Inspiration: Umami


Slow and steady wins the race. Just ask umani, a German duo comprised of sonic explorers Robert and Sam. After individually dabbling in bands and assorted musical projects, the two joined forces in 2010 and embarked on a musical journey. Their union has spawned a steady stream of mindful dance floor manna for labels such as Katermukke, 3000 Grad, Budenzauber, Sacrebleu, and Boys Deep.

In the run-up to their Exchange For Everything album due later in the year, and the release of their remix for Beatamines & Jiggler on Lauter Unfug, the duo just released their RGB EP (Favouritizm), a mesmerizing release brandishing two emotive and highly singular cuts (watch the video directed by André Spilker).

Influenced by an array of artists and styles, we asked Robert and Sam to share some of the tracks that inspire their work.

1. ARGY & MAMA – Who Am I (Rampa Remix)
Sam: Rampa does something with electronic dance music that I love and that is really creating art while still not being totally unplayable on the dance floor. Unfortunately, this is very rare. His “Who Am I” remix stands out even further among his already awesome work because it has this magical feel. It’s something that can’t be described with words, but I think its the thing that everybody is chasing.

2. Silverchair – Suicidal Dream
Sam: When I played in a rock band in school, Daniel Johns from Silverchair was one of my absolute heroes. I think he is one of the most underrated musicians in the history of rock, if you can say that about a stadium filling rock star. This live clip from their early days shows him performing with the age of 15 or 16, absolutely unbelievable talent.

3. Paskal & Urban Absolutes – Take The Fall feat. Pete Josef (Manuel Tur Remix)
Sam: What a track! I always play this as a last track when a party is so good that I’m drunk, happy and I want it to go on for just a moment longer. Every aspect of it is just so cool.

4. A Camp – I Can Buy You
Sam: I actually listen to pop and hip-hop more than I listen to house music. I love dance music in the club or on a festival. But when I’m listening to music on my headphones, I want stories, songs and artistically composed harmonies. And this song by the solo project of the singer of the Cardigans is just so beautiful.

5. Popof – Shades
Sam: I remember playing this track when I started DJing around 2009. We organized open airs in parks in Berlin and people went completely insane when I played this. I loved the massive harmonies and thought that this would be the kind of music I would like to produce with umami. But then things took another turn.

6. Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek
Sam: A truly mind-blowing song with a unique twist, that it’s only her voice on top of her voice through a TC Helicon voice effect. It made me buy the TC Helicon Voice Live 2 because I absolutely wanted that vocal sound.

7. Stimming – November Morning
Robert: Stimming’s “November Morning” is one of the tracks that really inspired me when I started to produce electronic music. I love how his style is calm, yet still so intense. We saw his live set on Fusion 2015 and it was something really special.

8. Kraftwerk – Radioaktivität
Robert: I remember being 14 years old and hearing this song. It was different than everything else I had ever heard and was fascinating.

9. KLF – What Time Is Love
Robert: Heard it the first time when I was 16 and the song left its energy in me.

10. Depeche Mode – The Things You Said
Robert: And, of course, Depeche Mode. This band is the single biggest influence in my musical life. “The Things You Said” is one of those tracks that still inspire me today.

Darren Ressler

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