KaterUnser: From Dark Techno Realms To Label Launches and Event Curation
A Q&A with the Berlin-Based Artist
February 9, 2024 at 12:00 AM PT
KaterUnser is a Berlin-based musician who focuses on the darker and more obscure realms of techno, while blending hypnotic melodies, haunting atmospheres and dystopian sounds.
With music, he reflects his inner emotions and visions, harmonizing melancholic and uprising melodies to create a composition of high contrast. His attention to detail and aesthetic creates an intricate atmosphere that lasts forever. He has attracted the attention of some of the most important artists in the scene, such as Tale of Us, Mathame, Mind Against, Hunter/Game, VNTM, Richie Hawtin and many others.
With gigs played across Germany and international events in Turkey, México, Italy, Spain, Norway, France and the Netherlands at the renowned Amsterdam Dance Event, he is sharing his talent with fans all across the globe.
Hi KaterUnser, thanks for taking the time to talk to our audience. It’s a pleasure to have you here today! How are you doing?
Thank you for the invitation, I am doing very well, thanks!
As you enter the new year, what goals have you set for your music career, and how do you plan to work towards achieving them?
My primary aim for the current year is to release music again and return to touring. I took a hiatus from releasing music to enhance my sonic identity, refine my sounds, and elevate my skills. The quality of my work wasn't meeting my vision, so this break has been valuable for improvement. Additionally, I am actively working on launching my own label. Alongside releasing new music, I have tour plans and a lineup of gigs in different countries such as Norway, Spain and Luxembourg scheduled for the year. Collaborating with a partner, I've also started organizing events promoting the distinct sound that I believe is lacking in today's music scene.
Let’s talk about your upcoming label for a moment. Can you share some insights into the vision and direction of the label, and what can we expect from it?
The direction of my label is clear, and I will be exclusively releasing my own compositions, enhanced with remixes by some of my favorite artists. In terms of style, I aim to fuse my current sound with hypnotic or raw elements that are always infused with emotion and harmonics. I will stay true to my roots by incorporating melodic elements because this is what I still love. Although my primary focus is on promoting my own work, I am still open to receiving demo submissions. I already have a few artists on my radar for potential future releases. In the future, I aspire to organize label showcases in carefully chosen venues or curate a dedicated floor at Past // Future events.
Your music is known for delving into the darker realms of techno. How do you find inspiration to blend in melodies, and how does this unique style define your artist project?
My music serves as a mirror reflecting my inner emotions, visions, and the world around me. In recent years, I've tapped into a natural creative flow, allowing me to explore a diverse range of sounds in my music production. I distinctly recall a moment of inspiration sparked by a picture of Zdzisław Beksiński, leading me to complete three tracks. Creativity, for me, often springs from memories and experiences, giving rise to fresh ideas. My personality defines my project, there is no distinction between my personal self and my artistic identity. I avoid the tendency to conform to specific roles or sounds in order to meet market expectations.
Are there any collaborations or exciting projects on the horizon that you can tease for your fans?
I have several remixes in the pipeline, actively working on multiple EPs, and have recently embarked on collaborations with some of my favorite artists. While I can't reveal specific names at the moment, there will be some exciting news to share very soon.
How do you see your sound evolving in the new year? Are there any genres or musical elements you aim to incorporate or experiment with?
My sound has evolved during the absence from releases, but now the vision is crystal clear, and I'm channeling my focus into crafting more refined music. Recently, I've immersed myself in genres like dub, hypnotic or raw techno with a touch of cinematic influence, drawing considerable inspiration. While I continue to incorporate melodies, I interpret these influences through my distinct style. Additionally, ambient and classical music have become major inspirations, given their intricate melodies and atmospheric structures. I've produced a substantial amount of ambient and cinematic tracks that might see a release on my label, showcasing a more experimental facet of my artistic expression.
Are there any new techniques, equipment, or software innovations you plan to incorporate into your music production process in the new year?
I aim to expand my studio once again, exploring the use of hardware for mixing and mastering. In the past year, I dedicated substantial time and resources to experimenting with software and hardware synths. I upgraded my studio monitors to Genelec 8341a which improved my monitoring a lot. Given my deep passion for granular techniques, I extensively tested various plugins that have now become integral to my creative process, offering a ton of possibilities. Considering my workflow's emphasis on processing, resampling, and sound design, I am thinking of adding external effects pedals or processors in the future. Additionally, the realm of modular equipment has caught my interest, so this could be a blackhole to dive into! (laughs)
How do you plan to manage your time and resources effectively to pursue your musical ambitions?
It's essential to manage your time effectively, regardless of the field you work in. Personally, I have created a schedule to establish a reliable structure for times when my focus is off. I highly recommend immersing yourself in literature on subjects like human psychology, habit formation, and personal development. This practice has not only improved my efficiency as a producer but has also contributed to my overall personal growth, enabling me to become a better version of myself.
With gigs played across various countries and at prestigious events like the Amsterdam Dance Event, you've built an impressive international presence. Can you share some memorable moments or experiences from your international performances?
Performing at international shows is always an incredible experience due to the diverse cultures and varied crowd reactions. One of my most memorable moments took place in Istanbul, Turkey. We organized our first showcase of Past // Future, and it was heartening to see long-time local fans attend, having eagerly awaited the opportunity to meet me for years. It's truly touching when fans express that you are their inspiration and someone they look up to. A similar experience unfolded in Mexico last year. The amount of energy is out of this world! (laughs)
While international touring can be exhausting at times, the experiences gained and the wonderful people encountered along the journey make it all worthwhile. Returning to certain countries or cities and encountering familiar faces or reconnecting with old friends is invaluable. Through music, I've built strong friendships, and I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided me.
One last question: You’ve introduced your new event series called “Past // Future”. Could you tell us more about the concept behind this brand, and how it ties into your musical vision and your journey as an artist?
Yes, I’ve started a new concept with my good friend Iman Deeper. We want to curate events with a cohesive sound, showcasing only the finest artists who share our commitment to quality music and a unified mindset. Having already hosted two successful events, one in Istanbul and another in Berlin, we have upcoming shows scheduled in Madrid and Luxembourg. Our primary goal is to expand our events throughout Europe. We are passionate about supporting emerging and local artists while exploring diverse musical styles. In an industry saturated with familiar names, we aim to provide a platform for talented artists who often go unnoticed.
In harmony with my vision and artistic journey, organizing these events enables me to completely immerse myself in expressing my artistic identity. It provides a platform for experimentation in my sets and offers an opportunity to support fellow artists. Moreover, it opens doors for personal growth, creates new fan connections, and provides invaluable knowledge and experience along the way.
Thanks again for your time!