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Five minutes with… Untold

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  • UK music's foremost snake charmer talks new album, plans for his Hemlock label and more
  • published
    3 Dec 2010
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Last year, Untold pretty much blew dubstep apart with wild, staccato tracks like ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Stop What You’re Doing’.

This year’s been a bit quieter, as your man’s been working on an album. But just in case you’d forgotten about him (fat chance), he recently dropped one of his best singles yet on R&S, the electro-infused ‘Stereo Freeze’. This month, his Hemlock label, where Untold released debut records by James Blake, Fantastic Mr. Fox and more, release an EP by their first band, Breton. We caught up with Jack to talk the album, Breton, tribal gaurachero and more.


Hey, how’s it going?

“Not bad thanks – Still jet-lagged from getting back from Australia this week. Need to get the winter duvet on and get busy with the stews.”

Your recent R&S release was a bit of a diversion – sort of. How did that come about?

“Really? All sounds the same to me. The A&R guy asked me for some music and I wrote ‘Stereo Freeze’, they were into it so I did a little electro jam for the B-side. Got to say I’m really buzzing getting a release on that label: “In Order to Dance” – Pow!”

What have you been up to? 2009 was a bit of a stand-out year for you – 2010′s been a bit leaner by comparison.

“The first half of the year was figuring out where to go after rinsing the updated Eski sound-set, slowing down the tempo and finding a groove at 130bpm. Did a fair bit of DJing and made a sample pack for Loopmasters. Since the summer I’ve been throwing everything into my album project.”

You said recently that your label, Hemlock, was starting to reach that point where it controls you, rather than the other way round. How did the Breton release come about, and what else does the label have in store right now?

“Hemlock was getting bored with being sent polite watered down garage so she asked for something with a bit of bollocks for Christmas. Since she had been so good this year the elves brought her the fantastic Counter Balance EP [by Breton, out December 6th.] Next year she’s releasing amazing music from the usual suspects. Plenty of boxes falling down the stairs banging drug music alongside the airy-fairy muso gear.”

How’s the album doing? Most of your music up to this point – to its credit – has been pretty firmly dancefloor focused. Are you having to reign that in yet?

“I reckon I’m about halfway there. It’s been emotional. It’s definitely a listening album although there’s no reason why a couple of the tracks can’t be played out. I’m trying not to reign anything in and just push things to the extremes. It sounds totally different to anything I’ve written so far.”

Any idea how the album’s gonna sound at this point? Collaborations? Any idea of title?

“Warm and dirty / Yes / No.”

How’s SSSSS work? And what’s this tribal guarachero thing all about?

“SSSSS is the true voice of ghetto snake house – no reptiles wind it like the snake. To be honest I haven’t got a clue what the Guarachero thing is really about other than its Mexican house with triplets. We loved the Anaconda refix so it had to come out somehow. The artwork is by the very talented Abi Hey. Stay tuned for the the SSSSSister label Gully001.”

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