UK producer Untold (a.k.a Jack Dunning) has left a traceable, albeit traversing, scorch down the path of what’s come to be known today as bass music.
First, there’s the sounds he’s helped spawn as Hemlock’s label boss—Pangaea, Cosmin TRG and James Blake to name a few—but there is also the sounds he’s hammered and carved himself throughout an exceptionally amorphous production career.
Since Dunning’s 2008 debut, he’s been a successful explorer of caverns of the dark, resurfacing time and again with jagged, unclassified chaos for imprints along the lines of Hessle, Hotflush and R&S. Mostly, these involve hard bass, continuously reframed through new discoveries of scrawled texture and tempo.
From 2009’s wonky, laser-cut “Anaconda” to the airless sub-bass blur that is “Strange Dreams,” it’s not a matter of how far this producer has come, but rather, how much he can do. On that note, this year Untold unleashed his new album, Black Light Spiral via Hemlock, an afflictive saturation of noise that’s worth the trudge.
We checked in with Untold via email to get a quick glimpse of the producer before his live show at Mercer on Thursday, May 29.
Where are you answering these questions?
I’m in Rio airport, waiting for my flight to Sao Paulo.
Good memories from your first five years of clubbing:
Drugs. Girls dancing in Nike Air Max. Rewinds. Breakbeats. Darkness.
A bad memory from your last 5 years of playing clubs:
Receiving a courtesy lap dance in a bright room full of idiots, backstage immediately after I finished my set.
Latest non-musical source of inspiration:
Rural distance running.
A lot of electronic artists seem to be former graphic designers. Is there a link?
What freedoms have you found in a live vs. DJ set?
To step back and let the machines improvise and lead the show.
An instance you were particularly nervous to open for someone:
Can’t think of one to be honest. I don’t suffer nerves in that way. I always play music I love and enjoy meeting music’s many characters.
Do you remember how it went?
I smashed it.
An instance you were particularly impressed by the artist who opened for you:
In a small cave-like venue in Jerusalem, hearing Mala, Coki and Scream tunes played with grace. I never found out their name.
YouTube “Kingdom,” and the first hit is from ‘DubstepClassicsHD’ channel. Thoughts?
Wheres my check? HD
Critique your sound from 2008:
Ambitious but fussy.
Describe your sound now:
Does unsettling music translate to an unsettled mindset?
Frequencies gaining resonance.
For home listening, what’s your ratio of electronic to non-electronic music?
A favorite album of each:
Leftfield, Rhythm and Stealth; Paul Simon, So Beautiful Or So What
Production wise, what got you out of the box?
My daughter’s college fund.
What’s up next for Hemlock?
More albums, couple of singles.
What’s up next for Untold?
A lovely surprise.
What’s up next for Jack Dunning after these questions?
A complimentary trolley service serving a selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.