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Interview: UMEK X POPOF X Space 92

The trio have combined for ’Control’, released on UMEK’s 1605 imprint.

Interview: UMEK X POPOF X Space 92
Image: Press

UMEK, POPOF and Space 92 are three of techno’s most respected and influential artists, and they have just collaborated on a track called “Control”.

Space 92 is a French artist who exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years and is currently one of the world’s top-selling techno producers. POPOF is a veteran of the French scene who has headlined festivals and events across the world.

POPOF and Space 92 have collaborated together before, but this is the first time they have been joined by the iconic UMEK, who has been at the forefront of the international techno scene since the ‘90s.

Individually these guys have already achieved a lot and released music on influential record labels ranging from Filth On Acid to their own imprints such as UMEK’s 1605 and POPOF’s Form.

Excited to learn more about the project, we invited them for this three-way interview… 

Hi Guys, it’s great to have the three of you talking with us today. Can I start by asking Space 92 how you guys came to collaborate on your track ‘Control’? 

Space 92: The idea of collaborating together came quite naturally as we all share the same style of techno. We thought that working together on a track seemed a very interesting and original idea, as there are not many collaborations featuring three producers. We each worked on specific parts of the track, and I’m glad to say that this project went very well.  

POPOF, you had worked with Space 92 before this release, and I would love to know how you found also working with UMEK… how much did you know about him before this collaboration?

POPOF: I have been following UMEK as an artist for a very long time! In 1999 I was always playing his track “Lanicor” that was released on Consumer Recreation, and I’ve been a fan ever since. We worked together for the first time in 2017 when I remixed his track “Shadow Tactics” on my label Form Music. But “Control” is the first track we made together.

UMEK, you decided to release Control on your own record label 1605, was this always a plan for the track, and why did you decide to self-release it, as I’d imagine you could have chosen nearly any label you guys agreed on?

UMEK: Yes, that was actually the plan from the beginning, as why wouldn’t we want to look elsewhere when we don’t need to? 1605 is doing really well at the moment, and it has been among the best-selling techno labels for the last few years. For me, it was the best plan of action, Space 92 and POPOF both agreed. I have to say, I’m very proud to be releasing this collaboration on my label!

Space 92, your productions broke through in a big way during Lockdown, and I wanted to ask if you have started to get a lot of gig requests now clubs have opened again?

Space 92: Absolutely. Since clubs have reopened, gig requests have gone through the roof! Currently, I’m taking a flight every four days, and heading to multiple destinations around the world. International borders have mostly reopened, including places like Australia where I recently had the chance to play for the first time. I was also in Mexico last week, and I’ve got a string of gigs across Europe, so I’m thrilled!

POPOF, are there any plans for you to team up with Space 92 or UMEK to play any B2B gigs, as I’m imagining that would be one hell of a show?

POPOF: It definitely would! I’ve already teamed up with Space 92 for a B2B series and that’s working out fantastically. We have a string of shows planned for the summer, and we can’t wait to unveil this project to all the techno fans out there.

UMEK, are you guys planning to team up again in the studio, and did you pick up any new tips or tricks from collaborating with the guys?

UMEK: We haven’t yet talked about releasing new collaborations, but who knows what will happen, as it was certainly a lot of fun working with the guys. Right now, our main goal is to focus on this release, and give the track the proper promotion it deserves. Hopefully, it will get played at festivals and events around the world. We produced “Control” by sending the files back and forth to each other, because unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to go into the studio together. I would like to make up for that, and get together in the same studio, because in terms of producing music, I think we could learn a lot from each other.

I’d like to ask all of you to individually answer the following few questions… what’s your standard routine after a gig, and how often do you end up at an afterparty?

Space 92: I like to keep a clear head before a gig, so when I finish playing, I usually grab a beer and relax with my friends, just chatting and joking around. I’m not really an after-party type of person, so I usually go back to my hotel room, and sleep like an old man.

POPOF: After a gig, I generally like to sit back, chill out, have a drink and enjoy the party… I also regularly go check out the afterparties and usually have a blast!

UMEK: My standard routine is to go to bed and sleep for a few hours before my gigs. It really clears my head, and I can concentrate and perform at the highest level. In the last ten years, I’ve never actually been to an after party. The only way that could happen is if I get at least 6 hours of sleep and go back to the party, haha, I’m honestly getting too old for that.

What festivals are you most looking forward to this year, and are you planning to attend any only as a clubber?

Space 92: I don’t even think I’m going to be able to attend events as a simple clubber, I’m barely able to keep up with my own stuff – haha. But I’m super excited to perform at Insane Festival with POPOF, Elektric Park (Paris) and Utopia Festival (Marseille) this September.

POPOF: I’m really eager for Cercle Festival (France), Playground Festival (Brazil), Insane Festival with Space 92 and Electric Park (Paris), but there are so many events that it’s hard to list them all. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have the time to attend anything as a simple clubber, even though I’d love too!

UMEK: There are a lot of festivals I will be playing this summer. I just looked at my schedule again, and I think that each of them will be a special festival in itself. At the moment there are a lot of fantastic festivals, and I’m looking forward to every one of them. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be attending any festival as a clubber. Once you see the crowd behind the decks, you never want to go back. DJing really is my passion, and that’s what satisfies me the most.

Without picking any of your own tracks, please can you each list a track that you think could be a summer anthem this year?

Space 92: So, POPOF has been working on a brand-new remix for Dubfire, and from the demo version he sent me, I already know that it’s going to be something!

POPOF: I can’t stop playing Space 92’s “Meteor”, as it’s such an outstanding track that really shows off his production skills.

UMEK: Teenage Mutants’ “Back to Rave” is something I’ve been playing for a while, and I’m super excited that it’s soon coming out on 1605.

Can you let us know what’s coming up over the coming months, as we would love to know some forthcoming things that you are individually hyped about?

Space 92: I’ve got a bunch of collaborations with various artists in the pipeline, and soon I’ll also be launching a new record label. These past months have been very intense, but everyone will soon get to see the results soon!

POPOF: I have a lot of upcoming gigs and a bunch of remixes, including reworks of tracks by Dubfire and NTO, among others. I also have a couple of surprise collaborations on the Watergate and Mobilee labels, plus some solo releases on Form Music.

UMEK: There are a lot of things happening for me at the moment. Of course, I’m very excited about this great release with Space 92 and POPOF. I also have a release with Elakto in the pipeline, and I’m working on some new originals for my electro alias Zeta Reticula.

UMEK, POPOF & Space 92’s ‘Control’ is available now on 1605:




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