Back in 2009 when UNER made his debut on Diynamic Records, the ‘Raw Sweat‘ EP alongside Coyu, you would have been hard pressed to bet against the Spaniard becoming a global player. And as expected, he lived up to his potential, going on to become a recipient of Vicious Awards‘ Best Newcomer and Artist of the Year categories (Vicious Magazine is a Spanish dance music publication), while sponsorship deals with top brands like Native Instruments, Burn and Adidas showed just how marketable he became.
But is the music any good? It sure is, and if you need proof just go and have a listen to any one of his productions on labels like Visionquest, Cocoon, Cadenza and Cécille. And for a comprehensive understanding of what UNER is about, buy his 2014 debut LP release ‘432’ (released on Diynamic), it really showcased his love for house, techno, melodies and vocal harmonies.
He also plays an important role in various party brands around the world including Ants at Ushuaia, Ibiza (he is their resident), Carl Cox’s The Revolution, Berlin’s Watergate, festivals like Sonar, and regular visits to the Americas: “The USA is a place where I have been going to a few times a year, and I am headed to San Francisco and Los Angeles at the end of July.”
For this Balance Selections mix UNER has called upon melodies brushed with percussion for inspiration. And he has put in some extra effort into creating this too: ‘I started out with a normal mix but then playing and adding LIVE parts over the tracks as percussions, melodies and atmospheric sounds. So you could say that I almost did my own rework of every track on this podcast.’ With a tracklist which feature acts like Eagles & Butterflies, Third Son and Fort Romeau, this should resonate with many Balance listeners.
Balance Selections Q+A
Labels affiliated with:
Solar Distance, Sol Selectas, Saved, Last Night On Earth
My last 3 releases:
What music did you listen too as a child?
I can remember listening to music with my father since I was a young child. Some of my first memories from when I was around 4 years old, were listening to classical music, Spanish pop and rock. Artists like Status Quo, Queen and Mozart. My parents never played any musical instruments but my father was a huge music lover. We had a special corner in the house with vinyls and an old turntable connected to the stereo – so we could listen to music all day long.
I used to play around with a guitar and pretend that I was playing it, but soon realised it was far too big for me, and ended up hurting myself on the strings! So around the same time, I started to learn how to play the piano. We always had music in our house and it was magical.
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
This was a clear moment in my childhood, and it was my father came home after being away travelling with his work, and he showed me Jean Michelle Jarre’s “Magnetic Fields”. That was the moment I was mesmerised by electronic music.
I think that was back in 1982, and I was playing the piano at the time and getting into the very classical style of music training. So when I heard this, it was new to me. We started going to the music store to check out the synths and soon discovered the amazing possibilities that can be produced with technology. I could still play a classical piece but with this strange element to it, which for me was life changing and I fell in love with it. From that moment my parents asked for some bank credit and they bought my first Yamaha, which of course I still treasure today.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I live in Lleida in Spain, which is a small city but we are very close to Florida135 and also Monegros Festival, so I had my first experience at those venues. Luckily we had always the best line ups around. Florida135 used to have the most advanced line ups in the country actually, we are talking around 1995 or so – you’d often see Sven, Dave Clark and Laurent Garnier playing. My first gig was at Florida135 and it was a live performance too, it’s a special memory for me and of course this club means a lot to my career.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
Well, without a doubt Jean Michel Jarre has always had a very special place in my heart, from that first moment my father played his music. Magnetic Fields, Oxygen, Concert In China, Rendez Vous – all of them I am totally crazy for. My very first concert I ever went to was actually his, which I think was back in 1992 in Barcelona. I can remember myself now with my eyes open and my heart beating crazy fast, I was so excited – the experience was overwhelming. It was such an incredible show from the lighting, audio and visuals. So yes, he is my No.1 when it comes to my inspiration. Another of course, is Laurent Garnier. Especially if we are talking about club music, he is a true master. Crispy Bacon blew my mind when I first heard it, and it was actually also the very first vinyl I ever bought with my own money.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
The last album I bought was by Olafur Arnalds, it’s such a beautiful and graceful collection of songs. Usually I listen to albums when I am travelling and I really don’t like to listen to anything with too much energy. I prefer to relax and listen to something with a beautiful classical edge and piano melodies.
