#UR62: Unam Zetineb (Sleaze / Enemy / Mano)
written by Razeed (Geométrika FM)
translation by David Juarez
Just from my perspective, Andalusia is not a place that apart from Madrid has been seen as a natural area for Techno.
Many years ago, Industrial Copera, Horacio Cruz, C-System and some other collectives from Granada drew the way, they reached good news from time to time… the great merit that pulling off an idea against all odds. I can’t deny that it is relatively recently that an explosion of Techno started initiated from below, collectives from different points of Andalusia formed by boys and girls (until then) unknown have sent their encouragement and strength to all parts of the Peninsula. BSD in Cordoba with David Escudero, Minimized or Darksite in Seville, have made Andalusia become a part of the country that seems to breathe Techno and experimental music, and living a golden moment of creativity of this music that moves us.
From below, from the depths, the union and commitment make the voice reach much further than it might seem. It’s a shame that, as always, economic hardship and lack of support from those who can afford makes all these projects take longer to excel and not take hold everything that they deserve.
This time I’m going to interview Unam Zetineb, one of those responsible for Darksite, a collective which as I said, has become important for Techno in Andalusia. And not only for their events, but also for their creativity, since many of its members are great producers.
Unam is a producer who raises many passions and controversy, with a talent that seems beyond doubt after so many years, but in Spain, can’t get rid of the controversy about his work that began when he started.
Today we talk with him before his podcast for URBANNOISE.
PS: When I name collectives, artists, etc, I do it from my knowledge. Sorry if any artist or group is left unmentioned for being unknown or forgotten. Everyone who contributes their bit is important, but I don’t know all of you. Please feel included in this text.
Razeed: You come from a town of Seville, an area historically little predisposed to techno… how did your relationship with this style start?
Unam Zetineb: The truth is that I live in a town where there has always been more electronic culture than in Seville capital, and has always been influenced by electronic culture: In Seville after the 90’s techno disappeared in the clubs, in my opinion I think that with the creation of DARKSITE (I do not pretend to be an inventor of something) and the techno awoke a little more, but, of course, the economic situation of the country has made the techno scene go in decline again in the clubs
R: Do you think that living in a village has harmed your position in the scene or do you think that the insulation has favoured you to focus on the creative aspect and that therefore has benefited you?
U: I have not been affected at all, because as my friends say I make music from another country, Hahaha! So for this reason, even if I lived in Madrid or Barcelona, it wouldn’t affect, what I would not do is interact with the commune of artists in clubs etc, I think that being in clubs like Berghain a lot intoxicate you like poison.
What affects me living in Seville is traveling to other countries, the airport is still small for travel without the bloody stopovers.
R: When you began to hear electronic music? Which album was the one that made you say “Yeah! this is what I like!”?
U: I began to hear electronic music in 2000 thanks to my brother, he was resident DJ at a club in my village, he was the person who taught me to mix with vinyl. I remember that there were two records of break dance from 1995. Step by step I began to like the idea, came home from high school, drop the backpack, get into the room which had all the equipment set up, and spend hours and hours in front of the turntables, which by the way were 2 Acoustic Control with belt-drive and with the pitch control on the opposite direction, an odyssey to mix …
R: In your case, what attracts you to be a producer?
U: Well, the word producer never understand it. If a producer is to create a “product” that is then sold, then yes, I’m a producer …
R: If you don’t like the word producer, what encourages you to begin to do your own songs?
U:Tags I’ve never liked, when I’m in the studio I start to play machines and instruments, and from there try to create a story.
R: How do you feel when you see your music begin to emerge on different record labels? How far do you think you can go?
U: Well, that sensation is felt in your beginnings, and it’s beautiful, such as when you see for the first time your name on beatport, already then you “get used” and you won’t give great importance, I am simply going by giving importance according to the sound that I’m creating and if this is the one I really want to launch and create.
As far as I can get? up to where I allow it or I can, I don’t know, something that neither I approach seeing how rotten it all is. I want to have fun with what I am doing, that’s it
R: Talking about producing music, for years there existed some controversy surrounding your figure, especially in regards to the issue of sampling songs from others without consent, I remember that some artists involved had come to accuse you directly. Can you explain this?
U: When I started producing, I used a library, those libraries downloaded from internet contained beats and rhythms from artists like Vitalic, Dave Clarke, James Ruskin, etc. that’s all, it was not direct sampling, I used a sound libraries that had been caught in tracks of those artists, I sent an email to each of those artists apologising.
One of them did not answer, and the other he replied: Fuck off ”Noob”.
Another artist accused me publicly and I told him privately that I had used reaktor presets, and if he wanted me to send him evidence I would… that artist never answered me.
I see these “big” artists do not want to recognise that they have used or use presets, “Cool Underground” I kept many of these mails. Others claimed certain artists had accused me, but it is false because months later they mix my tracks and put them on their charts. I think I lived through a witch hunt and many pushed me aside, others showed me that they supported me 100%. Obviously, because of this I do not support just anyone, here everyone wants to be surrounded by the “famous” and be part of the commune.
There is much evil in humans and especially in the dj world, people love to beat a dead horse and trample he who rises.
Why would any one of those after these three years have shown me that the sound is mine and have not publicly shared my music or asked publicly forgiveness?
R: Do you think that if your attitude regarding these accusations would have been different things would have been otherwise?
