Joep Mencke: Unalome is the story of human existence

Radio Intense is happy to present to you our next guest - Joep Mencke!

For Joep Mencke, music, like life, is an ever-expanding journey. It is a journey that drives the Dutch DJ and Producer to create deep and melodious music simultaneously hypnotising and driving, exploration and transformative.

We talked to the talent about his new album "Unalome" released on Klassified and other projects! Enjoy!
— Thanks for talking to us about your new album. Can you tell us your
musical background for those that are not familiar? How did you produce the sound you are today?
— I started making my first electronic tracks twelve years ago. Drum and bass is
actually what got me into it. After that I went through phases of making music and
some without, but I became more serious at the end of my bachelor. The sound I am
today is the result of all my experiences so far. My creative process is quite
unconventional: I don't have musical education, it's something that just happens. It
flows organically.
— An album is a lot of work. Is this your first? Did you find it a challenge? If so why?
— Yes, this is my first album. It took two years to make, which is a long time. I wanted it
to be a true expression of me. So yes, it was challenging but it's also a truly fulfilling
journey, full of growth, insights and joy. Ultimately, it's every artist's dream and
certainly one of mine. The most challenging is to decide when a track is finished. It's
a well-known saying that artists are never a hundred percent satisfied with their
work. But in the end maybe that's the beauty captures the work still in progress.
The name pays tribute to the Buddhist path to enlightenment - can you tell us what this is?
— The path to enlightenment is the story of growth and is symbolised by the Unalome
in Buddhism. So Unalome is the story of human existence. It reflects the different
emotional states within life, which is a journey towards enlightenment, and ultimately
embodies how we evolve and grow as humans. Each track is therefore a particular
state towards this path. It begins with courage – the courage to start this path of
growth and ends with enlightenment – the ultimate intimacy with all things in life.
— Are you heavily involved with a Buddhist way of life? If so, why? And if not, how come the album is so heavily involved with Buddhism?
— Buddhism became a central part of my approach to life after I returned from Nepal in
2015 where I had gone to meditate. The Buddhist philosophy strongly resonates with
me. The emphasis on growth and letting go by falling into graceful acceptance.
— So many good tracks, if you can choose just ONE that really embodies all that you are about right now?
— Unalome. It represents Love, which is the ultimate purpose of life.
What have been some of your event and gig highlights this summer?
— Well, the first thing that comes to mind, is playing live on the national Dutch radio. A
pretty big dream of mine! There was also playing at The Monastery Festival, the
atmosphere was incredible. And of course, closing Tuesday morning by playing on
Robot Heart at the Burning Man. Something that I dreamt of, eight years ago when I
discovered their sets.
— Talking of Burning Man, which you went to this year – how heavily
involved are you with sustainability and how do you enforce this change into your everyday life?
— Although I think that Burning man has been part of the most incredible experiences
I've ever had, I am shocked at the number of resources needed to make this come
alive. This left me with a bitter aftertaste of this whole experience. There is this a
conflict between having a life changing experience and leaving an immense
footprint... Sustainability is something I am extremely mindful of in my everyday life.
Unfortunately traveling is an inherent part of my job but I try to do what I can to
contribute. For example, I avoid single use plastics, I prioritise local products and eat
mostly plant-based, offset my carbon footprint for every flight and I choose
alternative modes of traveling when possible.
— Can you tell us where we can see your playing in the next few months?
— Many exciting things are ahead. Firstly, I will be playing at Amsterdam Dance Event.
I also will be going back to play in my favourite city: Istanbul. I am very excited for my
first tour in Australia beginning of next year. I will also be celebrating the new year
with a gig in Panama and some others in Mexico, so that is a beautiful way to kick
starting the year.
— Finally, after an album – what's next release wise? A break? :)
— No time to waste, my next release is planned for the end of December.