As Mixmag & What Matters prepare to launch their 501 Series we thought it would be a good time to catch up with their first DJ, the incredible and extremely talented Uner. A man who has edited for Diynamic and released on some top labels including 2020 Vision, Get Physical, Cecille and Visioquest but to name a few. Check out what he had to say whilst we try to squeeze some of his production secrets out of him.
Thanks very much for taking the time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
Hi friends!! Such a pleasure to speak with you! :)
Well, at the moment I’m both at home and in the studio, working on the last tracks for my upcoming album and some remixes. I’ve been traveling every weekend for a long time but I decided to try and keep the whole of April as free as possible to finish all this new stuff and also recover my energy just before the summer. I kept one special date free during April for Mixmag & What Matters 501 and a master class in Spain. The rest of the month is dedicated to relaxation, studio, studio and more studio to try and get ready for the huge summer!
Uner could you tell all our readers a little bit about yourself and how you started your career as a DJ and artists?
Once upon a time...
Everything started quite a while back. I started to play the piano when I was 4 years old and continued my classical training until I was 23. During this time, when I was around 15 years old, I started to work on the electronic music concept. Productions and live sets mainly and I started to play my DJ sets at around 24. That’s a little resume...
But the full history is an amazing life living around my love for the music :)
So you had classical musical training when you were young, how has this helped you develop as a producer? Do you think it’s something our young aspiring producers reading this should look into?
Well, my classical music training is everything for me. It was my first connection with the music and I can't imagine my life without being able to play my piano. As you know I love the melodies and the not so easy harmonic things, so my training was perfect to develop my own sound around this.
For sure, at the moment, you can make music without musical training. We have access to a lot of help nowadays but it’s easier if you want to develop something special on your own. So for the young aspiring producers out there, please try it!
Your tracks are incredibly well produced. Your drums and percussion are generally very clean and tight. These swung rhythms that you create are delicately accompanied by incredibly melodies. Could you talk us through the process of making a track Uner style.
It’s difficult to explain really because I really don’t know! Haha kidding!
The most important thing for me is the harmony and not the “main rhythm", I mean, kick drums, main hi hats, etc. Usually I start working on a nice bass line, melodies, pads and percussion. I try to get the feeling without a main rhythm.
Why? Because if you can develop a super track without this, imagine when you play the kick drum. It turns into a bomb!
So I could say, the kick drum is the last element for me.
I’m sure all our readers are dying to know what your studio set up consists of, if we were to walk in there now what would we see?
Lots of stuff and some new bits coming. I’m waiting on a New Moog Synth at the moment (I’m a huge fan of this!). I’m still working with Cubase and Ableton (with Ableton I can develop a lot of ideas while I’m traveling) I have 3 different computers, each with different audio devices, a digital Roland mixer, Some Korgs Synths (old stuff like Prophecy, or X3) 1 guitar and 1 bass, some percussion things (bongos, djembe, etc), 2 flutes, and a main complete Alesis Piano/Synth to play everything on. And you are more than welcome if you want come round and check!
For those of us who are not musically trained could you share a tip or trick on this side?
It is really difficult to talk about musical training if you don’t know anything about it, but the most important thing is try to put your EARS on everything you do. You can start to work with major chords (3 keys) and easy harmonies. There is a lot of info on the net about a lot of different aspects of musical training. But the most important thing is your ears. Find some help, with apps for example, Sp Pro or a lot of configurations on Max for Live in Ableton.
You are kicking off the new 501 Series which has been curated by Mixmag & What Matters which will host 500 people and 1 DJ who will be playing 6 hours. How do you prepare for this sort of set?
Yes... I’m really excited about this! Especially as I’m the first one!
I have a really nice feeling about it, because normally I play a 2 or 3 hours set. It’s difficult nowadays to play 6 or 8 hours and a lot of DJs don’t want to do it! But I’m really excited because I have the chance to develop the set and take the crowd on a real Journey with my music. Playing a lot of different stuff, different styles, and music that you can't usually play on a 2 hours set. I’ve been working on this set for over a month now and it’s really special, I’ve found some really special stuff to play and I’m sure it will be an amazing night!
Will you incorporating your live set into your performance at 501?
No, not this time. I’m working on my new live show at the moment, with a really special concept but it isn’t ready yet. I think the show I am working on will best suit huge venues and big stages, because I need a decent amount of space for the hardware and it’s hard work in a club, especially when the visuals are include.
But that is definitely something I will try in the near future, maybe when the album comes out I’ll do something special and a little live tour for small and nice clubs.
