Her Barcelona rooftop parties are the stuff of party lore. Her mobilee imprint has gone on to launch careers ranging from Rodriguez Jr. to Sebo K to Pan-Pot, while her radio show, Under The Blue Moon, has inspired a generation in Berlin.
Getting her start in '90s Berlin, Anja Schneider was introduced to the now defunct Ework club, where melodic, trance sounds played by the likes of Sven Vath and Paul Van Dyk reigned.
However, much like the rest of Berlin, as the times changed, Anja and her label moved along with it, both launching to the forefront of the global minimal and techno landscape.
But don't be fooled. In Anja's words, mobilee was never just a minimal imprint.
Now, with a diverse range of freshly signed artists, a world renowned rooftop party, and almost a decade spent at the forefront of the underground at her back, Anja embarks on what could be the toughest move yet – an Ibiza residency.
So we caught up with Anja to talk her new trance heavy “Dubmission” record, her new residency, and why there is no defineable “mobilee sound.”
How was last Friday? It was super good. (Music On) is always a really good party. I love to play at the beginning in the main room, because then when Marco is playing and everyone is of course concentrating on the Terrace, it gives you more freedom. It’s more fun, actually.
Nice. So you’ll be kicking off your mobilee pool party next week at Santos. Yes we are. We are super excited and super nervous – not nervous, but of course, it’s a big thing for us. It’s a different game, quite important and good for us.
It took us actually quite long to have this decision and find this place because we had some offers before, but of course it’s quite difficult, because this island – like I said before, it’s quite difficult if you compare it to other places. It’s not always like what we like to do with mobilee.
You have VIP here and there, the wristbands, things like this, so it’s not really what we’re normally doing. So we were quite happy to find something which really fits to our image, brand and people.
Why does it fit so well? First of all, the entrance is free. I can’t really understand how people can do it, because it’s really expensive if go out – the entrance, the drinks and everything – and this was for us very important that people can afford this. “Can we have the time and not have to spend 100 euros on a good afternoon,” you know? They can, it depends how much they drink, yeah? [laughs]
And it’s really relaxed. It reminds me a little bit of the hotel. This is what we’re known for, and what people love us for, and we wanna exactly adopt the same feeling party concept to Ibiza.
The rooftop is free, having a good time, having a good party in the afternoon.
Exactly. So is that why you chose to throw the party now – everything sort of came together? Yes, absolutely. Like I said, last year we had some offers, but it was not feeling right. And now with Santos, we met really good partners. They speak English, they know exactly what their doing, it’s in the middle of Playa D’en Bossa, so all the signs are green, I would say.
And of course it was quite difficult to establish a mobilee label party in Ibiza because everyone is playing here and there and it’s quite difficult to get something together.
Of course there were some random places, but it was not the right clubs, the right thing. We need a lot of promotion, marketing, and we just wanna come with our brand, with this, what we have – the rooftop parties – and just bring this to Ibiza.
This is also why we’re doing it bi-weekly first. Not to get directly sold out, know what I mean?
For sure. So your recent track, "Dubmission," it's very different, very melodic, almost trancey. Were you nervous to put something out that was so different? I was super, super nervous. But actually, I was in Mexico at the BPM Festival, and I went to so many parties at the beach in the morning, and I went to Innervisions, and I heard so many DJs, because sometimes as a DJ you are very limited.
You’re always going to your gigs, you hear your own colleagues, you hear your sound, and, you know, I’m not going out so much when I’m here in Berlin – or, in different places – you’re in your own bubble, in your world.
So in Mexico, I took the chance and went to a lot of parties and by the end my head was so full of this trancey, melodic sound, what you play for the sun to come up, and I went directly to the studio and I work with someone – Martin Eyerer, I always work with someone – and I told him, of course, I’m so long into this business, I’ve grown up with this trance sound, and I would never ever use this sounds in my tracks.
But I’m really quite excited and surprised how these new artists take these sounds, where I was always a little bit scared to touch them, and they build them into their modern sound and call it a little bit deep house. Because it’s not deep house, it’s actually more like trance.
