In this instalment of Noise 101, we catch up with Spanish DJ/Producer Uner ahead of his visit to Cairo this month.
Music has been part of this man's life since he was just four years old. Ever since he can remember, he has been playing piano, performing for the first time when he was only 15 years old. Uner is one of Spain's hardest working DJs/producers who, in a very short time, was able to etch out his own mark on the pillar of house and techno. Since his debut in 2009, the artist has been pushing forth his style of electronic music relentlessly with an undying fervour, where he toured the world showcasing his sounds. Prior to his gig at Back2Basics this Christmas, we catch up with Uner for a quick one-on-one chat.So, Uner, you have become a regular fixture in Egypt’s nightlife scene, booked several times in different events. What do you think of the scene here in Egypt?
I have been to Egypt several times already and I have to say that the evolution of the club scene here has been incredible in the last few years. Every time has been a great experience, and I have some great relationships with the promoters here, so I am delighted to be coming back and enjoy such a magical place.
An integral part of Spain’s dance music scene, your record label Solar Distance was setting out at its start to showcase Spain’s unknown electronic musical talents. Can you name a few artists that you believe are about to break through right now that are being kept under your labels eye?
With Solar Distance, as you say, we wanted to have a focus on bringing new artists to the forefront and into the limelight, of which many names wouldn't be known. Some of the recent artists we have worked with are Scoom Legacy, who actually just released their first album, which portrays a very personal journey through their musical evolution to date. We are currently working on a new EP from Lower & Osp due out in a few months, and also Alex Kennon – he’s another amazing artist.You played several cities in the Middle East, where just this month you are set to play at Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Cairo. Previously you played Dubai, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Hammamet (did we miss anything?). In other words, you have been all over the place; tell us about your experience as opposed to your expectations before your first gig in the region.
In all honesty, you go to these new places and you always are waiting to see what the crowd is going to be like and how they react to your music. When it's a new place, you never know what will happen – but I have to say that I have been so impressed with the love they have provided. I also went to Doha, Jordan, Algeria, and Tunisia; again, all amazing venues, people, and promoters. People are enjoying the music in their own special way and all of the places I have visited this year fill me with an intense energy and passion.
You made your debut in 2009; how long did it take for you to reach that moment? When exactly did you start working on yourself as an electronic musician prior to your breakthrough?
I have been working on music for many years now and I started to play the piano when I was just four years old. When I was 15, my first performances with electronic music were live and I did my first few records from there. My first album as electronic dance music was in 2000, and in 2004 I had my first successful single release. All of this was done with a different alias to the one that I used now and also with a completely different style. UNER was a change, both personally and professionally, that made everything change, but for the better, and you can see how the rest has developed since then to now.
You'r booked to play a secret party in Ibiza this month, can you reveal any information regarding this specific party to our readers?
Yes, it is going to be a special party in a private villa in Ibiza for a limited number of guests. Contrary to what people are used to during the summer season, where you have thousands of people at every club, this is going to be very different, with a small venue to create that intimate atmosphere to make the party as special and memorable as it can be for all those who attend.
Aside from DJing, you also perform live; tell us where you draw inspiration from when producing your live sets. How does the preparation process differ between both?
At the moment I am immersed in the production and composition of my new album, which will bring new live performances with musicians, so the live format is now under development, and I’ll return to it in the near future once the album is finished.
I will have several live formats since the album will not be focused just on dance music, so the live format will have modifications depending on which part of the show we are going to develop. But we can’t even reveal this yet.You toured the world several times; tell us about one party that really scared you or caught you off guard.
I think I must have been a lucky person to date, as I have always had really great experiences throughout my career. I can tell you that I have had compromising situations when I was younger. I had an electronic music band when I was 17 and, at one of the events, we had to be escorted by the police as we played after a metal band and the audience basically hated us and looked like they wanted to kill us...
Describe the music scene you experienced as a teenager growing up; who were you listening to back then? What kind of parties did you attend at the time?
I grew up in a city in Spain called Lleida, which is very close to one of the best clubs we have in Spain – Florida135 – as well as one of the biggest festivals, Monegros Desert. So you can imagine that I started out as a raver, with all these events being so close to home.
The music I listened to was much more melodic that what I heard out at either clubs or festivals in Spain. This is how my production developed, and I started to produce ‘Goa Trance’, which was very energetic music. But, after a while, I started to develop an interest in more classical sounds. Jean Michel Jarre was and always will be a great influence to my sound, so we could say that I do a mixture between that and the raves I attended back in the day.
Looking forward to your set at Back2Basics in Cairo this month, what can we expect from you on that night?
It's going to be an amazing night and, as always, I will try to give the maximum energy, bring love in the form of music and, above all, be one more within the crowd of people who come to enjoy the music.
If you could have one ride on a tamed dinosaur (a T-rex, to be exact) with one person, dead or alive, who would you pick?
If you had asked me that question a year and a half ago, I would have told you Mozart, because I have always been an admirer of his art. But, right now, I would choose my father to make that trip, no doubt.