For years, techno DJ/producer Umek was called 'Votter' in his native Slovenia because he kickstarted the scene there, but in the past few years he has become as famous in the rest of the world. In the past 12 months, Umek has played everywhere from small events in Columbia to established European festivals, like Spain's Monegros and Dance Valley in Holland.
Part of the reason for his rise to prominence is that he puts out a wide range of music - dubby beats and electro as Zeta Reticula, banging techno on his Consumer Recreation label and party grooves on his Recycled Loops imprint.
More recently he has focused on his new style, "astrodisco", a blend of pumping techno rhythms and infectious electronic disco hooks, evident on his releases for his own Earresistible stamp and for Audiomatique and Manual Music. Sander Kleinenberg, Eddie Halliwell, John Digweed and Carl Cox licensed these releases to their mix CDs.
But Umek hasn't entirely deserted his harder roots. His hook up with Anthony Rother's Datapunk label and his 'Anxious On Demand EP', a collaboration with fellow Slovenian I Turk for Oliver Huntemann's Confused imprint, showed that he still loves dark, claustrophobic basslines and metallic percussion.
With EPs and remixes scheduled for Circle and Organized Nature next year, expect to hear a lot more from the gentle Slovenian giant in 2008.