What Anjunadeep means to its artists
London’s Anjunadeep has garnered a cult-like following in the past few years, with its prolific roster of serious talent, meticulously crafted compilations, and accomplished leadership.
The independent label, originating as a sub-label to Above & Beyond‘s inimitable Anjunabeats, has recently released its newest installment of its annual compilation series, Anjunadeep 09. The 36-track progressive and deep house compilation, mixed as usual by Anjunadeep veterans Jody Wisternoff and James Grant, serves as nearly 20 artists’ debut on the series. The comprehensive selection of tracks channels soundscapes ranging from dreams to dance floors, featuring up-and-comers like Fluida and Fairchild, as well as long established talents like Yotto and Dusky.
In light of the release, Five Anjunadeep artists explored their Anjuna origins: how they became affiliated with the label, the first Anjunadeep song they ever heard, as well as what the label and its community means to them.
First track I ever heard on Anjunadeep was “Spacelift” by Jaytech in 2007 – I believe it was on some old DJ Mix by Desyn Masiello or Luke Fair who used to be my absolute gods back then.
There were a few Finns on the label in the beginning too – Supermodels From Paris, Joonas Hahmo and Michael Cassette had some great classic tunes. My tastes went a bit housier after that and I got sucked back on the sound of the label through Dusky’s first album. A couple years later after liking one of my first remixes the guys asked me to deliver a mixtape, which they never released but signed all the original music from. Maybe it was meant to be!
It was early summer 2008 and fate took me to Buenos Aires to play a huge festival in Argentina alongside Above & Beyond and several other big names in the scene at that time.
We all were familiar with each others work but most of us had never actually met or spoken before.
When I arrived, rumor came up that most of us actually hadn’t been paid and refused to play, and the afternoon turned out to be a big gathering in this huge fancy classy hotel lobby with loads of chaos but mainly smiling faces as nobody cared too much, and was rather enjoying this unexpected DJ-friends-get-together weekend in an exotic place.
So I ran into James Grant for the first time too who was at that time mainly managing Jono, Paavo & Tony and as the guys were playing my stuff all the time in their radio-shows and sets, he said I should to do more with Anjuna… so me, James, A&B and a few others went to lunch, we finally got to know each other properly and James told me also about his ‘Anjundeep’ baby, and as my style changed around that time to the more deeper sound, it would be a great fit.
The next night we all met again for some proper Argentinian steak, red wine and champagne and I understood the idea of the Anjunafamily. So my next move resulted in some remixes on the label and eventually more and more originals.
The Track which first caught my eye on Anjunadeep was ‘Keep On’ by Supermodels from Paris – I guess I loved the project name and was listening to the music after but then it didn’t leave my record case for years.
I’m always inevitably drawn to the kind of dance tune that can keep you grooving in a dark club at 4AM, but also hit you right in the feels when the moment is right. It’s unique, and I think that it’s what Anjunadeep does best. I think the first music that got me into the label was probably Andrew Bayer’s ‘Distractions’ EP from 2011 – especially movements 2 and 4 of the EP.
My own journey with Anjunadeep started in January of 2016. I was down in LA at Mat Zo’s house mixing the latest M Machine record for his recent ‘Mad Zoo’ label when I told him about my solo project I was getting started called ‘Luttrell’. We listened to the demo of the ’Need You EP’ and the first thing he said was, “Have you sent this to Anjuadeep? They’d probably be into it”. So, we sent the demo over to the team in London and they were indeed into it!
Since then, Anjunadeep and the greater Anjunafam have been extremely supportive of this project and for that I’m truly grateful. I’ve put out lots of new music, been a part of two Anjunadeep tours, and had the opportunity to play the biggest shows of my life at ABGT 250 and Red Rocks this past summer. I also have 3 tracks on the new Anjunadeep 09 compilation – two of which are previously unreleased! It’s been quite the unexpected journey so far and I feel lucky to find myself working with such a friendly bunch of hard-working, musical people. They’ve really made me feel welcome here.
My journey with Anjunadeep began back in 2014, when I first heard Cubicolor’s shimmering house original ‘Got This Feeling’. It’s a perfect mood setter that brings a drop of magic to every situation where it’s played. Listening to the track really ignited my interest towards Anjunadeep and I still think it might be my favourite release on the label. Back then, I really had no idea that I would be releasing my music with Anjunadeep in just few years.
In the spring of 2016 I sent my track Limerence to Yotto, who really liked it and decided to introduce it to other folks at Anjunadeep. At the time, I had already pretty much finished Solitude EP and was looking for a label to release it, so it all worked out pretty nicely from there.
There’s definitely a lot to like about Anjunadeep. I really appreciate the passionate and very open minded community around the label. Might sound a bit cliche, but it does feel like a one big family that’s just out there enjoying the music. What’s also special to me about Anjunadeep, is how there are so many different artists with diverse styles from more chill to club oriented music, but it all manages to come together as one cohesive realm of sound.
All in all, it’s a privilege to be releasing music alongside a lot of my label favourites like Yotto, Lycoriscoris, Ryan Davis and Luttrell, and be a part of one of the most wonderful music communities there is.
The first track we signed to Anjunadeep was Not Alone. It’s all about being ambitious in a world full of distractions and staying optimistic whilst following your own path. In fact, signing it to Anjunadeep actually helped us do just that. We were blown away by the response, it was the first time we were played on BBC Radio 1 (thanks Kölsch!) and it was really inspiring to hear that people were feeling what we’re up to.
We first met the Anjuna guys following a chance encounter at a gig we were playing in Shoreditch, London. After chatting about the hang drum we use in our DJ sets, about music and life in general we began passing tracks back and forth and kept in touch for almost 2 years before the first single fell into place.
The support we’ve had from the guys has been incredible. Working with Anjunadeep feels like we’re connected to this amazing community who really ‘get’ our sound and the sort of label who really care about their artists. We’ve performed some of the best shows of our lives underneath those glowing ‘A’ signs and have been overwhelmed with the reactions and comments we get from the Anjuna crowd on those nights.
Anjunadeep have released countless artists we love, artists like Cubicolor, Ashworth, Dave DK, Jody Wisternoff & James Grant, we could go on…. so yeah, being a part of Anjunadeep 09 is just the perfect way to top off an incredible 2017. Cheers guys!