Oliver Dollar: "I don’t really like to be reduced to one style"

Berlin-based master house DJ, producer remixer and a member of the Defected family broke through with Beatport #1 hit record "Doin’ Ya Thang", followed by even bigger cross-over anthem "Pushin On". The sound of Oliver $ alias Oliver Dollar is a raw mixture of Detroit, Chicago and New York house with disco, funk and soul influence.

He collaborates with artists such as Kenny Dope, Green Velvet, Jesse Rose, Matthias Tanzmann, Robert Owens and Tensnake and he’s a regular feature at Sankeys and Amnesia Ibiza as well as festivals such as Barrakud, Defected, ADE and Miami Winter Music Conference. You can catch Oliver Dollar's debut gig in Slovenia on April 14th when he’ll close the first season of XO - Let’s Play House series at club Cirkus in Ljubljana. Check out more about the event HERE.

So, Oliver, how "black" is your soul? :) Based on your music output you could pass as a "black" artist from NY, Chicago or Detroit, who has an ear for classic house music as well as funk, soul and jazz.

In general, I love all kinds of music. At the moment I dig very deep for fusion jazz from the 70’s. There are still loads of samples unused out there and I still try to use these in my own production.

Who were artists that have influenced your taste in music? There were some great house producers in Germany in the 90's, but you sound very American.

That’s right, my roots are in Chicago house as well as Detroit techno from the 90's, the golden era of electronic music. And of course my hometown Berlin has shaped my sound, too.

I love what you did with Rufus Thomas’ chant from historic Wattstax festival gig on "Ain’t I’m Clean". Tell us a bit more about working on this one.

That was a title session in Los Angeles with my mate Brillstein, who showed me the Wattstax documentary. If I still remember this correctly it took us one night to create the original and another one for the dub version, where Brillstein came up with this funky guitar licks. Shortly after that, it got pressed on a 10” vinyl.

Let’s say you get a chance to create a live band and you can pick up to five top musicians, be it dead or alive. Who’d be in your all-stars group?

Interesting question. I mean, we’re all dreaming to go in the studio with our heroes like Roy Ayers, Bob James (author’s note: you might know him as a producer of a theme song for iconic TV series Taxi), Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and jazz legend Ahmad Jamal. That would be actually a sick band!

This season Cirkus already hosted Erick Morillo, Sonny Fodera, The Magician and Klangkuenstler is coming after you. Where does your selection fit in this constellation?

I would probably say expect some quality house and even techno tunes, the whole spectrum. I don’t really like to be reduced to one style. I pretty much play what I like, so expect the unexpected.

Last time we’ve bumped into each other you’ve just dropped the $ and become Dollar. Looking back: was that a smart decision? Some clubbers who liked the $ guy almost missed that you are the same artist. 

That was a good decision because of all the social media and as you know, you can’t find a Dollar sign in Google. :)

What were the best-spent 100 dollars (marks or euros) in your life?

Ha! That was my Roland TR606 I bought for 100 marks in the late 90’s.

You’ve had some taste of Adriatic festivals action (Hideout, Barrakud, Defected). Do parties in this region in any way stand out?

I like these Adriatic festivals. Production wise they are the same as parties in Ibiza or Miami and they are held in amazing part of the world for spending summer holidays.

What would you do if you weren’t a DJ & producer? What do you also excel at?

I’m a passionate chef and I love cooking for my friends but as a job, it’s pretty hectic so I’m glad that’s just a hobby.

Anything new you’re working on and we should be aware of?

There’re a few upcoming remixes and my artist album in the pipeline - and of course soon even more to come.

By Gregor, edited on 15 June 2018