Nov 10 – UMEK & Syd Gris
What’s 2 m tall, lives Behind the Iron Curtain, has 1605 reasons to run an awesome label and *fucking flies*?
Meet UMEK, a techno legend from Slovenia.
UMEK is personally responsible for kickstarting the electronic music scene in his home country by first organizing illegal raves and then becoming one of Slovenia’s most wanted export products and number one music ambassador to the whole world.
And he does fly! Around 100 times per year, visiting almost every continent each year. His gig diary ranges from dark underground clubs in Berlin to massive techno stages on world’s most renowned festivals. Apart from making his name in the DJ booth, he’s also a tireless producer. He mostly releases on his own imprint 1605, where he often gives the opportunity to talented producers, unknown to the broader public. His signature sound as well as his label’s production can regularly be heard on UMEK’s widely popular weekly radio show Behind the Iron Curtain, which is now featured on more than 150 radio stations across the world.
Syd is one of the longest running fun creators in the Bay Area dance music and underground arts scene. He’s been called a “Renaissance man of the West Coast scene”, and with good reason. The founder of the legendary Opulent Temple collective, best known for their premierre sound stage at Burning Man, Board Member and key producer of the San Francisco LovEvolution event (formerly known as LoveFest & Love Parade), founder of Opel Productions, throwing club events and ‘parties with purpose’ in San Francisco for 10+ years, a child psychologist with a Doctorate in transpersonal psychology, a music producer, blogger on social issues, and of course – a DJ.
Syd has been organizing events since 2001 when he started throwing both underground parties and benefit events for different charities with Spundae. The following year he started his own production company Opel Productions, intended to be parties with purpose showcasing a range of forward thinking underground dance music with a dash of social activism thrown in the party message. In 2003, he finished his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, founded Opulent Temple, and joined the Board for San Francisco’s Love event, where he heads up the Marketing Team, and & Entertainment Team. In his current ‘day job’, he works out of a community clinic with foster kids in the Bayview Hunter Point area in San Francisco.
On the DJ tip, Syd is one of the West Coast’s top talents, consistently being voted in the Top 10 San Francisco Dream Team poll, and playing the biggest events in California party land. Playing a versatile range of electro house breaks, and tech funk,, he’s been personally tapped to open and close for the varied likes of Underworld, Moby, Tiesto, Stanton Warriors, Armin Van Burren, and the list goes on. Syd knows what to do in any situation to bring the universal vibe of dance music. His debut single ‘Who Are You’ on Groove Quest, recently cracked the crowded Top 30 electro house chart on Beatport. His sets are known for walking the fine line between the gritty and the pretty, and he has a musical range seldom seen in party land.