Some DJs were raised with all the spoils of Western capitalism, weaned on Tower Records and Top 40 radio.
Others, like Uros Umek, grew up in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War era, cut off from the West and deprived of even basic commodities like music on vinyl.
For him and his peeps, electronic dance music was just a faint transmission emitting from the other side of the Iron Curtain on pirate radio.
But that didn't prevent Umek and his buddies from founding their own scene and forging their own sound with the scarce resources available. And in a way, that scene's isolation made their love of music all the more intense. It's not hard to imagine how significant the liberating collective ritual of raving becomes for people living under political oppression and economic hardship.
Today, Umek is widely revered as the "Father of Slovenian Techno" thanks to his two decades of dedicated work building the local techno scene. He single-handedly founded many of the first EDM club nights and festivals in the capital city of Ljubljana, not the least of which is the Party For a Cause humanitarian music festival, which draws upwards of 30,000 people each year with international heavyweight headliners like Carl Cox.
But the Slovenian scene simply isn't big enough to contain Umek's globe-spanning musical vision, which is why he's emerged as one of the biggest names in worldwide big-room techno. So big, in fact, that he was the 2011 Beatport Staff Pick Artist of the Year.
Find out what makes Mr. Umek so epic when he alights at Mansion this Saturday.
Umek with Laurent Simeca. Saturday, October 15. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Doors open at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-531-5535 or visit mansionmiami.com.
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