In 2004, Berlin-based film director and self-confessed Kalkbrenner fan, Hannes Stoehr, got in touch with Paul. He was planning to make a movie about an electronic musician in Berlin’s techno scene and wanted Paul to produce the soundtrack. As the script for the film developed, Hannes suggested Paul might be perfect in the starring role.Paul produced some of his most diverse and mature compositions yet, which would later make up the soundtrack for ‘Berlin Calling’. He started shooting the movie upon his return to Berlin, with the result being an unconventional but outstanding performance. Somewhere between Paul Kalkbrenner and his character Ickarus, an intimate dialogue developed between actor and audience.
‘Berlin Calling’ became a surprise hit, and a German cult movie in its own right. It drew audiences all around Europe and stayed on the big screen at Berlin’s Central Kino for several years.
The soundtrack went platinum and the single „Sky and Sand“spent over 121 consecutive weeks in the German singles charts—a German record.
At the end of 2009, Paul split with his longtime label Bpitch Control to form his own independent imprint, Paul Kalkbrenner Musik. A sold-out European tour and a documentary followed. The documentary remains an intimate insight into Paul’s life on the road, sprinkled with his dry, deadpan humour.
Between June 2011 and November 2012 Paul released his fifth and sixth studio albums ‘Icke Wieder’ and ‘Guten Tag’. These two self-released albums went top five in his native Germany, with ‘Guten Tag’ also topping the charts in Switzerland.
In 2013 he completed a tour in USA, Canada and Europe with stops at the Coachella Festival, headlining Rock En Seine and Pukkelpop. Him being a remarkable live-act spread the word and in the next following years he played headliner positions for renowned festivals such as Garorock, Hurricane, Southside or Electric Picnic alongside Florence & The Machines, Iggy Pop, Kendrick Lamar, blur, The Libertines or Nicki Minaj.
In 2014 Germany’s Federal Government asked him to play a headlining live show in front of the Brandenburg Gate in a historic ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was another milestone moment in Paul’s career.
Paul signed a long-term deal with Sony International/Columbia in March 2015. The album, aptly titled ‘7’, was released in August 2015, and it saw Paul work with vocals for the first time since his chart-topping, record-breaking single „Sky and Sand“.
In an unprecedented move by the label, Sony and Columbia provided him total access to their Legacy vaults, allowing him to incorporate vocals from previously-unsampled music icons Luther Vandross and Jefferson Airplane.
The album was a success across Europe, hitting No. 1 on the charts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Top Ten in Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. It earned plaudits from the New York Times, Der Spiegel, Village Voice, Mixmag, and others.
In 2017 he celebrates his underground Berlin roots with his “BACK TO THE FUTURE” mixtape series, a trilogy that chronicles his personal history of electronic music’s arrival to Germany as heard on the radio during his teenage years. The series went viral, amassing over 1,5 Mio downloads and 502K streams. The BACK TO THE FUTURE tour through 10 countries was sold out within short notice.