Samuel Dan, Nakadia, Dj Le Roi or Loko and more released tracks on labels like Clap Your Hands, Smiley Fingers and Time Has Changed.
Meanwhile, Gunnar Stiller’s DJ career picked up exponentially as he established a name for himself outside his native Berlin borders. In the last few years, he has been booked to play at top festivals such as Sonar Festival, Amsterdam Dance Event, Melt! Festival and Sonnemondsterne, in clubs throughout Eastern and Western Europe as well as South America, Asia, Australia and Africa, sharing the booth with the likes of Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier and Luciano. If you want to know where the global electronic dance scene is headed next, keep your eyes and ears on Gunnar Stiller…
Gunnar Stiller’s tracks