Podcast 305: Unknown Fate + Interview

This post was written by The Forgotten

Unknown Fate is a collaborative live project between German experimental techno artist OAKE and British producer and live performer Samuel Kerridge. Self-described as the ‘power metal techno’ duo, the project was born from an Atonal commission. On April 10th, UF dropped ‘Unknown’, their debut EP and four tracks of unadulterated sonic warfare with support from NTS, Beatburguer, Broke Magazine, Clot Magazine, Phonica among others.

On May 10th the duo are releasing their second EP ‘Fate’ paving the way for a summer of live shows and an album to drop later this year.

TF: Can you share the story of how Unknown Fate came to be? What inspired the collaboration between OAKE and Samuel Kerridge?

UF: It all started in the underbelly of Berlin’s underground scene, where music was raw, and nights were long. We crossed paths at one of Sam’s very early Contort events. There was an instant connection—both musically and personally. We bonded over our mutual love for pushing sonic boundaries and a shared appetite for the chaos that comes with it. From there we started to keep in touch and formed a friendship.

The inspiration for Unknown Fate came from a shared desire to create something that pushes boundaries and evokes raw, unfiltered emotion. The idea to collaborate became more concrete when the Atonal team approached Sam to curate a segment of the festival. Eric was immediately on board, and that opportunity gave us the drive to formalize our collaboration. 

TF: What were some of the initial challenges and breakthroughs you experienced when starting this project together?

UF: Surprisingly, we didn’t encounter many challenges when we first started working together—perhaps finding a name or the time to actually meet, but being in the same city made it easy to get together for whatever shenanigans. The collaboration felt incredibly natural, as if we were both in our element from the beginning. Our studio was a tiny room in Eric’s flat, perpetually filled with the smell of weed and old booze. Despite the cramped space, the creative energy flowed effortlessly.

One interesting dynamic was our different working styles. One of us found ourselves more productive when working independently, while the other thrived on real-time collaboration. This difference could have been a challenge, but we made it work to our advantage. When we were together, we focused on letting everything out unfiltered, capturing the raw, spontaneous energy of our sessions. Then, when working apart, we refined and shaped those ideas into more polished forms.

This approach allowed us to balance the immediacy and rawness of our live sessions with the precision and detail-oriented work we did independently. It created a perfect synergy, where we could both play to our strengths. Overall, the process was surprisingly smooth, with each of us bringing out the best in the other.

TF: Can you describe the creative process when you first started making music together in Berlin?

UF: Our creative process in Berlin was a mix of spontaneity and structured collaboration. For Oake, Eric would always start with a single sound or mood, developing a journey in his head and translating it into audio, layering sounds and adding as much to a track as possible to then just delete most of it until only the important bits remain intact. Sam thrives on exploring ideas independently before bringing them into our collaborative space. This way, we avoid the subconscious tendency to follow each other’s lead in the studio, which ensures that every piece of music we create captures the true essence of what we want to do with UF.  He usually starts with hardware, playing around until he finds something that resonates, then heavily processes it within software. Our process together can be laborious, but the moment when everything clicks is incredibly rewarding.

This method of bouncing ideas back and forth, whether in the same room or remotely, really worked for us. It allowed us to inspire each other continuously and blend our individual styles quite seamlessly – also there are parts in our music that Sam brought into the mix that sound much more like Oake, and parts by Eric that sound closer to something that Sam might have written. 

The thought of performing these creations live on a powerful system also played a big role in our process. We always considered how our music would impact a big space like Kraftwerk or an audience, aiming to create sounds that could move both the mind and body.

TF: Your debut EP ‘Unknown’ has been described as “unadulterated sonic warfare.” How would you describe the sound and themes of this EP?

UF: Our sound tries to hit hard and leave a lasting impact. It’s raw, aggressive, and unfiltered, reflecting the chaotic energy we channel during our live performances.

The sound was always intended to melt people’s brains, to rip their faces off, to make buildings shake, and to shift tectonic plates when we play live. Performing our music is cathartic, and we lose ourselves completely on stage, which translates into the energy of the audience.

We also had the chance to rework our tracks, to completely change them, and refine how we wanted them to sound. In 2014, everything was heavily distorted and raw as fuck. We tamed it down over the next two years, to the point where we now look back with a mix of surprise, shame and disbelief at what we created. This is exaggerating a little, but yeah, it felt right back then, but we kept pushing and evolving our sound.

The themes of the EP revolve around confronting the darker aspects of human emotion and experience. One thing was always clear—we wanted our sound to hit the listener right in the chest and the brains. We aimed to push our own limits and patience, creating something that is challenging yet fun in its own right.

