UMEK is personally responsible for boosting the electronic music scene in his home country by first organizing illegal raves and later becoming one of Slovenia's most sought after exports and the number one music ambassador worldwide.
And he flies! Around 100 times a year, visiting almost every continent every year. His concert schedule ranges from dark underground clubs in Berlin to massive techno stages at the world's most famous festivals. In addition to making a name for himself in the DJ booth, he is also a tireless producer. On most of it, he releases on his own label 1605, and most of his tracks end up at the top of the Beatport charts.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him about his latest work and this has been the result.
Thank you for talking to us! We know you regularly tour in Spain, in your long career can you share some of your best club experiences here?
A: Yeah, I mean, I've been to Spain so many times, it's probably the country I've visited the most. You guys have an incredible club and festival scene, it's hard to talk about one particular place.
You know, kudos to the whole techno scene in Spain - it's just beautiful. Great people, great clubs, and I'm always happy to come back.
What do you think it takes to create such longevity in a career in music?
Basically you have to stay active, that's the most important thing. I advise young producers to be super patient and release as much quality music as possible, because people have a short memory span. So you have to promote yourself as much as possible, but in a good way. Quality always comes first.
And one more thing: nothing happens overnight.
Have you ever worked another job outside of music? If so what and when?
For a summer job, I moved furniture for a few days before becoming a professional DJ and producer.
Luckily, when I left school and basketball, I went straight into being a DJ and producer, and with hard work, it worked out for me.
We’ve listened to your new single ‘Footmachine’ which is out on Drumcode on the 30th June. Your debut on the label. Is it true you sent a demo to Adam 20 years ago?
Yes, I sent Adam a demo 20 years ago - maybe a little less, maybe a little more, and with a few more demos to this day. So as you can see, it can take some time to reach your goals, sometimes even 20 years. I hope the younger generation of producers can learn something from this.
The track has a nice vocal. We hear you used AI to create this. Can you explain this more to avid producers?
Yes, I used AI for that. It's edited, pitched and sorted, of course, and not just the way you write the text, put it into an AI and it's done. It takes a little more time and editing, but it's worth it, and the results are exactly what you need, and for "Footmachine", exactly what I expected from a virtual singer. I like it.
What other gear in your studio can you not live without?
Basically, the speakers are the main thing I use to make music besides the computer. I don't have any hardware equipment at all, so there's not much I use.
Another piece of advice for young producers: You don't need shiny synthesizers to be successful in this business. You need good ears and good ideas, and then you have to translate that into a good track.
What 3 lessons can you give the younger generation when it comes to creating such a big dancefloor track?
Maybe other producers disagree, but for me the most important thing is to listen to my feelings and emotions when I DJ and try to transfer that energy to my tracks.
Then of course it has to be a dancefloor oriented track, with a real big kick, basslines, a bassline with a rhythm section to create the energy.
And finally, it always takes time to reach perfection. When a track is finished, I always send it to one or two of my trusted producer friends to critique it, to see if they hear some mistakes that I can't hear after hours of work. So it's nice to have friends in the industry to review your tracks and give you proper feedback and a different perspective.
Can you tell us where we can see you play this summer, as well as any other future projects?
I'll be playing all over Europe this summer, as usual at some big festivals and nice clubs.
As for future projects, I'm sure I have some, but for this time let's focus on ''Footmachine'' because it's such an important track for me and a release on Drumcode. You will hear about all other projects soon enough on my social media!