After a successful run of shows together last year, UNER and Technasia have now decided to make it official. Teaming up for a round of back-to-back performances, they head into 2015 stronger than ever, with a slew of special dates at the likes of Watergate, Pacha Festival and Dance Valley, and numerous exciting solo productions and residences in the pipeline.
Ahead of this match made in heaven, we caught up with the French and Spanish team for a back-to-back interview. Technasia is up first, and tells us how the project came about, about his upcoming residency for Reverse in Ibiza that will reportedly be changing locations in 2015, and gets brutally honest about the state of the industry today.
ANTS at Ushuaia Ibiza resident UNER is up next, and tells us about his new rock-electronic band, his thoughts on the ever-burgeoning Spanish scene, and explains why he thinks his relationship with Technasia works so damn well.
How are you feeling ahead of your fast approaching back-to-back series with UNER? Very good! To be honest, we did about 15 shows last year with that project and it was quite an amazing and stress-free experience for both of us. We are doing pretty well with our own respective solo careers so we take this project as a kind of cherry on the cake, a different approach to what we usually do. We are having a lot of fun performing under it right now. We have both known each other for quite sometime now and we get booked quite regularly on the same line-ups, as we are a part of the same agency.
This project was born in a very natural way. I organised my birthday bash last year in a small club during WMC in Miami and UNER was one of the DJs of the night. I joined him during his set and we ended up playing for 2 hours in the end. We sat down a few days later and decided to make it a real project as we both had a lot of fun playing together the first time. I guess this was something that we were both looking for at this point in our lives.
What do you look for in another artist that makes you want to collaborate with them? Do you go for things in common or enjoy an artist who sees and hears things completely differently? The most important is that each artist can share a common place with the music and DJ style of the other. What you do can be very different, but because you have that space in common, you can always get back to it and fuse with the other guy.
I think this is what we’ve been able to achieve so far, UNER and I. Manu (UNER) likes to play a deep and darker sound with long epic breaks, and I’ve always been into the funkier techno sound, but we are always able to keep a nice energetic flow to our show. We don’t speak much about what we’re going to play and all, we just like to read the crowd and decide on a general direction and we let the magic happen after that. Things can’t be too prepared anyway. You need to keep that spontaneous feel to be able to surprise yourself and appreciate what you do as much as the public in front of you, and of course, you need to be in collusion with your partner in crime. Friendship really helps in a back-to-back project, and Manu and I have no problem on that end.
You have always been an avid supporter of young and fresh talent. What key advice do you usually give to young and talented producers and DJs? It’s not easy to start a career today. There’s a lot of bullshit going on, with lots of new pretty faces with no talent at all literally buying their spot on the market, with proper PR and managers. And when you’re a talented young guy and you start out in this jungle, things can be quite frustrating and destabilising. At any point you can get lost quite easily. I think it’s important to always work hard and do what you really believe in. What people enjoy one day, they can dislike the next, so you just need to be 100 percent ready when the change comes because it comes only once or twice. Some people tried to burry me during the late 00’s because I was playing techno and minimal was the shit that was making them jerk off at the time. Now, all these dudes would bend over for Klock or Dettmann if they could, and all because techno is trendy again. It’s a shame but the scene is just like that. Once you understand how it works, you need to keep your focus on what you do, and things will pay off sooner or later.
Aside from your back-to-back series with UNER, what else can we expect from you in 2015; a summer residency perhaps? I took a year off from production in 2014 to focus on touring a bit more than I had done in previous years. So 2015 will see me coming back with new music projects. I have a few remix projects in the making for Kraftek, Toolroom and 1605, as well as a new original track made together with Green Velvet. I like to take breaks with production sometimes; you come back with a fresh clean ear in the studio, new ideas.
UNER and I are also looking into making a joint music project, we’re putting ideas on the table now so we should start working on that fairly soon. And indeed, I’ll head back to Ibiza this summer, most likely with the Reverse Ibiza guys again as a resident. They are moving location this year, but I can’t reveal the new one yet.
You have been on your own with Technasia for 5 years now, what are you most looking forward to when touring again as a “duo” of sorts? I mean, it’s very different. A back-to-back project is not really like a group or a “duo.” We both have existed before and outside of this back-to-back project. It’s been thought-out as a project where we join forces and most importantly convey our vibe and passion in a different way to our public. Think of it as house with many floors where we would both live in, where the back-to-back would be the living room we both share.
Touring as Technasia with my former partner in Technasia, Amil Khan, was something very different as we started that together nearly two decades before, there was plenty of history associated to it. I’m not saying this new project will not become like that someday but for the moment, we both like to take it as an extension of our creative world, something that allows us to express ourselves in a new, maybe stronger way.
Recently you treated us to a preview of your new band at the Vicious Music Award, can you tell us a little bit about the band and your thoughts behind starting it all? The band is a new live project that I really wanted to do a long time ago. This past year was the time to start working on it. For this, I spoke with two good friends and musicians like Ed Is Dead and Edu de la Mata, and we started to work on it. The idea is to perform live electronic music mixed with other styles, like rock, but played completely live with acoustic instruments (piano, guitar, drums) and some other synthesizers. At the moment we are working on songs for the first album and playing different shows throughout the year and they are always in special spaces.
You have been a key figure in the rise of the Spanish electronic music scene for a long time now and the Spanish scene has been going from strength to strength in recent years. Give us a bit of insight – do Spanish producers and DJs tend to work with one another, and do you see things continuing to grow as they have? I am very pleased that our scene is continuing to grow and doing very well. Everyday there are new and surprising artists. There are geniuses, even though some are still hiding out there, waiting for someone to give them a chance. As regards to music, the fact is that the work is excellent. The only problem is that being a relatively young scene there are still things to improve on, such as the relationship between artists. There are still too many gaps, but things are definitely getting better!
2015 will also see you team up with Technasia for a back-to-back live show series – we were given a glimpse of this partnership briefly last year, what do you enjoy most about working with Technasia and what made you decide to do it again? Yes, the decision was easy because it has worked very well before and the audience likes it. Also, we get along and we're having fun together. Of course we have our own careers and they are both busy and successful but we have left dates for this project as we value it so highly. Charles is a great professional and he takes his job very seriously, this helps because I'm the same. This professionalism helps our workflow and is makes it easier to develop ideas. We also share the Booking and Management team so it is even easier to square it all off! We just want to do something special and at special events, not everywhere, we already have a few dates for 2015 so this will be a fun year, both solo and in back-to-back.
See UNER & Technasia:
07.3 Watergate, Berlin
23.05 Pacha Festival, Amsterdam
11.07 Weekend Beach festival, Malaga
01.08 Dance Valley, Amsterdam
More dates to be added over the course of the year.