When you release tracks on Cadenza, Visionquest, Cocoon and Diynamic, you must have something special going on. Spanish DJ/producer Uner is one such person, and although he's kinda flown 'Uner the radar' up until now (groan), his debut album 'Tune432' will see him shoot into the stratosphere — metaphorically speaking.
'Tune432' sounds more like the name of a track than an album, DJ Mag says to Uner.
“The name 'Tune432' comes from the fact that all the instruments used during the composing and production are tuned in 432Hz,” Uner says. “It's different tuning from the standard, which is 440Hz. I’ve been working with this kind of tuning for some years now, and I thought it was worth mentioning.”
With this focus on musical theory, it's no surprise to hear that Uner had some classical music training as a kid. “I started studying classical piano when I was four-years-old,” he confirms. “I completed my tutoring several years later, adding harmony, composing and chamber — as well as musical theory and transcription, of course. Those were hard-working years, very intense but also with plenty of joy.”
Uner states that everything stems from there for him, while DJ Mag asks if his parents were annoyed when he chose electronic music rather than classical. “Absolutely not,” he counters, saying that it was his father's wide-ranging musical tastes that introduced him to Jean-Michel Jarre — his gateway into electronic sounds. “Years later, another Frenchman startled me even more, if possible, and made me aim my productions to 'dance'. It was Laurent Garnier.”
After some early productions, he started performing live in clubs with piles of hardware loaded into his parents' car. He was so young, his folks had to accompany him to his gigs, and he had to obtain a special dispensation to perform while under age.
He adopted the name 'Uner' principally because it had no meaning, he says, although he later discovered from a fan that it means something in Turkish. “I wanted a name that meant nothing, that had no specific origin nor geographic connotation, so the industry would focus just on the music — without minding who was behind it, where he came from or what he had done before,” he says. “Particularly in my country.”
He had his first record out at 15, but it was when he signed tracks to Solomun's Diynamic imprint — his first as Uner — that his career really took off. He didn't meet the Hamburg gang until after signing with them and playing his first label showcase at Watergate in Berlin, and was nervous the first time he met them all at a restaurant before the gig. “Now I still get scared every time we meet, because I don’t know how the night is going to end with these crazy people — hahaha!” he chortles.
The prolific Catalonian also signed tracks to Cadenza, Cocoon and Visionquest and started playing a helluva load of gigs — including festivals like Sonar and Carl Cox's Revolution nights in Ibiza. The past 12 months have seen him working on his 'Tune432' album, working day and night on collabs and using lots of recordings from nature.
He played all the instruments himself too — bass, synths, drums, percussion, trumpet etc — and collaborated with pal Piek, whose vocal he's pitched up on opener 'Let Me Introduce Him' so that it sounds like Björk. 'Sorry You' is all shuffy beats and twilight synth chords, 'Surfering' is almost St Germain jazzy, and 'Stay' is more of a muscular, journeying techy thang. 'LFO', also featuring Piek on vox, is Garnier-style beautific techno, while elsewhere the combo of found sounds and skeletal beat construction allows for plentiful musical experimentation over the top.
'Uner the radar' no longer, the early part of this year consists of a four-month tour of Europe, North and South America and Asia, where he blends his DJ set with a mini live set using Traktor and Ableton.
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