But it’s quite interesting how new people are not scared to touch these sounds, and are using them. So I’m like, “Come on, let’s do it.” But I was super scared. I also had a long discussion, like, if you’re not doing it, if you don’t risk something, you don’t get something.
So now it’s like, I like it, and I’ve grown up with this sound, and of course I was scared and I was always in my little ‘have to be cool’ bubble, and I did it.
I think in the first moments I would get a little bit red when I was playing it. But now, I was in Ibiza last week and I played Café Del Mar, which fit perfectly to the environment. [laughs]
But I’ve grown up with this sound. Actually, I came to Berlin in the ‘90s, and there was this legendary club called E-werk, and there was this party on a Friday. This was where Kid Paul started, actually also Paul Van Dyk, and a few other people, and I loved it. It was this melodic, happy sound, and this is why I called this record after this party, because it reminds me so much of the ‘90s.
Actually I was like, “Come on, put something out which is melodic, you’re a girl, let’s do it! ” [laughs]
Why do you think that trancey, melodic sound is coming back so strong these days? Yeah, like I said, I’m surprised, and I actually also like how these new people use these sounds, use this trance and they’re not afraid to do it. It’s interesting, and I can see that it works.
A lot of people like it, and I can feel it on my sets, because now, when we play all together with mobilee, me as a girl has the most girls in the crowd. All my male colleagues are like, “Oh, wow!” They are kind of jealous. [laughs]
It’s always like this. If you use your hips and you are smiling, it’s a good thing.
So now you’ve got Igor Vicente, you’ve got Ranacat – it seems like you’ve really freshened up your signings, it seems like a new stage for mobilee. You always have to freshen up. If you’re standing still, there’s not development. We have to develop our sound, our profile and and go with the times.
After 10 years – mobilee is gonna get to 10 years next year – we are not the hottest kid on the block anymore. There are so many new labels, you can see it – this label is the big hype, then it’s the next one coming – you always have to be fresh and to develop and look to the right and to the left of what’s going on. And for me, it was always interesting to have some people who have their own sound, which is not already on mobilee.
It makes no sense to sign a second Sebo K. We had Pan-Pot, who were super, super big, and it makes no sense to copy this. It’s always a goal to look for people who have their own sound that fits all in the end in the whole concept. This is something we’ve reached right now.
But that means not that we close our eyes now and say, “Okay, the family is complete.” It will be never complete. And of course there are some people who are getting bigger and bigger and have to make their own experiences like Pan-Pot did – which is absolutely fine – and moved on and built their own label. So you can’t stand still.
This is also, like I said before, we never had this one, typical sound. When we started, it was all called minimal, and we were named as a minimal label but we weren’t. I mean we still had Sebo K from the beginning on board, and he was always more a little bit house-ier, deep house.
This is also what we aim – not to have one mobilee sound, but in the end, it fits all together. I can see now, when we make these label parties, it’s really, it’s all really harmonic.
Re.You has a special sound, Rodriguez Jr. is completely different, but at the end of the day, or at the end of the night, it fits all very good in one thing.
You mentioned mobilee will hit 10 years next year, you’ve got the pool parties, the radio show, the booking agency, fresh artists – does it feel like despite having been around for so long and having one of the most impressive CVs in dance music, that you’re only starting to get the recognition you deserve? I would never say – it would not be my style to say deserve, because we’re just doing what we like, what we love. We’re just doing this. Honestly, it makes us very happy that people like it and are happy with it, and that we are able to release such a great amount of music, and still have the artists on board almost from the beginning.
But it’s not my style to say we deserve this.
Anja Schneider's 'Dubmission' EP is out now on mobilee. Buy here: www.smarturl.it/ggd24z
Mobilee Pool Ibiza bi-weekly party kicks off this Monday, 14 July with Rodriguez Jr. (live), Igor Vicente and special guest William Kouam Djoko. Watch a teaser video from this year's mobilee rooftop party in Barcelona below:
Anja Schneider plays Summer in the City at Tobacco Dock on August 9. Buy ticket here: http://londonwarehouseevents.co.uk/lwe-presents-summer-in-the-city-2/