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Jack Dunning, aka Untold, is one of the most exciting producers to come out of North London. Widely known for his gloomy genre-bending eclecticism; a true innovator. Over the years he's played the field, releasing records not only on his own baby Hemlock Recordings (of which he is the co-founder) but also on R&S, Soul Jazz and Hotflush.
His latest EP Targa/Glare was released via Modeselektor's diverse 50 Weapons label. Is he going all out techno? DJBroadcast had a chat with him for this week's DJB podcast.
Your new release Targa is very melodic where most people probably know you for a more stripped down industrial sound, can you tell a little bit more about the ideas behind the release?
I’ve been rediscovering 90’s melodic drum and bass, stuff like Omni Trio, Nookie and Foul play. The motifs are so simple and persistent, and I’m listening to tape packs and being reminded of a time when it was ok to blend pretty melodies into darkness. I wrote these tracks to bring some colour into my DJ sets, something to accent the monochrome.
"Now my sound is loosely based more around a techno grounding, but as always I’m forever looking to bring in other influences and make it mine since the last thing the world needs is another techno producer." What influences are inspiring you at the moment?
I’m back on the Sirens, mating calls and sci-fi.
In 2012 your output was focussing on your own Hemlock Recordings. This is the first release on another imprint since then, is this a one-off, because 50 Weapons is a nice opportunity, or a new game plan?
Maybe it’ll be a one-off as I thought they were only doing 50 releases. I might send in another demo and try and squeeze one in the late forties. Anyhow, I love the label’s eclectic output and it feels very natural to release with them.
What was the ide behind the new Pennyroyal label, was it a reaction to something?
Aside from my involvement, the labels are entirely separate and outputs are independant. Hemlock’s lineage is Dubstep. while Pennyroyal continues the study of hard arts that’s been running deep for many years.
The first 30 minutes of your mix aren’t really four to the floor, especially now that your sound is more related to techno. Is it possible to DJ this kind of mix live in a club, or is it too distracting for people?
I’ve been jumping dynamics and tempo in recent sets and the reaction has been great. Playing with rhythmic signposts is nothing new but it feels refreshing right now. The continuum’s been stirred - I’m being sent loads of unpredictable, confrontational music all of a sudden. I hope it gets fiercer! Raves were meant to be dangerous.
The mix tells us that you like to work with different vibes to tell a story and not strictly with the dancefloor in mind. You released many EPs but this aesthetic would perfectly blend in the concept of an album. Do you already have plans for that?
All I can say is I’m sitting on lots of new material.
Any other interesting future plans?
To tour with the Pennyroyal roster, and present our first spoken word release on Hemlock later this year.
What are the gigs you’re really looking forward to?
The ones that will end in riot.
Rashad Becker - Dances III
Concrete Fence - Caulk
Untold - Ion
Lakker - Asvattha
Raime - The Walker in Blast and Bottle
A Made Up Sound - After Hours
Untold - Glare
Talismann - Landing
Pev & Asusu - Surge
Untold - Drop it on the one
Ancient Methods - Knights & Bishops
Shed - I Come By Night