Interview: Enigmatic Avant-Garde Producer Unpropped on studio life, influences, and future plans

Formally trained at Longevity Music School in Strasbourg, France, Germán Sánchez aka Unpropped has spent considerable time improving his cultural palette in Brazil, India, and Morocco, and now in Hamburg, Germany, where he currently resides. The avant-garde producer cites names such as Ricardo Villalobos, Alva Noto, Marcel Dettmann, Floating Points, or Amon Tobin as some of the biggest influences on the formation of his sound. His debut EP, Acausality is incoming. Get to know more about its concept below.

HMWL: Hi, where are you answering these questions from?

Hi there! Right now, I’m in the city of Hamburg, sipping from a bottle of Flensburger.

HMWL: What have you been working on recently? Could you tell us a little more? 

I’m currently busy with the promotion of the upcoming Unpropped’s debut EP, “Acausality”, which will drop on the 30th of June.

Lately it’s also been about a lot of preparation and sketching for the first full-length album, which I’m expecting to release at some point in early 2024. I’m very excited about it, because it’ll be a full display of the Unpropped universe, something that has taken quite some time to mature and develop and which will pave the road for (very) thrilling projects thereafter.

HMWL: Which musicians did you listen to when you were growing up? Who influenced you the most?

I always felt attracted to electronic music and enjoyed the Spanish breed of artists from the end of the 90s and beginning of the 2000s: Oscar Mulero, Christian Varela, Abel Ramos… But I also found pleasure in other genres: I’m thinking now about Oasis (“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”) and Metallica (“S&M”), to whom I perfectly remember got addicted in the summer of 2000.

In any case, my biggest influences in terms of electronic came afterwards, after listening to the work of artists (who I also consider innovators) such as Ricardo Villalobos, Alva Noto, Marcel Dettmann, Floating Points, or Amon Tobin, to name a few. And more recently Rrose, whose sonic concept I find extraordinary.

HMWL: Why did you decide to get into electronic music? What struggles / successes did you experience at the beginning of your career?

It may sound funny, but I started experimenting with electronic many years ago just to impress somebody. Can’t say I achieved my goal, but I kept toying with beats, on and off in different periods of my life.

At some point, after having secured a way to sustain myself, I decided to focus and pursue a formal training in music production. I guess that almost every musician struggles with making a living out of their work, and often not just at the beginning, so I would say that our most notable success (or at least I consider it mine) is to be able to keep making music and developing our careers as artists while managing to earn a living by the available means.

HMWL: What has been the most memorable gig you played? Tell us more.

I’ve been quiet on stage so far. Up until now, I’ve put all my time and effort into creating something (a whole concept) that represents the way I perceive the world, my thoughts, my emotions… which can be confidently presented as a genuine and honest piece of art. That’s what has the most value for me, and without it, little makes sense. 

That said, I’m confident that Unpropped will soon become a live act. Plans are already starting to take shape, so stay tuned.

HMWL: Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio?

I produce music because I feel fulfilled and rewarded just by producing it, so I love working in the studio. It’s also true that I’d eventually like to introduce my work directly to a live audience in a more personal way, and I’m sure that I’d enjoy that a lot too. Though I doubt if more or less than working in the studio… 


HMWL: If you could collaborate with anyone for your next release, who would it be? And why?

So many names come to mind… But if I could summon the genie from the bottle, Modeselektor would be my choice. Those guys have been fundamentally contributing to define the Berlin electronic scene since the nineties, and in that sense, I can’t think of many other artists as influential as them. They seem lovely, their music is of ridiculous high quality, plus I can’t imagine how much I’d be able to learn from just one collaboration with them.

That’s in terms of big names, so in case the genie feels a bit overwhelmed by my request, I’d keep in my sleeve a rising musician called Grand River. Her ability to enrapture is exceptional and that might fit quite well with the Unpropped sound.

HMWL: So, what’s in the pipeline? What is next in terms of gigs, festivals, releases, that our readers should go crazy about?

As mentioned earlier, Unpropped’s debut EP, “Acausality”, is coming out on the 30th of June. This will be followed by one or two collaborations in the coming months, and then, already in 2024, the first full-length album shall drop. Only then will I ramp up work on Unpropped’s live show ideas, in which colours and images will be creatively introduced, both static and dynamically, to contribute to a uniquely immersive experience.