Solomun is a force of nature. With a flick of his hips, the raise of an arm and a chugging 122bpm bassline, he can have any party eating out of the palm of his hand.
It all seems to come so naturally to the Bosnia and Herzegovinia-born, Hamburg-bred DJ. He can do rugged, he can do glitzy, he can make you feel at home in a dark basement but can also give a party in the shadows of super yachts an underground credibility.
Even his rise as one of dance music’s most recognised names seems to have come about in his typical nonchalant manner. Of course, what has really propelled him to the top is his tireless and consistent output of production, DJ sets and his label Diynamic.
In celebration of his all-encompassing endeavors, we’ve compiled 10 of Solomun’s most iconic moments. Enjoy.
NAMED MIXMAG’S DJ OF THE YEAR IN 2012
OK, this might be a bit of a humble brag but when Wikipedia says your award took Solomun’s popularity to new levels, it must be true, right?! Of course, he was already well on his way to superstardom when we caught up with him at the tail end of 2012. The previous year he had released the incendiary remix of Noir & Haze’s ‘Around’ (more on that later), put together the video for ‘Kackvogel’ (more on that also), was throwing some killer Diynamic parties and had sparked a bidding war for his services on the White Isle. How could we not honour him with our most prestigious award? We got a kick-ass Mixmag Live out of it as well.
TULUM BOILER ROOM SET
Maybe Solomun’s most enduring moment is his Boiler Room in Tulum; a two-hour set of summery tech house and multiple side dramas. Seriously, watching the whole video is like seeing five Shakespeare plays rolled into one. But, first let’s talk about stats. 23 million views! It’s the second most watched Boiler Room ever (only 500,000 behind Carl Cox) and has more views than Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz and Kaytranada. Why is this? Obviously some views are simply for the music. But the spectacle of ‘Hat Girl’ trying to get Solomun’s attention, the synchronization the DJ has when dancing with his sister, people commenting about Zach Galafanakis’ weight loss – all of these have made the video into one great bacchanalian meme that people can’t help but go back for more of
HIS DANCE MOVES
You don’t have to venture deep into the Internet to find a video of Solomun having a boogie. Part of the guy’s trademark style is his fluid and laidback grooving. A little flick of the wrist here, a fist pump there, he always appears cool, calm and collected in the booth but with the endearing sway of slight intoxication. In the video above however, free of the constraints of decks, we see Solomun soar. The big man is the centre of attention with his matador-style dance moves. And it’s all there; the stamina, the control, the panache (we saw that little skip at the start). Continue to dance like no one is watching, Mladen
BEING OFFERED A PLACE ON GERMANY’S UNDER-16 TEAM
At 6’3” with an athletic frame, Solomun was quite the footballer and still rates Dutch footballer Ruud Gullit as one of his all-time inspirations. When he was a teenager he was even offered a place in the Germany’s national under-16 team but turned them down because he felt such a strong affinity with his country of birth, then-Yugoslavia. Subsequently he ditched sports altogether, telling us in 2012: “Many, many years later I understood that decision. Everything I do, I do one hundred per cent. I have to stand behind it. I don’t compromise. If I don’t have fun or my heart is not pumping, I can’t do it.”
GOING B2B WITH SVEN VÄTH
As already mentioned, Solomun doesn’t seem like the guy who gets his feathers ruffled easily. But there is one man that makes him succumb to nerves, his childhood hero Sven Väth. In 2015, the duo made a bet: they’d both play each others’ club nights in Ibiza that season. For Solomun this meant playing at Cocoon and for Vath, he went b2b with the big man at his +1 night. Held at Pacha, the Solomun+1 nights have become must-see events with the DJ going b2b with guests like Dixon, Paul Kalkbrenner and Âme. But for Väth it was something else.
HIS REMIX OF NOIR & HAZE’S ‘AROUND’
Is Solomun house music’s king of YouTube? It certainly seems like it with 48 million streams of this monster from 2011. The beauty of the track lies in its simplicity. A haunting pad, bumping bassline, stripped back drums and understated vocal are the only ingredients in the tune, but Solomun weaves them together to create a sultry, funk-fuelled dancefloor workout.
THE ‘KACKVOGEL’ VIDEO
Did you know that Solomun’s first love was actually film? While working on a building site in East Germany he had an epiphany about his creative future: “It was about 11 o’clock in the evening and I was in the toilet, alone, having a shit. It was the end of a fourteen-hour day, I was very tired and I started to think about life and I drifted away for 20 minutes. Then I thought, what the fuck am I doing here? This can’t be my future, there has to be more.”
Anyway, this song is dope and so is the video.
It was so bloody hot when Solomun took the stage at last year’s Kappa Futurfestival. Having reached nearly 40 degrees during the day, it was in the late 20s as Solomun began his set and a fire engine was still employed to the side of the crowd, keeping ravers hydrated with its hose. But dressed in his trademark all-black and sunglasses, Solomun remained cool going a little harder than usual and rolling out belter after belter to an ecstatic, 30,000-strong crowd. Luckily for you we got it all on camera
HE’S SO POPULAR, HIS LOOKALIKE IS FAMOUS
You know you’re big deal when you’ve got your own lookalike. Not that Ben Fhurst is going around as Solomun’s professional stand-in, but at least the option is always there. Fhurst is an Australian DJ living in Ibiza and told Pulse Radio last year that he can’t go out for a night without being asked for a selfie, bought a drink or asked if he’s the Diynamic boss. Sometimes when he’s even at a Solomun gig.
But when asked if he ever takes advantage, Fhurst comes across as a down to earth guy: “I’m very committed and serious about my own DJing, I don’t want to be known as that DJ that impersonates Solomun. So as much as my mates egg me on to pretend to be him to blag stuff, I just don’t want to be that guy.”
DO IT YOURSELF!
Founded by Solomun and Adrian Tolio in 2006, Diynamic (get it? DIY-namic?) has gone on to become one of the world’s leading dance music labels. Its back catalogue is a close-knit family of artists that include Stimming, H.O.S.H, Thyladomid, David August and Adriatique whose tracks like ‘Radar’, ‘Rollox’, ‘Steppenwolf’ and ‘Forever’ have become staples on dancefloors. All of them rep each others’ tunes and all of them party together. Just the way it should be.
Louis is Mixmag’s Digital Intern. Follow him on Twitter here