For us, making music as UF is also making art, and art has to say something. Our current social and political climate in the world is fucked, and UF is the soundtrack of the state our world is currently in. The music is a journey through intense soundscapes, each track building and evolving in a way that mirrors the unpredictability of our daily lives.

TF:Your second EP ‘Fate’ is set to release soon. What can listeners expect from this release? How does it build on or differ from your debut EP?

UF: Actually, ‘Fate’ was already released, like a month or so after ‘Unknown’ and serves as a continuation of the first four tracks. 

One unique aspect of ‘Fate’ is a pair of tracks where we each took a single idea of pushing a clean sine wave through an array of effects and then independently reinterpreted that outcome. This allowed each of us to have an independent voice within the project. We still shared these tracks and discussed our approaches, but working separately on these reinterpretations was a fun experiment.

When it comes to playing them live, we might have to switch roles since both tracks feature vocals. The one who isn’t shouting into the mic will handle the music, or we might blend both versions together into something new for our gigs.

TF: You’ve coined the term ‘power metal techno’ to describe your music. Can you elaborate on what this genre means to you and how it influences your sound?

UF: Absolutely. For us, ‘power metal techno’ is more than just a label—it’s a statement. It embodies our spirit and refusal to conform to traditional genre boundaries.

We’ve always been punks at heart, starting to make music without knowing anything about the rules of production or without wanting to recreate something that is already out there. Punk never respected conventional ways of doing things. It provoked to be different, to fight against social norms, including those within the music scene.

We want to reflect this ethos with what we do as UF. It’s raw, aggressive, and unapologetic. We draw inspiration from the intensity of  metal and the relentless drive of techno, blending them into a sound that defies categorization and that wants to overpower.

We want to explore what electronic music can be, challenging listeners to expand their sonic horizons and embrace the unexpected. In essence, ‘power metal techno’ is a declaration of our commitment to innovation and authenticity, forging our own path, whatever that means, in music.

TF: How do you balance your individual artistic styles and influences when creating music together? OAKE mentioned that there were no egos involved in your collaboration. How does this dynamic influence your creative output and decision-making process?

UF: Usually, one of us will start with an idea. It might just be a 16-bar loop, a single sound, or a 4-minute-long arranged piece of music. Sometimes, this happens when we work on Oake or SK tracks and then realize that it could work better for UF. At that point, we just bounce out a preview and throw it into the Dropbox. If the recipient likes what they hear, it’s game on, and we share the stems of that idea and start adding, deleting, or completely rearranging elements. From that moment, a loop begins, and we keep sending this thing around until we think it’s enough. It also happened before that we reached a point where we had two tracks, and a few weeks later, we realized we don’t like them. But then Sam merged them together, and we started to process again and ended up with a hybrid of the things of these two tracks that stood out the most to us.

The “no ego” part is a reference to us both being able to add or take away things the other part created without having to be scared that this will lead to discussions. If something is only liked by one of us, it won’t make it into the track. Maybe it will make a cheeky surprise appearance in a live setting, or whoever likes that bit will use it in their solo project, but that’s about it. No bad feelings, the right to veto anything at any time, and only 100% of what we both want.

TF: Can you talk about the significance of your Atonal debut and how it shaped the future of Unknown Fate?

UF: Aside from being the start of something wonderful, we both realized that night that we want to share more time together on stage. But we also knew back then that we did not want to play just any stage. The rest is history. 

TF: You’ve been known for your intense live performances. How do you prepare for a live show, and what can audiences expect from your upcoming tour?

UF: This prep time for live shows is very loose. We both have all the material, like the sounds, audio tracks, effects etc that we need to play these shows. We both cut them up and load them on our live gear, talk about the setlist, instruments and effects we want to use and then just pray that everything goes well. 

We try not to prepare too much. This all adds to the intensity. Eric is a nervous wreck until the first sound comes out of the speakers and he then turns into a monster, whilst Sam is pretty solid and collected and trusts the process – but we both understand each other blindly and just go with whatever happens on that stage.

TF: With two EPs and an album on the horizon, what are your goals for Unknown Fate in the near future?

UF: We want to keep playing more shows and travel together. Likely also doing our own Kick to Kill nights with artists and friends we love to share our vision of what a club night can also be these days. 

TF: How do you envision the evolution of your music and live performances as you continue to develop as a duo?

UF: Everything goes, as long as we stay true to ourselves and follow our own sound instead of the trends surrounding us in the music scene.

TF: How do personal experiences and emotions influence your music? Can you share any specific moments that have particularly impacted your work?

UF: A lot of the music we do subconsciously deals with things that are going on in our lives. We are both quite laid back, open and sociable, but a lot of people we met on our solo tours and together that didn’t know us were surprised by that cause it’s quite the contrast to the music we do. 

