Exclusive Interview with Uner
“The technological advances are there to allow us to create better things every time, not to work less and become robots that just repeat an equation”
UNER is one of those artists in the industry that rings an instant bell. He’s one of the most important names of the new breed of Spanish electronic music producers. He got his musical training at a very young age, which helped him to develop and evolve his sound over a longer period than most other DJ/producers. His qualities in the studio have earned him to release on top-of-the-range labels like the mighty Diynamic, 2020Vision and Visionquest. His work has been hailed by leaders of the scene like Luciano, Carl Cox or Laurent Garnier, regularly playing his tracks in their sets. 2013 has been a very successful year with many big gigs and a brilliant season in Ibiza, one that got awarded with the price for Best Newcomer in Ibiza by DJ AWARDS 2013. We wanted to ask him some questions about his creative methods in the studio, his new album and current developments that could harm the music industry.
You are known for experimenting with your gig setup. Do you see live performances as important to the ‘UNER’ experience?
For me, both my DJ sets and my live sets are equally important. Everything has its moment and its magic, so a year ago I decided to blend it all and mix my DJset with my live set (for my own tracks and to be able to dismount tracks of other artists). In addition to being more fun for me, you give music a different point of view: your own point of view. And that allows people to reach deeper into your world.
Audiovisual elements seem to be an integral part of your gigs. Do you keep this in mind while producing?
No. The visual part, which we only use for very particular events, is created from the musical concept. Anyway, it’s obvious that it must tell the same story music does, it wouldn’t make sense otherwise.
Tune432 portrays a ‘personal view of a UNER that loves house, techno, melodies and vocal harmonies’. In which way would you say this album feels personal to you?
300%! I’ve always made music that defines me as a person, but we could say this album has been a huge introspective work where I’ve not only put my personality, but also very deep feelings and real experiences lived during the last few years, specially the last one. So if I had to define UNER, musically, it would absolutely be this album. There are still many things to be told, in future ones ;)
What do you think has been most important in developing your unique sound?
Staying true to yourself without giving in to trends or the temptation of wanting to be always in the tops and charts of the most sold tracks. I think that’s a very common mistake these days, where digital sales have grown so rapidly. The personality of an artist is very important, and making or copying what another artist creates, turns you into exactly that: an undefined copycat.
In my case, I’ve always wanted to make the music I like, timeless and aiming at nothing but enjoying it and express myself.
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It’s been some years since you debuted in Diynamic back in 2009. What would you say is the most important change you’ve gone through?
They have been amazing years full of good experiences. All those experiences and all the people I’ve met and now work with have changed my life, my way of seeing things, even my way of seeing the music industry and the business around it. It’s been an evolution as a person, an enormous one, and of course that has influenced my focusing and the way I assume my career and my music.
The album includes some interesting collabs, such as Trumpets and Flowers with jazz vocalist Kafele Bandele. How is it to work with a renowned artist from such a different genre?
All the collaborations have been very special, since I love collaborating with other artists, musicians that can bring different sensations to my life and my music. And Kafele has been one of them.
For me, music is music in itself, no matter the style, and everything can be blended. What better than jazz, which I adore, for mixing it with electronic music and create a love story between the genres in the midst of the 21st century!
The process with him has been magical since everything has flown with an incredible energy and it has been, like the rest of the album, very inspiring. And most of all with a high degree of improvisation. At no time had I a clear idea of how any of the tracks was going to end.
Well, melodies and harmonies do seem to always play an important role in your music, and this album is no exception. How do you go about finding the right sound for the right track?
I’m a musician, a pianist, and I can’t assimilate music without harmony or without trying to create a psychoacoustic surrounding. But as I told you before, I can’t explain how, it just comes out like that: my brain thinks about it and my hands play it. No thinking, just letting the energy and feelings we have flow. Harmonies come out on their own and the sounds are part of creativity, one of the most important things to know is how to design what you have in mind. I in fact never play anything nor make a sound without playing it before in my head.
People can play albums in a lot of different settings. How would you like people to listen to Tune432?
I’d like them to listen to it as a complete work, not just loose tracks. The album process has been a journey and nothing comes without a reason nor is anything made randomly. The album has a sense, a goal in every way.
But at the end, what makes me most happy is that no matter how, people will listen to it the way they like. Or maybe people play it and make somebody happy. When that happens the goal has been achieved in my opinion. Because that’s what music is for: to make us happy.
There are several masterclasses and interviews on YouTube where you share your insights on DJing and producing. Do you feel it’s your duty to inspire and educate the next generation?
Absolutely, yes! I had nobody to teach me and give me advice whan I was young (that is, until now). And I believe that music is here to be shared, and that knowledge must be available for everybody. We always prepare several masterclasses during the year, and charity events in order to keep feeding the music with that human quality it must keep having.
Which artist would you like to work with in the future?
Garnier, without a doubt.
What are some significant developments you see in electronic music right now?
Everything is much faster and easier when it comes to producing. Even DJing, or access to music. At the same time it has also provoked a frequent loss of that humanization factor, making everything monotonous and sound alike, sometimes even boring. I believe we should look for the real sense of everything, the technological advances are there to allow us to create better things every time, not to work less and become robots that just repeat an equation.
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head right there!
Uner’s Album ‘Tune 432’ is out now on Diynmaic