BOSSTA - Nebula
Apr 05, 2022

UMEK's 'Dark Market' Exclusive Mix

Today we’re joined by one of techno’s long time standouts, UMEK! Fresh off his new 'Dark Market' EP, we dive deeper into the two tracks in our interview, as well as highlight the 15 year anniversary celebration for his label 1605. Turn it up for some tough, up front, in your face techno with tunes from the likes of Lilly Palmer, Pleasurekraft, Popof, Space92 and more!
UMEK, thanks so much for joining us today with your Exclusive Mix! How’s your year been going? What have been a few highlights?
Hey guys, thanks for inviting me! This year has had its ups and downs and I've had a lot of mixed feelings throughout. On the one hand, we're fresh out of lockdown and finally, the clubs are reopening and festivals are back on everyone's radar. We're not back to full capacity yet, and that will take a few more months. So excited that this has finally happened.
You’re fresh off the release of your Dark Market EP so let’s take a closer look. What are the key unifying elements for the two tracks featured?
"Dark Market" and "Dream Logic" are two completely different tracks. "Dark Market" is a typical UMEK track with lots of melodies, a melancholic break and an energetic drop. For me, this track is very club-oriented and very functional, as I play tracks like this very often in my DJ sets. "Dream Logic" is all about bringing back the old school feeling of the cycle loops – funky and cool bassline and lots of percussions. It's not the same as it was back then, but it's still a very different production from what I usually produce lately.
Let’s go inside each production next. How did you move from the initial inspiration and sketch to the final versions of “Dark Market” and “Dream Logic” that we hear today?
For me, it's usually quite simple. I didn't have any particular inspiration for "Dark Market," but on the day that I produced it, something was different. Normally my emotional state does not influence the result of my production, but this time it did. That day I felt a bit melancholic and I started making these melodies. "Dream Logic" is about bringing back that old school feeling, but of course, I changed it up and added the UMEK style to it. And I hope you like it!
The EP was released on your own label 1605 which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year! Big congrats! Reflecting for a moment, when you first started the label, did you imagine making it this far? What have been a few milestone moments for you in the journey?
Thanks for reminding me, haha. Maybe we should release a big compilation of the artists who have already released on 1605 ;) When I started the 1605 label, I hoped that this would be the last label I would have to start. I think it's done well and I'm thrilled that it's been going for 15 years now. We've had our ups and downs with the label as well. The whole team that we started the label with went to Viberate and became more involved in analyzing data within the music industry. Now it's run by Ina Veber, Daniel Sheppard and myself and we're very happy with the results. I am always looking for new faces who meet my criteria and have their own sound in their productions. It has been a difficult but inspiring and interesting journey.
Can you highlight a few of the other key artists/recent releases on 1605 and what makes them stand out to you?
Oh yes, for sure! I definitely want to mention Sam Wolfe and Mha Iri. Two really amazing artists come from completely different backgrounds, but both produce amazing techno, which I really like. I am very excited to see where the road will take them and how they will make their mark in the music industry. I have no doubt that they will make it and I am really excited to be part of their journey to success. As I mentioned before, I'm always excited to hear new demos. We've also had some great releases from Space92, Teenage Mutants and Rebel Boy.
We feel as if we’re seeing a rise of techno in recent years with more mainstream appeal and a lot of elements adopted in more commercial productions. What’s your take on the state of the techno scene and where would you like to see things heading?
That's a very interesting question and you're definitely right. Techno is becoming very commercial and melodic on one side, but on the other side, there is still the raw techno peak time sound that I like a lot. I'm not afraid of the term "commercialized" because I think there's also a big opportunity. Some of the biggest EDM labels are leaning more and more on this sound, and I think that's a big opportunity to make the scene grow even more. I think this sound will grow in importance and you will see techno artists headlining the biggest events in the world. 
You’re well known as a very technical DJ. Why do you choose the set-up you DJ on, and what are a few of your favourite “tools” to employ live?
Throughout my career I've used different equipment – I've played on records, I've played with a laptop and now I'm with the CDJs. At the moment it's really a mixture of what I can do with my laptop and the vinyl mode of the CDJs. I don't really use the sync button at all, I just jump through keys and recorded samples. I like to play on the fly and make my own philosophy of how I want the mix to sound. This is where I feel most comfortable. I can jump forwards and backwards through the track, and that's a big advantage for me in my eyes.
How have you felt returning to live shows after the pandemic? Can you compare and contrast it at all to any other breaks or experiences during your long career?
Honestly, it is not that easy, traveling is killing me right now… Maybe the reason for that is that I am going to be 46 years old this year. The DJing itself is still a piece of cake haha. I really hope that we are going to forget this pandemic and that all of the artists are coming back in better shape than before. In my career I maybe had one or two months off at a time but never two years in a row. This was too much!
Looking ahead, what's coming up next from you on the release front? What about show wise, any dates you’re particularly excited about?
I definitely have a few releases lined up for the future ;) In May there will be a collab with Space92 and Popov on 1605, which I'm really looking forward to. I am working on a collab with an artist called Elakto and an exciting production with Mha Iri, but those two are not confirmed yet. We are still in the production process. With collaborations like this, quality is my number one priority and I really want to be 100% sure. This week I just got another remix for my track "Vibrant" by Space92, which turned out really interesting. There's a new EP from Teenage Mutants and I'm waiting for some demos from the Cosmic Boys. 
I am currently in Australia and just had a gig in Sydney and Melbourne last weekend. Super excited to play at La La Land Brisbane on the 8th of April.
And in the short term, what’s keeping you excited and motivated on a daily basis? Anything else that you’d like to share?
The only thing that really motivates me is the time in my studio. I just love experimenting with all kinds of sounds and techniques and creating something special. It is the same as years ago, it's that simple.
Thank you so much for having me!
UMEK's 'Dark Market' EP is available to download/stream on your platform of choice today!
Connect with UMEK: Spotify | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Full tracklist info available at Umek - 1001Tracklists Exclusive Mix 2022-04-05
DJ Jock - Scientistic Mystery Intro
1 system
Lampe Body, Mind And Soul Artwork
Lampe - Body, Mind And Soul SUBIOS
1 system
NoNameLeft Gradual Disruption Artwork
NoNameLeft - Gradual Disruption SCANDER
5 system
Pleasurekraft Ritual Artwork
Pleasurekraft - Ritual KRAFTEK
12 system
DJ Jock Urania Artwork
DJ Jock - Urania UNRILIS
4 system
Luca Gaeta - Moonslide
1 system
Beico - Irradiant
1 system
UMEK & Popof & Space92 Control Artwork
UMEK & Popof & Space92 - Control 1605
16 system
Alberto Ruiz - God Of Fire (Pablo Caballero Remix)
1 system
StoKed Your Mind Artwork
StoKed - Your Mind
1 system
5 Pre-Save 4
Novem Vivit Shutting Down Artwork
Novem Vivit - Shutting Down LEGEND
1 system
Save 4
UMEK Dark Market Artwork
UMEK - Dark Market 1605
31 system
Save 4
Gizmo & Mac In My Mind Artwork
Gizmo & Mac - In My Mind IAMT RED
4 system
Pre-Save 4
Jody 6 Technomancer Artwork
Jody 6 - Technomancer AUTEKTONE
7 system
Save 4
Lilly Palmer Resistance Artwork
Lilly Palmer - Resistance DRUMCODE
9 system
Save 4
Egbert Overpressure Artwork
Egbert - Overpressure MINDSHAKE
20 system
Save 4
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