It’s probably some kind of a form of release for grappling with negative emotions, allowing us to process them acoustically and ultimately unburden ourselves. 

Consequently, our musical output is always intertwined with the act of shedding a weight from within.

TF: What role does visual art and multimedia play in your live performances and overall artistic vision?

UF: We were lucky enough to always collaborate with MFO, Marcel Weber, from the Atonal crew who is an amazing visual and light artist. He put together the arrangement of that strobing light circle that we used in Tasmania and Atonal 2016, on which we still want to build our live shows today and in the future. It is a completely reduced setup of visuals, on/off states of light and darkness that intensely pulsate in sync with our music.

Sam worked with Andrej Boleslavský for his Fatal Light Attraction show in the past and Andrej also helped us with a few key elements for our future shows and might join us on a show here or there.

And then there is also Sven Harambašić of course, who hit us up and offered to work with us and who ended up doing all the visual design for our EPs and possibly live visuals as well.

The essential role that visual art and multimedia seems to play here is the aspect of collaboration again and working with people that love what they do and that love what we do and of course whose work we love and respect mutually as well.

TF: Looking back on your journey so far, what has been the most rewarding part of being part of Unknown Fate?

UF: Looking back on our journey so far, the most rewarding part of being part of Unknown Fate has definitely been the past few months. During this time, we’ve worked tirelessly to finally encapsulate the last 10 years onto a record. With the help of many individuals, such as Jon, who consistently provided invaluable support and drive with the entire organization, as well as the team at Kartel, who greatly assisted us with the release and pressing of the record. And also reigniting that collaborative spirit between us both. 

TF: How have you seen your audience grow and change with the release of your new music?

UF: You know, it’s always so hard for a new project to take off, even if you have two semi-established artists like us releasing something. If you don’t take part in all these social media bollocks, the algorithm won’t even show your new music to your own fans. No one reads E-Mails anymore, so reaching out to your Bandcamp crowd likely goes unnoticed, Spotify and its likes have taken over everything and turned people into passive listeners of Lo-Fi playlists to study to and music into content, the artist into a commodity.

We hope to sell our records to the people who still dig and know and want to play shows for them and spread our sound this way. We both are privileged enough to not be reliant on living off our music, but that also comes at a cost, where time for music is rare and valuable. 

To be honest with you and to answer your question, we didn’t see any particular growth with that release and we likely will not see any until we start playing more shows and meet more promoters that are willing to take risks and support music that doesn’t sound like it was produced by AI or the same ghost producer of the big instagram DJs. 

TF: What feedback have you received from fans and critics, and how has it influenced your work?

UF: The feedback we received was really positive. 

Paweł Gzyl from Nowamusika.pl wrote and extensive and great review about the EPs and there was this one sentence in there at the end that kind of stuck with us: 

“It’s just a shame that this material wasn’t released earlier. Released in the middle of the last decade, it could have had a wider resonance in the media. However, those who appreciate this kind of extreme electronics will like it even today. It’s “power metal techno” in its perfect version.”

It kind of hits the nail on the head: we took our time and times were different back then, even as little as 5-10 years ago, it was much easier to reach the people that were into this kind of music.

When it comes to our work being influenced by its perception, we are both very likely to not consciously change anything about our approach or method. We will keep doing what feels right and necessary to us.

TF: What do you hope listeners take away from your music, both in recorded form and during live performances?

UF: Do you know the feeling when you go to see a show, no matter if you know the artist or (even better) don’t know them and the experience of the concert is so fulfilling and overwhelming that you don’t want to listen to any music for a while afterward, because you don’t want to get this ringing out of your ears or these impressions out of your head? That’s what we’re aiming for.

TF: Is there any advice you would give to aspiring musicians looking to create collaborative projects?

UF: Find someone you trust and that you feel comfortable around. It’s such an advantage to have an honest partner in crime who tells you when they like something, who inspires you and who you can bounce ideas off of and that can take the lead when one of you feels down. Think about doing your own nights, work with a lot of people that you respect, collaborate not only on music, but on all the things around it: setting up nights, visuals, art, multimedia, whatever it is. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to anyone and stay true to yourself and fuck the trends!

TF: Are there any final thoughts or messages you’d like to share with your fans and the music community?

UF: Watch this space, follow us on the channels you can see and hear about us, if you love music in any way, go out and seek it, go to shows, talk to the artists, support them by sharing the stuff you like. It’s all bollocks but right now we rely on it and if you have a better idea, be bold and make it a reality. In return we will be working on a master plan to bring Kick to Kill, UF and all the family to you.

Tune in now on SoundCloud and immerse yourself in the raw and visceral energy of Unknown Fate.

Share info: