三年疫情的电子音乐领域，看似平静实则暗流涌动：有的陷入泥沼停滞不前， 有的反噬旧事物企图榨干最后一点时代红利，还有有的产生了“异变”从而脱 胎换骨…
在信息聚变的当下，新的潮流正在形成，所谓的 music generation 也明显切 入了对自我新陈代谢的关键期，置身其中的音乐人如何进一步明确自己的打法， 就显得尤为关键，并且我们一定会随着时间的推移看到他们所做抉择的意义。
为此，我们短暂回溯疫情前的 EDM 年代，找来一位其中的很有代表性的人 物——Ummet Ozcan(乌梅)，想听听他对当下和自己的看法。今年的他没有 选择继续参加 DJ Mag 百大评选，现在也是他度过“几近失聪”的生涯险境后 的一场重生，或许我们能从他的身上得到一些承上启下的线索。
▎Mixmag China = M
▎Ummet Ozcan = U
Recently, you released a new track titled “Ryu.” It’s much different from what fans are used to know you. Could you share how you think behind this and does it signify that you are currently undergoing a period of creative transformation?
Indeed Ryu is a bit different, but not so much considering I have always have had a diversified approach to my productions. Style wise I am quite flexible in what I like and I use this variety to stay inspired. Also it is fun to push the boundaries so I keep experimenting with new stuff.
We’ve noticed that you have incorporated throat singing (Khoomei) into several of your productions, and you personally recorded these voices. Has this unique vocal technique become a ‘silver bullet’ in your performances?
When I was a kid I found out that I can do Khoomei and until recently I had never used it in my productions. With the production of ‘Xanadu’ I’ve used it for the first time and it became the driving force which worked very well. To perform throat singing live is a great addition to my DJ sets, it’s big fun to do extra’s and my fans are very pleased with it, so for now I will definitely continue to throat sing during my sets.
Can we assume that you are in the process of establishing your own live-set pattern? And In your most complete setup to date, how many different types of musical instruments will be included?
There are so much intriguing instruments, both old and new, that can be used in the studio or during live sessions. Take for instance the Chinese Hulusi flute which is a real favorite of mine, it sounds mesmerizing if used in the right way. I want to show these great instruments to the audience and use it as a live element in my shows. It is very exciting for me as well as it is a new direction and dynamic addition to being a Dj.
How do you view the current state of the Bigroom genre, which seems to be on the decline? Do you believe that your visibility today is largely due to your involvement in this EDM style?
U：音乐流派兴衰起落是不可避免的，而且这是一件好事。我们需要不断进步，保持新鲜、保持动力。Bigroom 是一个稳固建立起的流派，所以如果你是它的爱好者，仍然有很多内容可以找到。但随着时间的推移，新的东西会出现，并吸引新的粉丝。我的粉丝群体已经大大增加了，其中甚至有很多从未听过我早前音乐的人，所以我想我曾对EDM的涉猎并不是现在使我更显眼的原因。当然，我在早年间建立的坚实基础也帮助我触达更广泛的听众 (比如Trance和Bigroom)。
Music genres come and go, it is inevitable and that’s a good thing. We need progression to keep everything fresh and exciting. Bigroom is a genre that has established firmly, so if you are fan of this genre there is still plenty to find. But as time progresses new stuff will emerge and will attract new fans. My fan community has increased quite a lot with people who never used to listen to my older tracks, so I guess my involvement with EDM doesn’t necessarily mean that I am visible because of that. Of course a solid background which I have built during my previous years helps me to reach out to a bigger audience.
What led you to transition from Trance to EDM back in the day?
To repeat yourself constantly typically lead to boredom, so to keep inspired I need to experiment with other styles or new musical points of view. This whole process runs quite organically and is ongoing and that works for me quite well.
So, how would you assess the controversial style “future rave”? Do you think it could have a more positive impact on the advancement of mainstream dance music?
U：显然 Future Rave 是对多种旧有风格做的重新融合，我认为它是一个很棒的子流派，时间会告诉我们它会对电子音乐的发展产生何种影响。 舞曲音乐流派种类繁多，但我喜欢跳出固化思维，不愿做某个可能转瞬即逝的特定风格的迎合者。
Future Rave is based on a blend of older styles and is in my opinion a great sub-genre, time will tell what the impact will be on the progression of electronic music. The list of genres in dance music is endless but I like to think out of the box and not be an adapt of a certain style that might be in fashion for a short while..
Throughout your production career, which personal work of yours do you cherish the most?
U：我从小就在玩音乐，但当我发布了《Timewave Zero》后，情况突然变得正经起来。这首歌迅速被许多我崇拜的DJ注意到，这算是某种认可，也表明我在追求音乐事业时走对了道路。《Timewave Zero》为我的制作人和DJ生涯铺平了道路，因此这支曲目在我心中有着特殊的地位。
I have been making music from my childhood, but it became more serious when I released ‘Timewave Zero’, it was instantly picked up by a lot of Dj’s that I admired, so that was some kind of recognition and signaled that I was on the right track by pursuing a career in music. Timewave Zero paved the way for me a producer and Dj, so it has a special place in my heart.
Have you ever faced criticism during a certain period of time? If there’s a memorable experience, feel free to share how you managed to overcome that negativity.
You can’t please them all, everyone is entitled to have an opinion, so if you don’t like what I am doing or the way I look, that’s fine with me. Negativity is something I am allergic with and I tend to not read negative comments at all as it doesn’t bring me joy. I choose my own path and don’t allow toxic people or opinions to upset me.
Based on your performance experiences, have you noticed any changes in the Chinese EDM scene before and after the pandemic? Is it evolving or still relatively stagnant? We hope to know your genuine thoughts.
I have noticed not so much changes to be honest, I can feel the same energy as before the pandemic. Stagnant would imply that there is no progress, but that’s not the case, my Chinese fans have welcomed my new music very much and that means that they are openminded and evolvement of the scene is there for sure!
As a DJ who values creativity, apart from your captivating performances, we often see glimpses of your time spent in the studio with instruments. How do you strike a balance between intense performances and extensive creative work, without losing your rhythm?
My studio time feels very natural, I can really lose myself there in a positive way, it’s my natural habitat and it never feels like a 9-5 job. The same goes for doing the live sets which is more or less an extension of the studio work as it is the place to test new ideas in front of a crowd. After a tour I take a few days off to unwind but find myself in my studio quite quickly again. It’s a repetitive thing which feels organic.
Do you have any short-term goals you’d like to achieve in the near future? What kind of outcomes would satisfy your pursuit of new personal accomplishments?
It would be great to one day do the score for a feature film. I like these soundscapes or driving melodies that can elevate a movie beyond anything. Just listen to the Hans Zimmer’s contribution to film music. It’s breathtakingly good.. I’d rather keep the pursuit of my personal accomplishments to myself, but I firmly believe in personal growth.