We sit down with UNER, who burst on the scene with Diynamic in 2009, and grabbed the Newcomer DJ Award in 2013. The Spanish DJ has a lot of projects on hand in Ibiza, and will be on the West Coast this weekend.
Only The Beat: You are set for two California dates this weekend, at Sound in LA on Friday the 28th, and at Halcyon in San Francisco on the 29th - a new venue for you. What do you like most about playing in the U.S.?
I really love to play in the USA, and especially the West Coast. I think playing in the US is special, as clubbers are much more open to listen to different kinds of music, which may be new to them, so I find I can play a little more eclectic when I want to. Also California has a very special type of spiritual deep house and techno scene, which I really love so much. Sound is a great club, it’s always packed, with a great sound system and I love the family vibe. Also, Halcyon has been getting a lot of amazing reports, so I can’t wait to test that one out this weekend.
OTB: You're a resident at ANTS at Ushuaia, and opened HÏ IBIZA with Black Coffee. Ibiza continues to have a strong underground musical presence despite complaints of over-commercialization. Why do you think that is?
Ibiza is the biggest showcase in the music scene. There are so many people coming in and out of the island every day, it's the only place in the world I think that you can find 4,000 people all here for the same thing – clubbing and music. The turnaround of clubbers is insane, there are always first timers, and those who have been coming to the island for 20 years or more.
This applies to all electronic music, but I think that we have seen a huge increase in the demand and popularity of underground. Its accessible to many people, and not everyone wants to go to a club and spend thousands on a VIP table and be surrounded by fireworks. ANTS is a perfect example of this, we play in a small booth, close to the crowd to ensure we feel a connection with our fans. People come here to try and be part of a community, and I think Ibiza is the perfect place for it, and the underground scene is providing the best experiences for clubbers on this magical island.
OTB: Your label, Solar Distance, is in its second year. What has running your own label taught you?
It has taught me a lot and it has been a very difficult journey to this point, and we are still only very young in label terms. It was hard to find the right sound for the label, I think we always knew what rough direction we wanted to take, but every label has its own ‘sound’ and to cultivate that, takes time.
From the beginning, it was also very important to me to always encourage, nurture and bring to the forefront all these amazing new talented artists by releasing with Solar Distance. I give feedback to all my demos, and help young producers develop and grow. Giving advice and acting as a kind of mentor is something I am very passionate about, and I feel we should always have time to give something back.
OTB: We hear you'll soon be working on your new album, and doing that here in the U.S. - including work with classical musicians. What is your vision for this upcoming project?
Yes, this is a project which I have been working on for many years. I am a classical pianist and wanted to show my personal and internal vision of music throughout the last few years of my life and my emotions and experiences that travelled with me. I want the listener to be able to listen to the tracks and know how I felt at that time. The main idea for the album is to approach it with electronic music edge but combine this with elements of classical music and jazz instrumentals, like a piano or drums.
I wanted to be surrounded by amazing musicians whilst producing this album, and found myself travelling all over the world, spending time with them in their studios for days, writing the most beautiful melodies. They are not electronic artists, so I really admire the work they do, and have learnt so much more than I expected from spending time in their studios. It’s going to be a very special and landmark release for me, so it’s not to be rushed and I hope to be able to tell everyone more about this next year.
OTB: You have a new party brand, Umamii, which launched July 20th at Pacha Barcelona. The party's goal is to stimulate the 5 senses- can you tell us some of the ways you plan on doing that?
Yes, the party was amazing! I launched the first night back on the 20th July at Pacha, and we had my friends AndHim from Germany and Andrea Olivia, both play along my side.
The name Umamii means delicious in Japanese, so that in itself, gives you some idea of the concept we are trying to create.
We transformed the club! It looked so different. We played music of animals and jungle sounds when guests arrived, we had art installations all over the booth and dance floor, as well as scents and aromas being distributed – over all the idea is to create a complete sensory experience for the clubber. Sight, Smell, Sound, taste and touch. That's all I am going to say for now, but you will have to come and see the next party in August.
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