UMEK: new Quadrophonia remix

UMEK is a Slovenian artist who has grown to become of the world's most accomplished techno producers. He is also a super-talented DJ who has travelled the globe as a headline performer who has played the main stage at iconic festivals and nightclubs.

Throughout his career, UMEK has been considered an innovator, and his music has been signed to record labels like Reinier Zonneveld's Filth On Acid and Carl Cox's Intec. He also heads up the 1605 record label which along with his own tracks has signed others ranging from Space 92 to Mha Iri.

In 2023, UMEK is celebrating 30 years in the music industry and has marked the occasion by remixing Quadrophonia's classic track 'Quadrophonia', as it's a piece of electronic music that gave him early inspiration.

We invited UMEK for this interview so we could learn more about his 30-year anniversary, and latest release...
What was the moment you feel your career began, was it buying your first decks, playing your first DJ gig or releasing your first track?
— I think it was the moment I got paid for my first DJ gig. I started playing in small clubs in 1990/91 and became a professional DJ in 1993. So yes, I think that was the moment when my career started.
How old were you when you first discovered electronic music, and how do you think today's scene is different from when you first started?
— In 1987, when I was around 11 years old, I discovered electronic music properly when I heard the Royal House track 'Can You Party'. At the time, I was amazed by it, and thought "Wow, what is this?", I loved it then and still do today. The world of music has completely changed since then. Back in the day, many tracks were made up of samples, with more than 20 samples used in each track. Today, we have access to amazing plugins and synths so most production is done in the digital domain. This has completely altered the way I make and listen to music; the sound quality has improved immensely. But one thing that hasn't changed is the reaction of people hearing electronic music for the first time - you can still see it in their eyes and on their faces.
Is there a specific moment or achievement when you felt electronic music would become a full-time career?
— I am proud of a lot of accomplishments I have made, but the moments that stand out the most are when I released "Gatex" and "Lancier". My sound spread all over the world, as they were being played by DJs everywhere. I will never forget one festival where it seemed every single DJ was playing "Gatex", and that really helped speed up my career.
— I see that you have decided to remix Quadrophonia's 'Quadrophonia' and I wanted to ask about your relationship with that track?
— Yes, 'Quadrophonia' was released in 1991, and I still remember watching the MTV program "Partyzone", which was a club-oriented TV show. When I heard 'Quadrophonia' and its lead sound, I couldn't get it out of my head, because it was a very special production and something I had never heard before. Back then, I never imagined that one day I would have the chance to remix this track, but luckily it happened, and I'm super proud and happy to be a part of it - it's a real honour for me.
What's planned for 1605 in 2023, and will the record label become part of your thirty-year celebration?
— 2023 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year for the label! I will be releasing a single, EP, or remix almost every month. There are also several bootlegs and remixes to mark my 30-year anniversary. We also have three new EPs from Sam Wolfe in the works, a new Desiderati, and an EP from Daniel Wühler. It's going to be a year to remember!
Are there any aspiring young electronic music artists who you think have the potential to build their own 30-year career?
— Yes, there are definitely some very talented young electronic music artists who have the potential to build long-term careers for themselves. Sam Wolfe, Mha Iri and Daniel Wühler have all proven their impressive abilities, and I'm very confident that they will have lasting careers.
Thanks for talking with us today, are there any other plans for 2023 that you want to share with our readers?
— Thanks so much guys, that's all I can reveal right now. All the best for 2023, and thanks to everyone who has supported me and my music over the last 30 years.
You can buy a copy of UMEK's new Quadrophonia remix HERE