Name Umek

Also known as Uros Umek

Occupation The biggest name in Slovenian techno, whose reputation is growing around Europe and even further afield.

Where is he from? Ljubljana, where he was born 32 years ago. A teenage devotee of the transistor radio, Umek grew up on a diet of Michael Jackson and various of-their-time European pop acts, including Germany's Modern Talking and Austria's Falco. Around the age of 17, he recalls telling his mum he was off to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, when in fact he was heading to the K4 club in the city. Thus was his clubbing cherry broken.

What happened next? Umek and a bunch of friends, inspired by what they saw and heard at K4, decided to get involved. Of course, Slovenia isn't exactly at the forefront of the international dance music scene, but Umek and friends' devotion to the Slovakian techno scene - fuelled by exposure to British pirate radio stations - meant they soon were the scene.

What might I have heard? Any number of releases on his own Absense (championed by Laurent Garnier and Sven Vath in the mid-90s), Consumer Recreation, Astrodisco, 1605 or Recycled Loops labels, or a clearly almost workaholic level of productions for various other imprints. These include last month's 'Generation After' EP on Italo Business and forthcoming releases on Terminal M, Audiomatique, Italian Mantra and Fergie's Excentric. He's also a big enough name back home to headline huge, annual outdoor festivals.

Any other business? Although this is Hell's first birthday party, it's only their second date at Byblos since moving from their previous home at the Classic Grand. Umek will be supported here by his Berlin-based fellow Slovenian Matthew Hoag.

Umek plays Hell at Byblos, Glasgow, Fri 31 Oct.


Residents Ryan and Thierry bring you another night of house and techno with a Halloween special featuring Slovenian techno master Umek, and then special guest Onur Ozer on 21 Nov.

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