Interview: The Yellowheads

The YellowHeads are a Spanish duo that have released tracks with labels such as Kraftek, Suara, Toolroom and AnalyticTrail, as well as their own Reload and Reload Black imprints.

Next up on the pairs release schedule is a collaboration with one of techno’s most beloved and accomplished artists, UMEK. The release will also provide edits from Teenage Mutants, Beico and Heerhorst.

We spoke with The YellowHeads about how they feel on working with UMEK, which labels we might expect to see them on soon, and what advice they would give to someone in the early stages of their musical career.

Your new collaboration with UMEK is out soon on his 1605 imprint, how did you end up working with him?

UMEK and ourselves have been friends for many years, and sometime ago we were talking about doing a track together. We were quite often asking him “Hey, let’s start doing that track together, bla bla bla…” and when UMEK finally said “Yes, let’s make a start”, you can imagine our faces after that great bit of news, as we were really happy, and nervous to actually make it happen haha.

And when working with someone as experienced as UMEK, how much pressure do you feel when sending the project back?

There was a lot of pressure, because we have been big fans of his for a long time. We remember almost 20 years ago when seeing him play in Spain, as he was one of our favourite headliners. We are 39 years old now and still have great memories from those sets, we were just kids and now 20 years later we are working with him, so, uff, it’s an incredible feeling, a real pleasure, and a great achievement for us to be able to work together with an artist/person so dear to us.

The EP also includes remixes from Beico, Heerhorst and Teenage Mutants, what was the thought process behind choosing remixers?

To be honest that was all arranged by UMEK, but we really love all the remixes, as we are big fans of all these artists. Beico is a cool artist who is always making nice tracks that we play in nearly all our DJ sets! Heerhorst is along the same lines, as in the last year he has made some awesome tracks that we are playing all the time. We have so many great things to say about our friends Teenage Mutants, as they make really beautiful music, and we really love their sound, in fact we have done some collaborations with them, but we can’t say any more than that (it’s a secret! Haha).

What other labels can we expect to see you on in the near future?

So, since the virus began we have used the extra time wisely to work in the studio and we have been putting together some cool releases and collabs. I mentioned before, the plans with Teenage Mutants, also with Ramon Tapia, Ren Ascutt, Sam Wolfe and Boho. Talking about labels, we have some things coming on our own labels Reload and Reload Black, Filth on Acid and a really special EP on Kraftek following up on the awesome collab with Pleasurekraft that we did last Winter. In addition, we are also working on some tracks for Senso Sounds.

How about your Reload and Reload Black imprints, who might we see on there soon?

We are happy with how things are going on our own labels, and have some awesome releases coming. Some of our tracks and collabs will be coming out on Reload/Reload Black, and we are really excited with what’s planned for both labels.

Are there any labels that you haven’t had the chance to work with yet but hope to one day release on?

Yes of course, we really love so many labels, and have released already on almost every imprint we love, but would be cool to release something on Pan-Pot’s Second State, as we love the style of that label. For our style, Drumcode is another one we would love to release on, but we know that it’s really hard to get a release with them, as being the biggest techno label in the world they always have a full schedule of releases. Drumcode is an inspiration to us though, Adam built something from zero, which has turned into a great techno empire that we respect very highly. It is not easy to get that level of success, as people might see the money and respect he has now, buy they forget that it is a long and hard road to achieve such amazing things. Adam Beyer is a real inspiration to us for this reason, UMEK is also someone who has achieved many great things, which is why we also respect him so greatly.

And what advice would you give to people just starting out in techno?

Reality or falsehood? Haha, to be honest in this moment:

You have to be consistent; very few people make a name for themselves from just one track, it takes years of releases, and you are only as good as your last release, so standards can’t slip once you get the ball rolling.

Know who to deal with; work with positive people who inspire you, and build a network of people who you can look to for advice, help and guidance.

You need accept that sometimes you have to spend money; yes, it is really important, to invest in promo, professional press images, social media. Professional people do not usually work for free, so often it costs money to be professional yourself, and pay for the services of others who can help you.

Passion for Music; if you have not got a lot of money, then you need the passion to work 10x harder than everyone else, and a love of music is more important than everything else written above.

The Yellowheads & UMEK’s Driller EP is out August 14th on 1605.