Techno producer Underlord may not be a name you're all too familiar with, even though you've probably heard one or more of his tracks. With a deep, diverse sound that spans House, Tech House, Techno and Deep House, the U.K. mastermind is here to make a statement. After spending a solid two years in the studio and turning out banger after banger while garnering support from legends Carl Cox, Joseph Capriati, Laurent Garnier, Fatboy Slim and Nicole Moudaber, the UK veteran is back and with a vengeance. After releasing "King Size" through CR2, Underlord is also sitting on another three albums worth of material - it's safe to say he's in a good place right now to make even bigger waves next year.
To coincide with the release of his fourth studio album Underlord One on October 17th, we were able to snag an exclusive mix and caught up with the man that is techno's best kept secret and is sure to be on your radar in the coming months and beyond.
How did you approach this album differently than other projects in the past?
Underlord: I haven’t released an album for over five years and I’ve been in the studio full time for nearly two years making three albums worth of tracks. I was going to release them all as singles or EPs, but I thought it would be good to release them as one body of work that shows all the different styles I produce.
What was the overall goal of this album?
Underlord: The goal of the album was to reflect what my DJ sets sound like, so I’ve added a 53-minute mix of all the tracks in the album and this is probably the best way to listen to the sounds of Underlord. The mix starts off with one warmup track, then it goes up a few notches and gets right into it it's the sort of set I play at a festival.
What changes do you see coming in the near future of the music industry?
Underlord: I’ll probably change this question to what would I would like to see…. answer, more openness to new talent is my major gripe. Most bookers are just booking the same super famous DJ’s and their friends all the time. It's the same for labels, most just sign within their circle. It's so boring. There is so much new fresh talent out there busting at the seams with energy and new ideas, those people are our future and those are the people I will be looking to sign to my label. As I have said in other interviews, it shouldn’t be about having 300,000 fake likes, it should be about how good you are and nothing else. This whole social media thing is just a vanity metric. If you have 5 real friends and make amazing music all the time and big DJ’s are supporting and playing your tracks then you should be signed.
What have been some of your favorite moments so far that have happened this year?
Underlord: Highlight of 2016, was watching Carl Cox play my track King Size at the opening ceremony of Space Ibiza and then signing it to CR2 who put it on the last ever Space Ibiza comp mixed Carl Cox and Pig & Dan. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Carl dropped another 3 tracks of mine during the season. One track would of made me very happy, but 4 times in a season was really great. As an artist it's the best thing in the world to watch a crowd go nuts to your track, let alone the packed out crowd at Space Ibiza with Carl Cox playing your tunes!! This is by far the highlight of 2016 for me.
If you could change one aspect of the music industry, what would it be?
Underlord: I would really like to meet the idiot that decided to pay labels £0.80 when a track is played in a club, that's per play, not per minute. Its fucking ridiculous! BBC Radio 1 pays around £16.80 per min when a track is played. There needs to be a blanket fee across the board worldwide in all clubs that pay at the very least the same as Radio 1 per minute. What no one seems to get is that without all these incredibly hard working artists making music all these DJ’s who get paid 6 figures to play wouldn't have any music to play and would be out of a job. Even if you get paid £1k to play, at least divide a % of that between all the artists you play. More artists need to be aware of these insane fee structures and more people need to complain about it so it's changed.