40 Questions: UMEK | Soundspace

40 Questions: UMEK

40 Questions: UMEK

Any self-respecting fans of techno, or just club music in general, will be overly familiar with the work of UMEK, who from the late 90’s up until today, has released some of the biggest tracks the genre has ever seen.

His work as a label boss has also been impressive, with his 1605 imprint bringing music from heavy-hitters like Space 92, Joey Beltram, Mark Reeve, and Matt Sassari over the years. And more recently he’s also been bringing massive attention to the next generation of swiftly emerging techno producers, such as Sam WOLFE and Mha Iri.

We welcome the Slovenian DJ, producer, and label owner to our 40 Questions series this week, where he mentions everything from drawing inspiration from icons like Michael Jordan and Carl Cox, to eating scorpions in Thailand and breaking his ribs while on tour. Read the full interview with UMEK below.

1. Where are you right now and what are you doing?

I’m in my bed because it’s quite late and what better place to relax while doing this wonderful interview.

2. What year were you born?

I was born in 1976.

3. Do you have a nickname?

Some people call me “Father Fotr”, because I helped build the scene here in Slovenia.

4. What’s the coolest thing in your house?

For me, it’s my studio, because I don’t have to leave the house to make music.

5. How would you describe yourself?

As a positive person who is in love with music and is always preoccupied with music.

6. Worst experience as a DJ?

I fell on stage in the Czech Republic and broke my ribs. The car ride home the next day was excruciatingly painful.

7. Best experience as a DJ?

The best experiences happen almost every week, when I get the chance to play in front of the best crowds in the world. I get to feed off their energy and their love for music.

8. Favourite record label?

That has to be my own label, 1605.

9. What’s your biggest weakness?

I would like to lose some weight, but although it’s hard to find the motivation to get the ball rolling, I will soon start a proper diet to lose a few kilo.

10. First record you ever paid for?

This must be one of the early Bomb The Bass albums.

11. What’s your morning routine?

I usually wake up, do my morning admin, and then go to the studio.

12. Your dream collaboration?

I can’t answer this one without giving away some secrets, because I’m already working with some people that I’ve always wanted to make music with. So, keep your eyes and ears open, as this will become clear within the next few months.

13. Tell us something we shouldn’t know about you?

My wife says I am very stubborn, and she is always right.

14. Who’s your biggest inspiration outside of music?

I would say Michael Jordan, as I’m also into basketball and he is my favourite player of all time.

15. And in the industry?

It must be Carl Cox, because I love his energy and attitude. When I see him play, he is still so excited for the music, even after all these years.

16. Ever smoked?


17. Ever done drugs?


18. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

I am lucky enough to get a lot of presents. So many good ones from my wife that it’s impossible to choose.

19. And the best gift you’ve ever given?

I’m a very loyal person and if someone gains my love and respect, then I will always support them.

20. What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been to?

That must be Japan, as it’s my favourite country, because it has such diversity.

40 Questions: UMEK

21. And one place you want to visit?

I would like to go to Greenland or visit the deserts in Brazil.

22. If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you be doing?

I think I would have a job related to sneakers or basketball, as those are my other passions in life.

23. Worst job you’ve ever had?

When I was younger, I worked at a furniture removal company for a summer.

24. Favourite record right now?

The new ‘Laceration’ EP from Sam WOLFE on 1605, as I’ve played it at all my gigs and the crowd response is always next level.

25. And the best record ever made?

That must be ‘Vibrancy’.

26. One thing you couldn’t live without?

Family comes first and they will always come first, but if we are talking possessions, then it’s my computer.

27. Your favourite food?

I am in love with sushi, so good!

28. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

My wife and I went to Thailand and tried scorpions plus some other insects.

29. Who would you want to play you in a movie?

Brendan Fraser.

30. What’s something you’re passionate about besides music?

I really like collecting sneakers and watching basketball.

31. Favourite club you’ve played?

That’s impossible for me to answer. I play in amazing clubs all the time, but it’s the crowd that make the night and they are always amazing!

32. Favourite festival you’ve played?

That’s also impossible for me to answer, as each one is always special for different reasons. It’s not always about the stage or size of the crowd, as there is always something magical about the festival atmosphere.

33. Craziest story of being on the road?

One day I was flying to a gig and during the flight the plane was struck by lightning, twice… that was scary!

34. Weirdest request as a DJ?

At one gig a guy came up to me with a recording of the cartoon ‘Biene Maja’ and I actually synced it to another techno track, the people went crazy!

35. If you had one super power what would it be?

Time travel, who wouldn’t want to relive certain moments or return to the past with information from the future, I’d definitely win the lottery.

36. Late sleeper or early riser?

In summer I like to get up early, but in winter I tend to sleep in.

37. Strangest video you’ve watched on YouTube?

Storm Documentation.

38. The top thing on your bucket list?

My wife and I have a list of countries we’d like to visit and we’re keen to see Petra in Jordan.

39. Most memorable moment of your life so far?

I have been waiting for this moment and if everything goes as planned, then it will happen this year, I don’t want to jinx it be saying any more than that.

40. Will you ever be done with music?

I don’t think so, I will always be connected to music, even if I went deaf, I’d still find a way to keep my passion alive!

Find more 40 Questions HERE.

UMEK & Sam WOLFE – Mind Of One is out now on 1605.