№ 50 - Marcelo Umana

№ 50 - Marcelo Umana

With peaceful psychedelic love from Amsterdam, our 50th mix features Chilean born DJ Marcelo Umana, delivering a musical story that tells the sounding tales of miscellaneous bands and artists like Richie Havens, Gaussian Curve, Finis Africae, Wolf Müller & Cass, Ned Doheny, Tony Allen and the Stone Roses.

In his home country, Umana was a key figure of the 90's Chilean electronic music movement, playing alongside Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano long before both departed for international stardom.

As well as spinning vinyl in the clubs of Santiago De Chile, Umana published a music magazine, worked in the now legendary Background Records store and had a weekly radio show on the Chilean network, Radio Isla Negra. He has lived in Amsterdam since 2001, where he is a resident DJ at Pllek and runs a successful early evening show at Red Light Radio.

For the EDWIN Music Channel, Marcelo Umana has prepared an epic mix that travels devilishly diverse, gentle and warm while telling an truly alchemical psychedelic story in sound. Enjoy.

Hi Marcelo, can you introduce yourself a bit to us? Where are you from and how did you get into music? 

I was born in Santiago De Chile in 1971. Since my early childhood I have been a big music lover, probably because my parents love music too. My father had a pick up and a small, but quite decent record collection with a lot of different stuff. From classical music to tango, rock to Latin American, some Brazilian as well. Plus, some popular records of that time like Bee Gees, Deep Purple and so on. I can say I was lucky to grew-up surrounded by music.  

Can you remember where you first started DJing and the kind of music you were playing?

Sure! I went to study journalism with the main idea of becoming a music journalist and with a friend of mine, who had a radio show in those years, we started our own music magazine called “Musica Marginal”. We were making only four issues per year, covering styles from Gothic to Industrial, EBM, Rock and much more.

At that time, I started to listen to my first electronic records, things like Coil, Aphex Twin, Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia, Biosphere, Meat Beat Manifesto and Orbital. It really blew my mind.

From that moment, I decided to start DJing and I was lucky to be involved in the first techno parties in Santiago De Chile, playing several events between 1992 till 1994. Later in 1994, I started to work at Background Records, a very special place in Santiago at that time. The record store is now a mythical place in the music history of Chile and of course it changed my life. I worked there for almost five years and I had the chance to get to know a lot of good diverse music. In the basement of the record shop we also organised a series of parties, with friends and other DJs, a combination of Psychedelics and Cybernetics for a small group of people (100 persons was a maximum) starting with Ambient and Downtempo music towards to house or Detroit Techno. Years later, I had the chance to play at the best parties in Santiago and became a resident DJ in all the best clubs of the city like La Feria from 1995 until I moved to the Netherlands in 2001.

How did you select the music for the EDWIN Music Channel?

Actually, at the beginning I had something in mind and I recorded it, but when I listened to the mix a couple of times I realised that it was missing something. I forgot about it for a couple of days, then one Sunday morning after breakfast I said to myself: Ok, maybe now? And this is what came out. The only thing that I had on my mind was mixing, I wanted to record something gentle and relaxing, so people could listen to it while they are working, chilling out or having a coffee.

What old albums you rediscovered lately and what makes them special?

I believe lately we have had many chances to rediscover old gems, thanks to the popularity of vinyl. In that sense, there is a whole new universe that opens in front of you.

For me personally I like a lot of African Music, Brazilian, Turkish. But, my favourite record at the moment and probably one of the most beautiful records that I have heard in the past months is: Matt Sewell's, A Crushing Glow Presents Anuradha Paudwal & Kavita Paudwal ‎– The Gayatari Mantra. Try to listen to it! A hypnotic devotional holy mantra chant from India. Spiritual and absolutely Balearic!

You are now based in Amsterdam. How do you see the music scene of your hometown right now?

In my opinion, the Amsterdam scene is in good health and better than when I arrived here. There are a lot of good DJs, clubs, festivals, radios, producers and record stores. Whatever music style you like, you will find a talent from Amsterdam behind it. And of course there is Pllek, where I have been resident DJ for the last four years. You'll find me there every Friday. Come and visit!

Richie Havens: Something Else Again
Mark Barrott: Der Stern, Der Nie Vergeht
A.R.T Wilson:  House In The Garden
Gaussian Curve: Ride
Laurie Anderson: Kokoku
Finis Africae: El Secreto De Las 12
The Undisputed Truth: The World Friendship Train
Wolf Muller & Cass: Applepie Dreams
Azymuth: Last Summer In Rio
George Oban: Basshoven
Ned Doheny: Get It Up For Love
Barrabas: Time To Love
Almunia: Going Up Slowly
Jack Cutter: Serpent Strut
Planet Funk: Inside All The People (Harvey’s Ibiza Sleepy Mix)
Ashra: Kazoo
Tony Allen: Voyage (Mark’sDiscodub)
The Stone Roses: Something Is Burning
Dominique Dumont: Un Jour Avec Youseff