U: Don’t think so, the truth is that I haven’t done anything wrong, anyway the world would be with the more popular artist instead of me, It’s the same when Ben Klock used a sampler from Truncate for the remix of Wink.
Lots talked about it on social media, but it was only for a day, that’s it, it’s Ben Klock so all was forgotten. There are billions of things that I keep of what happened to me and I hope not to have to bring to light, but as I said, this is all rotten. I’ve seen how people who criticized me and invented things about me, then have come asking for remixes or tracks.
R: One occasion it came to cancelling an EP of yours for this reason?
U: Of course, as many know, in the most famous booking and label in this country I was vetoed by this story, even having sent the tracks fragmented to show that I had not sampled anything, but of course decisions are made by labels.
No hard feelings to anyone, I have very clear conscience that I have gone ahead with the truth. In this country there are many people who spend more time destroying that building, especially in forums and Facebook.
But anyway, I’m just as happy editing on those labels or not, I’m here to have fun not to be aware of what others are doing.
R: So, here you confirm that you have never wanted to take advantage of the work of another artist, but has just been coincidence using samples or presets from virtual instruments?
U: Everyone can see, since that happened 3 years ago, with my works I have been demonstrating what is my sound. By this I mean those that have been pending in what happened, not what I’ve been doing since then until today, it is because of another reason which moves them to not appreciate it.
R: Why did you take the decision not say this in public since the beginning?
U: I think the problems must solve them in private, and especially contrast. They didn’t give me a chance, not even ask me. It is very easy to say some shit about someone unknown in public when you’re an artist “consecrated” or famous. Months before I saw, Niereich where something similar happened with Len Faki, even when the guy uploaded a video about how he did the track and nobody believed him. Obviously because it was Len Faki, and I thought, “I will not do that for nothing”.
To me I have been sampled several times and didn’t complain, because it’s not plagiarism or anything, to sample is something very old, that has always been there. But of course, if they do that to you, you have to say it publicly to look “really underground” right? I’m bored about this, because I have not given even the slightest importance for the pleasure of others.
R: Tell me a little about your sound. How did you start working at the time of producing? What method do you use? How do you focus production?
U:I had stages … I started with libraries, plug-ins, etc., then I had to change the way I work by certain circumstances and I started buying my first machines. I wanted everything to be analog or digital but physical, nothing to use vst, etc.
R: What do you actually use to produce?
U: TR909, TR8, Minimoog Voyager Electric Blue, pedals effects and software. Now I create my own modular racks.
R: I feel, you are part of a “new” generation of techno artists born in recent years and fighting for a place in varying degrees,What do you think is due this boom?
U: I dunno, I guess my music is liked, was mixed and in charts by many artists, and as everyone knows, if those “big” artists use your music, faster you get to be known.
R: On the other side, I think it’s true that this generation is undervalued, because of that artists take longer, overshadowed with their work avoiding many listeners, How do you feel about this?
U: Yes I have seen how many of those have long not allowed the new to grow rapidly, not many opportunities for many people, and they did not suit them.
R: What kind of artist you recommend us to hear?
U: Well, I’m a little weird to ask to recommend artists, because what I like is a bit unusual, but like most known, in social networks I always recommend Vatican Shadow, Autechre, Burial, Samuel Kerridge, Oake
R: What could you say about the techno in Andalusia from 90’s to now? Aside from the club Copera we missed something in the rest of the peninsula?.
U: I really started to go out at night quite late, and when I would hear electronica, was living the tail of the stele, was leaving the techno in this region, but one of the major figures of techno events was “Caracho” in Antequera. It was lovely place with lots of charm and people from all parts of Andalusia.
R: As mentioned at the beginning, darksite forms part of one of the groups that have more blunt on the subject of techno in Andalusia, Do you think you have opened a door that was closed as you said above?
U: As I said before, I think darksite has been a before and after in what the Techno scene Club in Seville is concerned. The truth is we get together with some friends and like-minded concerns and created something that will be part of the electronics history of this city.
R: From my point of view I see an “explosion” of groups in the field which we move which is techno, how is the issue of collaboration amongst your work? You think there’s work to do in this regard?
U: Here between the techno collective there’s a good atmosphere, at least I think so …
And a few friends make an annual event called TECHNO STAGE where all techno collectives of this city come together to make this event.
R: What must have one song to another for you to mix?
U: Well, at first a good bassline, and then to give me some feeling
R: What does electronic music give you, that other musical styles doesn’t offer?
U: The dynamism, I think it is that, but other styles that are not dance also fascinate me like noise, ambient, etc …
R: Describe that moment in the DJ booth which you had to breathe deeply twice not to scream from satisfaction.
U: These typical screams you hear at the back of the room, these screams are the ones that excite me!
R: Who are your musical influences?
U: Surgeon was always a great reference, but of course it was. Right now there are few that surprise me or make me feel the need to notice them.
R: What is your fetish song today?
U: Voices From The Lake – Repticulus
R: How long do you see yourself fighting for your way of understanding this world?
U: Shortly, I don’t like how the market works, is a pantomime everything created, music is going into the background; so I’m just having fun. The day that I’ll not do this I’ll get something else.
R: Apart from the production, do you have any ideas for the future that you can mention?
U: Musically very little, remain happy with this and enjoy my people, who have been abandoned for a long time.