Melbourne based producer and DJ Uone is renowned for his unique sound and the energy it brings to dance floors worldwide. His sets blend all disciplines of four to the floor electronic music whilst drawing on a wide palette of influence and exotic tribal cultures, sounds of urban swing, 60s psychedelia and more, all wrapped up with a unique sense of humour. Over the last decade, Uone has set a professional standard of new heights & shamanic possibilities whilst DJ’ing across Australia & the world.
We caught up with Uone to talk about his recent Balance Series compilation.
Electronic Groove: Hi Uone, thanks for chatting with us. Your Balance Series compilation was released a few months ago. What has been the overall reaction of it?
Uone: A pleasure to talk again. The reactions have been from all over the world, from high profile artists I idolize and have looked up to for many years, all the way to friends I have not heard from in a long time that have reconnected with my music. It’s been a rollercoaster journey since it was officially released to public ears. At one point I really had really had to pinch myself.
EG: Working on a compilation definitely takes some time, effort and dedication. Can you let us know about the challenges that went into this one?
Uone: The biggest challenge was being 100% happy with each final mix down of each track. You can spend hours refining and changing the mix down because your ears, mood and feeling every time you enter the studio is different. I was luckily enough to work with longtime idol and friend Jamie Stevens from Infusion on the final mixes. Having his guidance and years of expertise was a godsend. At times I was calling Jamie and referring to him as “Professor Stevens”.
EG: How much time did you put into it?
Uone: The tracks I had slowly been making over 2.5years. The actual 147min mix took 3 weeks. The hardest moment was getting those final EQ and fader levels correct for the perfect Balance in the mix.
EG: Did it come to a halt at some point?
Uone: There was one particular moment, I had totality lost my mojo after close to three weeks solid on putting the mix together. It was the moral support of my best friend Josh Martin who came over on Saturday afternoon after a massive night out, blind drunk he surprised me in the studio and gave me that final push and support that only a friend can give. Josh sat back and continued to drink whisky and cheered me on in the studio as we pumped the mix out on at full volume on my Barefoot speakers. I felt like a soaring eagle hunting its prey from high above just about to dive.
“The biggest challenge was being 100% happy with each final mix down of each track”
EG: The Balance series has some great names in their catalog. How was the approach to get you selected?
Uone: Growing up in Melbourne I was completely immersed and used to go and see early Balance Music artists like Sean Quinn, Kasey Taylor, Phil K and Anthony Pappa DJ regularly. I had always dreamed about compiling my own Balance mix, so secretly for close 15years I had been manifesting ways I could bring it into reality. Recently I have been working closely with Danny Bonnici, he is my master set of ears and masters all my music. He is very close to Tom Pandzic (from Balance) and I had been requesting meeting with him to present this concept of putting together a mix of all my own productions and remixes. But it wasn’t until Danny had close words with Tom and they discussed it, saying it was time to bring the Balance Series back to its hometown of Melbourne, and Uone would be the perfect fit for it.
EG: Moving forward, summer just went by. Did any gigs stand out from the rest? Any special ones?
Uone: If you are referring to the European summer, my favorite gig was the Moyn Moyn Festival in the north of Germany. I had the chance to really test drive the whole album at it, which was the perfect setting for it. The organizers gave me a 3.5 hour set on a Saturday afternoon, just as the sun was setting. For me this is the most perfect time for my music. I remember eating a burger just before jumping on the decks and feeling incredible and I later learned that the meat in the burger had come from the farmlands where the festival was. The cow had been ethically farmed and killed especially for the patrons of the festival to enjoy. Here is video of our track ‘Whole New Way’ that capture a little of the vibe.
EG: What’s planned for the rest of the year going into new year’s eve?
Uone: I just completed the Australian & New Zealand album launch parties which have been incredible. Every gig has been unique and an opportunity to connect with old and new friends via my music. Over the Christmas & New Years Eve period I will take time out and dive back into my Ranch-O-Relaxo studio and look at finishing off many ideas and projects. A passion of mine currently is our label, Beat & Path records, I am committed to helping young produces get their music out on the airwaves and pass down any knowledge I can to aid them in achieving their dreams.
EG: How’s the current scene in your hometown. Any favorite location to play at? Or any up and coming artists we should keep an eye for?
Uone: Melbourne, in particular, is booming right now with a hive of electronic music events happening week in, week out. One particular spot I’ve been liking is an event called Greenfields in Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, we are making these events called Lake People Gatherings. Recent guests have been Lee Burridge, Nicola Cruz, HOJ, Oona Dahl, BONDI & Saand. Concentrating on being an event in the afternoon and evening time, Lake People is about creating space for art, performance and music to work together to create an experience that heightens the senses. Particular importance is slowing the music down and watching the sunset. Thre’s something particularly magical about the sun setting.
“Growing up in Melbourne I was completely immersed and used to go and see early Balance Music artists”
EG: We’ve seen artists come to the forefront to talk about depression, drug abuse, and how touring has taken a massive toll in their personal life and mental health. Have you ever been through tough times during your career? Can you provide any advice to those who are in need?
Uone: I can first hand tell that it’s a rocky road being an electronic music artist. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2011. I was just starting to tour and travel the world heavily playing music. I was caught in the party life style and it was a massive shock to me when I learned of the disease. The doctors words were along the lines of “you have to slow down & get more structure in your lifestyle”. I guess this is advice I can provide to anyone in similar situations; life is about having structure and routine, it can be hard when attending events and clubs all the time to have structure, late nights and coming home at weird hours. But through eating healthy and maintaining a regular life with friends and family outside of the electronic music scene it helps to keep the “Balance” you’ll need. I also like to treat being an artist like a job, have regular working hours and regular hours for resting and retreat.
EG: Can you define your sound in three words?
Uone: Journey, Cosmic, Voodoo.
Uone’s Balance Series is already available. Grab your copy here.