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Berlin-based artist KaterUnser

Get to know Berlin-based emerging artist, KaterUnser

KaterUnser is a German musical project born in mid-2018, focusing mainly on the darker and more obscure side of melodic techno, with influences from contemporary techno and dystopian sounds.

Currently based in Berlin, Germany, his unique style has attracted the attention of some of the most important artists in the scene, such as Tale of Us, Mathame, Mind Against, Richie Hawtin and many others.

His sound is a reflection of his inner emotions and visions, harmonizing melancholic and uprising sounds to create a composition of high contrast. His attention to detail and aesthetic, create an intricate atmosphere that lasts forever.

All of his releases charted in the Beatport Top 100, including several Top 10 positions. With gigs played in Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Brunswick and also international events in Guadalajara (MX), León (MX), Naples (IT), Paris (FR) and Amsterdam (NL) at Amsterdam Dance Event, he is an emerging artist to watch out for.

Connect with KaterUnser on Instagram / Soundcloud / Spotify / Beatport

Hey Max, it’s great to have you here with us. Could you share an interesting fact about yourself that isn’t in your bio?

Hey Claudio, thanks for the invitation! I’m a huge cat lover (laughs), but that’s pretty obvious if you know me. A lesser-known fact is my deep passion for science. I studied environmental sciences and I’m an avid reader. Recently, I’ve been delving into books on arts, philosophy, personal development, and psychology. “The Creative Act: A Way of Being” by Rick Rubin has been a game-changer for my perspective on music and being an artist.

What have you been up to lately?

This year, I made the big move to Berlin, which was quite a change for me. Aside from that, I continue to mentor many producers and DJs, and offer mixing and mastering services. And, I’ve also upgraded my studio with Genelec monitors.

Was dance music always your primary influence when you were younger, and how did you ultimately find your way into the industry? 

Dance music wasn’t always my primary influence growing up. I had a wide range of musical interests and experiences. I was exposed to various genres, including metal, hip-hop/rap, and classical music. My early musical journey was marked by experimentation and exploration. I also learned to play several instruments like the flute, violin, drums, and some piano.

My electronic music phase began during my early teens when I was introduced to artists like Justice and Digitalism. From there, I discovered more artists and explored genres like Electronica, Drum and Bass, and Deep House. Ironically, Techno entered my radar in my late teens when I first encountered it while visiting New Zealand in early 2016. I became infatuated with the genre. In university, I attended my first big raves and techno parties. After a visit to a major festival in mid-2018, I started DJing, and around mid-2019, I began producing.

Can you give us an insight into what we can expect from KaterUnser over the next few months?

I’m continually working on a lot of new music and preparing for the launch of my label. I’m also working on my event brand called Past // Future at the moment, with the launch event scheduled for December 1st in Istanbul and in Berlin on the 26th of January next year. Additionally, I’m working on a few tours and upcoming shows which will be announced soon.

KaterUnser in Berlin
There’s always something to improve or change, so I can’t say I’ve completely arrived yet ~ KaterUnser

How would you describe your development as an artist and the transition towards your own style? What role do copying, learning, and your own creativity play in this process?

This is a complex question. When I began my journey as a musician, my style and influences were different compared to now. I believe an artist’s style should never remain static; it should always evolve. As I reflect on my work over the years, I can clearly trace this progression. There’s always something to improve or change, so I can’t say I’ve completely arrived yet. 

I believe an artist’s style should never remain static; it should always evolve.

Regarding the second part of your question, copying played a crucial role as an early learning tool, helping me grasp technical aspects and different styles. Continuous learning from various sources broadened my creative perspective. I use this knowledge to infuse my experiences, emotions, and perspective into my work, resulting in an ever-evolving and personalised artistic style. Finding that sweet spot between learning and making it my own has been crucial for my creative journey. 

How would you describe your sound and style?

I primarily focus on the darker and more obscure realms of melodic techno, drawing inspiration from contemporary arts, hypnotic and dystopian sounds. My music is a reflection of my inner emotions and visions, blending melancholic and uplifting harmonies to create compositions with high contrast. Amidst the shadows, there’s a glimmer of hope.

When you’re working on new music, do you have a structured creative process, or do you go with the flow, experimenting and seeing what emerges?

It really depends on what I’m working on. Sometimes, I sit in my studio and play around, while other times, I have a clear vision of what I want to create. Creativity can’t be forced, but there are ways to encourage it. 

So, how do you break it down, and how do you like to generate your ideas?

I find inspiration from various sources, like learning new techniques, reading the manual of my plugins or hardware, experimenting, or diving deeper into specific topics. I have a deep passion for thorough analysis and exploring the fundamental aspects of a subject. To truly innovate, you need to understand the rules so you can bend them. This approach helps me discover new and intriguing ways to express myself and come up with new ideas.

To truly innovate, you need to understand the rules so you can bend them.

Do you prefer working solo, or do you occasionally collaborate?

I have a very specific artistic vision and personalised workflow, which is why I typically prefer working alone. However, there are exceptions, and I occasionally engage in collaborations. Exploring different techniques and gaining insights from other artists is an excellent way to acquire new knowledge and skills while gaining fresh perspectives.

Who are your musical or audio heroes, and what makes them special to you?

Right now, definitely Kas:st, VNTM, .VRIL and Recondite. Each of them has a distinct style and mastered the art of expressing emotions through their music. I’ve had the opportunity to meet them on several occasions. This was a great opportunity to dive into their artistic insights and connect on a more personal level. They’re all incredibly talented and genuine artists.

If you could have produced a track by one of your favourite artists, which one would it be and why?

Let me put it this way: If I had produced this track, would it still convey the same feelings? I have immense respect for artists who pour their soul into their craft, and sometimes, there’s nothing that needs to be changed or added.

Do you have a collection of music and sounds, and what form does it take? Are you a vinyl enthusiast, do you have hard drives filled with various sounds, or are you meticulously organised when it comes to streaming music?

My music collection, if you can call it that, is relatively small. I don’t own any vinyl or CDs; everything is digital. I’m highly selective about the music I play, and my playlists are well-structured into different categories, such as ambient, techno, or piano pieces. 

Regarding production, I have a vast collection of samples, including self-recorded, purchased, and the ones shared with me by sound designers or collaborating companies. However, I try to maintain order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities. I regularly perform digital maintenance on my machine to keep it clean and remove unused or unnecessary files.

Thank you.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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