DJ Unic. Foto tomada de la página oficial del artista en Facebook
DJ Unic. Foto tomada de la página oficial del artista en Facebook.

DJ Unic, one of a kind

6 minutos / Lalau Yllarramendiz Alfonso

02.09.2020 / Articles

Both in reggaeton and in other musical genres, the producer DJ is part of a team that conceives the musical theme down to the smallest detail. It is his responsibility to maintain the style of the singer, while reinventing himself in each song, since creativity has always been and will be fundamental to make a good reggaeton dance and sing.

Si eres fanático al arte rebelde y desenfrenado del icónico dúo cubano El Chacal y Yakarta, si entre tus pasillos exitosos en un bonche está el canilleo o si eres de quienes les gusta el ona oh!, debes saber que entre los “culpables” de todos estos grandes éxitos de la música urbana nacional está DJ Unic.

Teniendo en cuenta su apariencia, podría ser un productor de música electrónica. Sin embargo, DJ Unic no es lo que parece; la música que produce va desde la más cruda morfa hasta el cubatón con éxito internacional. La fusión entre la identidad musical en la que resalta el reguetón, su particular estilo y proyección artística, y el impacto de sus producciones en el gusto popular son muestra de eclecticismo y singularidad en su propuesta.

Luis Niebla Denis is a young man from Generation Y; Justo was born with the last decade of the last millennium, which makes his passion for new technologies inevitable. In 2013 his name changed and began to be for everyone: Unic, an artistic name that Insurrecto gave him while they recorded the album 0 Km for being this one-of-a-kind DJ.

Photo taken from the artist's official Facebook page.

Photo taken from the artist's official Facebook page.

Shortly after, his recording studio / record label Célula Music emerged, an original name of Mr. Rodríguez, another of the urban artists with whom he has collaborated. With this project, DJ Unic defends a heterogeneous mix of traditional, urban and contemporary styles; At the same time that, from time to time, metamorphoses take place in his work that imprint other sounds on his music such as flamenco and the ballad that, occasionally, he has inserted in songs by El Chacal such as No te enamores de mé or La costumbre

Tanto en su cuenta en Facebook como en el Instagram de su pequeño hijo, DJ Unic parece cada vez más distante de un “repa de barrio”, acercándose a una cultura e imagen de élite urbana un tanto snob: desde las fiestas, conciertos, making of de videoclips hasta las imágenes familiares. Todo parece dispuesto para posar ante la cámara.

It is also true that in each of the premieres that he shares on his social networks there is the flavor of habanero reggaeton and, almost as a consequence of this, these themes are globalized artistic products with a recurring global pop style, codes of urban Latinity and resources always functional in the Miami entertainment industry as the incitement to leisure, pleasure and inordinate luxury. All of them, it is known, are effective aesthetic codes, both in Cuba and in the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Nothing against it, but it becomes clear to me that, with maturity, DJ Unic's work is more aimed at an elitist audience and this has been reaffirmed over the years and with its presence on the networks. Either way, Célula Music's proposals can be compared in technical, artistic, musical and audiovisual quality with their Caribbean and Latin American counterparts.

Experiment III, released in 2019, is DJ Unic's great album. It has more than an hour of music, but what difference does it make if each of these songs has had a life of its own on the urban scene.

El Experimento III, released in 2019, is DJ Unic's great album. It has more than an hour of music, but what difference does it make if each of these songs has had a life of its own on the urban scene.

The great thing about this album lies in its ability to replicate itself in the reggaeton environment thanks to the popularity achieved by almost all of its tracks. Experiment III is a climax in itself, it seems like the reunion of old school friends, since the artists who join their voices to DJ Unic in this production have been part of the music producer's greatest hits: Denver, Louis Mikán, Yomil and El Dany, El Chulo, Chacal, Wampi, El Iroso, Yulién Oviedo, El Envoy, Miss Dayana, Harryson, Gretcheen Gray and El Magnífico.

Big surprise is Hasta atrás con velocidad. In years of listening to reggaeton, nothing prepares you for a totally melodic song performed by El Magnífico. The bomb repa is not lacking, but you can feel the harmonic base of any pop ballad that makes you forget the sexual overtones of the text. DJ Unic is a bit of a magician, because he can make you dance no matter what they say or how they say it. It is an unconscious process: dance and don't think ... enjoy. The song My Pikete confirms my theory that Experiment III is a meeting of the greats around DJ Unic, as they join in this featuring El Micha, El Chacal, and Yomil and El Dany. In this matter, we must forget about delivery boxes, drums and the little bit of timba that would correspond. Like a trip back in time, what sounds is pure reggaeton, from the “hard”, with its rap and its dembow. Maybe it's a little more modern, but the sound reminds us of when they all started their artistic careers and that was their language, their way of saying and acting. Monster Unic - so El Jackal tells him in the credits of his songs - has undoubtedly earned a name in the parnassus of the urban scene on the Island. The Olympus is there, and he knows how to reach it. This is how they sing it on that song: “Célula Music, classic like life / ruling the industry from Havana to Florida”.

Gran sorpresa es Hasta atrás con velocidad. En años de escucha de reguetón, nada te prepara para un tema totalmente melódico interpretado por El Magnífico. La bomba repa no falta, pero puedes sentir la base armónica de cualquier balada pop que te hace olvidar las insinuaciones sexuales del texto. DJ Unic es un poco mago, porque te puede hacer bailar sin importar qué dicen ni cómo lo dicen. Es un proceso inconsciente: baila y no pienses… disfruta.

El tema Mi Pikete confirma mi teoría de que el Experimento III es una reunión de los grandes en torno a DJ Unic, pues se unen en este featuring El Micha, El Chacal, y Yomil y El Dany. En este tema hay que olvidarse de cajas reparteras, bombos y el poquito de timba que correspondería. Como un viaje en el tiempo, lo que suena es puro reguetón, del “duro”, con su rap y su dembow. Quizá es un poco más moderno, pero el sonido recuerda cuando todos ellos comenzaban su carrera artística y ese era su lenguaje, su manera de decir y actuar.

Monster Unic ―así le dice El Chacal en los créditos de sus temas― se ha ganado sin dudas un nombre en el parnaso de la escena urbana en la Isla. El Olimpo está ahí, y él sabe cómo alcanzarlo. Así lo cantan en ese tema: “Célula Music, clásico como la vida/ gobernando la industria de La Habana a la Florida”.

Lalau Yllarramendiz Alfonso

Lalau Yllarramendiz Alfonso

Musicóloga y especialista en temas como el reguetón cubano. Egresada de la Universidad de las Artes (Isa). Miembro de la Rama Latinoamericana de la Asociación Internacional para el Estudio de la Música Popular y de MyGLA Músicas y género. Grupo de estudios latinoamericanos. Las nuevas tecnologías son la casa de sus proyectos investigativos.

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