With his slick touch that drives an original house music sound, Unders has cemented himself as a distinct figure within the global dance scene.
Very much an ambassador and champion of a certain electronic world music, Unders recognition has been on the constant ascension ever since his Billboard charting “Syria” release from 2016. Since, he has found himself gracing the stages of the world’s foremost spiritually minded events like Burning Man, Fusion Festival, Woomoon, Afrika Burn, Katerblau, and Amsterdam’s own home for mindful electronic music, The Gardens of Babylon.
Now, this talented and socially conscious artist, anticipates his 15 July performance at 2017’s Buiten Westen Festival with a very special mix. Also, see what Unders has to say about this mix, Buiten Westen, The Gardens of babylon, and more with our exclusive interview included.
Can you describe a bit about the mix? Why is it a good match for your upcoming appearance at Amsterdam’s Buiten Westen festival?
The mix was recorded live beginning of June at Pleinvrees festival where I played after Mira & Chris Schwarzwalder & before Bedouin as the sun set over beautiful Blijburg. Seeing as i will be playing the Pleinvrees stage at Buiten Westen I think it’s quite the match. The mix contains a bunch of unreleased tracks from my close friends Be Svendsen, Yør Kultura, Monolink, Satori and myself + some beautiful cool tracks by some of my favourites which include Iorie, Cornucopia, Ruede Hagelstein, Upercent, Oberst & Buchner & John Talabot to name a few. I decided to bring the BPM down to 102 to show the Dutch crowd a slow bpm doesn’t necessarily mean less energy. This is quite new for the Dutch Festival crowd but spreading quickly across the globe. I quickly pick it up and slowly build up to 119 bpm with tracks that impress me, that make me feel energised and ones that are utmost impressive on the production tip. Some originals in here, some unreleased edits and a remix of Syria that won’t see the light of day in stores.
Have you played the event before? If so, what were your experiences like there?
I have not played at Buiten Westen before but seeing as many of my friends play there and others are the promoters I’ve had quite a few sunny days at Buiten Westen over the years and it has always been a fun time! Beautiful sound, rare artists, a comfortable mix of people, beautiful characters and a well organised summer day!
Speaking of Amsterdam and its scene, you are also a frequent guest of its The Gardens of Babylon concept, one that I enjoy very much. Can you give me your impressions on it and some of your highlights of the past events?
For me personally The Gardens of Babylon is my favourite club night in Holland at the moment. It is the closest thing that resembles the Burning Man / AfrikaBurn ambiance & community which i truly admire. The amount of love being put in by both Shishi and her crew + the entire community around the concept is something you can feel the moment you step into the gardens. And off course the musical direction is exactly up my alley. Britta and myself were asked to play a 5 hour set for the 2nd edition of the Gardens which ended up as one of my favourite shows of the year and caught the both of us completely by surprise. So much love, smiles and support in what felt like rollercoaster ride of comfort! I’ll be joining the Gardens again for ADE and something special at the end of the year.
One of the aspects of that event is its approach to mindfulness and spirituality. I wonder, especially in the summer when schedule’s tend to get busier, what is your approach to maintain mindfulness on the road?
For starters I have been in an extremely positive & grateful mindset which makes travelling life much easier. Airports, delays, short naps, change of plans, cancellations, living in a different room every night or not having the chance to sleep all becomes much easier with a positive approach to life and compassion for the one’s around you. I notice this resonates very strongly and I get this compassion, support and energy back five fold. On top I am trying to work out a bit more and do Yoga on a regular basis. Would love to integrate the APP Headspace into my routine, but having trouble doing that. Another bonus for me is that my girlfriend has the same career and we’re often playing and travelling together as Britta Unders. This makes everything twice as fun and comfortable.
Looking down the road through the rest of the year, what are some highlight for you? Any destinations you have not visited before? Any favorite events where you’ll make a return appearance? Anything you are perhaps looking forward to from a personal standpoint?
The whole year seems to be one big highlight for me. It feels like a lot of my dreams are coming true and I’m in the right mode to take it all in and create new dreams.
If I do have to pick a few highlights, the arrival of my new studio monitors and the correction of my studio acoustics is one thing thats been on my mind for ages. I’m excited to start a remix for Dutch talents MY BABY + a remix I will be doing for Hraach. Also have loads of music in the final stages which are weird but very cool, some solo, some collabs, some long overdue, so more about those soon + you can check 2 of them in the mix.
I look forward to return to Burning Man as always (once again bringing my parents), there is a special festival in Poland which I have dreamt of playing at, a festival in Tunesia, a few shows on ibiza, loads of shows in Turkey and taking on the challenge of 15 gigs in one month, 12 of which are in other countries. Actually stoked for all the gigs and countries that are coming my way or vice versa ?
On top Britta Arnold, Noraj Cue and myself will be launching our own label “Happy Camper” at the end of September which is going to be good & exciting.
From a personal standpoint I’m looking forward to the arrival of my mom back in Holland when she comes to visit ?
Thanks for the support DHA. Hugs