You are currently one of Spain’s hottest producers, could you tell us a little about the music culture out there and were the good hang out spots are?
Thanks! At the moment we have a lot of talented producers in Spain like Herny Saiz, Marzenit, Cora Novoa, Dosem. Triumph, Edu, Coyu, Baum, Piek, Triumph and so many more! (sorry guys but I can fit 128 names here!).
We had a commercial scene in the past and a small underground one but everything changed some years ago when the underground started to grow faster! At the moment our scene (and for sure, it is a "young" scene) is on fire!
The only thing is, it wasn’t very professional in the past (and I mean years ago) and some people from more developed scenes still look at the Spanish one like we are children or not professionals, which is a shame.
But everybody knows about the Spanish clubs! A lot of people want to play here because it’s super fun and we have hot clubbers! Clubs like Florida, Up, Reverse, Loft, Sonora etc. We also have amazing festivals like Sonar, Monegros, Amnesia festival, Aquasella etc etc etc and of course… Ibiza.
Finally what does the summer of 2013 hold for Uner?
Summer 2013 is full of fun!
I’m doing the normal touring (playing around Holland, Germany, UK, Spain, France, etc) and festivals (free live, Amnesia festival, Monegros) I will also be playing in some of new underground concepts in Ibiza: I’ll be playing at Pacha for an INSANE new underground night on Fridays, of course with my Diynamic Family in Sankeys on Tuesdays with the Neon Nights, some dates with Carl Cox in Space, and also a new organic concept called Ants (Join The Colony) in Ushuaia.
Like I said, lots of fun! And again you are all more than welcome to every night! I look forward to seeing you there!
What a guy! A big thank you to Uner for taking the time out to speak with us. You can catch Uner in London on Saturday 13th April for Mixmag & What Matters Presents 501 at the Westbourne Studios Club.
Uner's Track Recommendations
One of those very special ones for me! I always play this track from the begining!
I’m a huge fan of Garnier, for sure I love his music and both his DJ and live sets, but Man With The Red Face is just full of love for me... Also, Crispy Bacon was the first vinyl I owned, but this one is one of my favourite tracks ever!
These guys really get the groove! At the moment, this is one of my bomb tracks in my DJ sets. The feeling, the groove, the short raw bassline, the sexy mood, everything is perfect! You can feel the energy on the dance floor when you are playing this track. I’m also a big fan of the label and Nic has been a friend of mine for some time, so I like to support his work.
What can I say about this track? If I could describe SEX in a track just with music, it would be this track! The rhythm and the vocal fits perfectly and the feedback everywhere is amazing. I can remember the first time I heard this track in Ibiza, I was packing my stuff at the time and my face was like: WTF is this?! I knew it would become a favourite from the moment it hit my laptop!
I am a huge fan of Dixon. All of his reworks are totally amazing. He is one of my favourite producers (along with Garnier, Henrik, etc) and this rework makes me feel so happy. The groove is absolutely amazing, full of good vibrations and the vocal track makes me fly.
‘Raw and thug’ is the only way I can describe this track!
There is nothing else to say other than: play it and you will see for yourself what happens!
Almost everybody likes Maceo, but I was a fan since he was pushing his dark side "Maetrik". I had a chance to play alongside him some years ago, and just got a really good feeling from him. His music at the moment, gives me that same feeling and this latest remix shows what an amazing producer he is and what different histories he can explain with his music and his own style.
I wanted to include this track, my remix specifically, because it was something really special for me. The original was one of my favourite tracks almost 2 years ago, I then got the opportunity to incorporate my own vision, energy and that bassline! It got some really good feedback. I think Sasha ended up playing it more than I did! Haha!
Hot is on fire at the moment! He is doing an amazing job on everything but this one is definitely one of my favourite tracks from him. It’s not deep, it’s not techno, it’s a perfect mix of everything together! The snare rhythm is simply amazing. Good sound, super bassline and absolutely full of energy! You can definitely destroy the club with this track!
I think to try and say something about this track, for me, is a joke. I can describe what I feel every time I listen to it or I play this awesome piece of history. Like I say, I’m a fan of Schwarz but this track especially is a very special track for me. I can cry, I can run or I can do a lot of things just thinking about this piece of music... Thank you Henrik for your music!
I love all of Okpara’s stuff! His mood, his rhythms, his super funky style, but this one is different for me. It’s more organic and reminds me of being home in Spain, with the guitar and the groove. It’s been one of my favourite tracks since the release date and it will be for a long time to come!