However, I do still like bands like Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and even Metallica – but that’s for when I am driving! When I am out of the club and the studio environment, I try to be a little disconnected from the scene, as I believe it’s positive for my mind and soul.
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
I try to change my studio set up every year or so, and I am trying to find some new inspiration for it at the moment. I am not that kind of producer who needs thousands of euro’s worth of gear. At the moment I am working with the Prophet 06, a few different Waldorf Synths and Maschine. They are my main tools and I find I do not need a lot more to be able to make what I want. I also use software like the Arturia Collections or the Native Instruments synths.
I also use Ableton and Cubase, my main audio card is an Apogee Quartet but I use the RME sometimes too and the TR09 Boutique when I am on tour. I work on a laptop a lot of the time, as it enables me to be able to work anywhere, and often I am not at home so this cuts into my studio time.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
Well I just released my solo EP on my own label Solar Distance. The EP is called “Fonema” and has an amazing remix from Monkey Safari. I am really proud of that one, my main focus has been the label for a while and helping it to grow. So nurturing that is important to me. Alongside that, I have been travelling a lot all over the world and working in many different studio spaces with some very talented electronic and classical musicians for the last few months. This is all for my next album. It’s going to be a very very special project, with many different parts to it, I am excited, as its been an amazing experience to far in the making.
Where can we hear you perform?
Yes I have my own podcast called “Sounds From Solar” which is available on Ibiza Global Radio every Monday night. This has been a cool project for me, as it allows me to experiment with my own mixes, and also get all the new interesting artists I have discovered onto the show. So make sure you tune in!
As for the summer schedule, it’s CRAZY. Ibiza has been an island where I have played for many years, and this summer I am back at Ushuaia for the ANTS residency on Saturdays which means I am always in Ibiza. But also we have many huge festivals all over Europe too which I love to go to. The USA is a place where I have been going to a few times a year, and I am headed to San Francisco and Los Angeles at the end of July.
Before then, I have also just announced my brand new party. Its first event is going to be on the 20th July at Pacha, Barcelona. It’s called “Umamii” which means delicious in Japanese. The concept for this is to create a new sensory experience at a party, with art, sound, visuals and the like. I am really excited, as we have another event already planned in August, and the line-up for the first party is with Andhim and Andrea Olivia – both amazing artists I am honoured to have play with me.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
I knew that I wanted to really make this a special podcast, and took a long time to make sure this was perfect in every way I wanted it to be. I started out with a normal mix but then playing and adding LIVE parts over the tracks as percussions, melodies and atmospheric sounds. So you could say that I almost did my own rework of every track on this podcast. I really enjoyed doing it because I feel I can put my own soul into it, and its sound very different to anything I have done before. I spent a day on selecting the tracks, but then another 4 or 5 days working on the edits and different percussions. I had a lot of fun, so I hope you guys enjoy this one as much as I did making it.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
My favourite Balance compilation is:
Nils Frahm – Late Night Tales
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
Logan – I am a huge Marvel fan, also loved Wolverine
My favourite TV show:
Locomundo or Ilustres Ignorantes (Both Spanish shows)
If I could choose anyone to compile a Balance comp it would be:
Someone really interesting like Floating Points or Tom and his Computer….
1. Sahar Z and Navar – Morning Thoughts 4 U [Lost & Found] 2. Yor Kultura – Roots of Wisdom (UNER Live EDIT) [Sol Selectas] 3. Eagles & Butterflies – Prophet [Sapiens] 4. Third Son ft. Haptic – Climb to the Sun (Guy J Field Trip Remix) [Microcastle] 5. Senzala – Phase (Richy Ahmed & Janson Lovehertz Remix) [Four Thirty Two Records] 6. Whitesquare – Praise The Sun (UNER Live Edit) [Mobilee] 7. Zopelar – Origini (Ripperton Remix’s UNER Live Edit) [Endless] w/ Luciano & David Morales – Esperanza (UNER Live Edit) [Cadenza] 8. UNER – Bahai (Balance’s Exclusive Edit) [Solar Distance] 9. Fort Romeau – Satellite 2 (UNER Live Percusion Edit)