The Sundowner. Mix #25 comes from Ukrainian DJ Annyrock, who recently moved to Berlin. Her roots come from hip-hop culture and breaking and her style is an infusion between House, Breakbeat, Trance and everything that will make the body move. We are more than happy to welcome her in our Sundowner. series. Get to know Anny better in the interview we had with her and enjoy one hour of her tasteful mix.
Inés: Hi Anny, how are you?
Anny: Hi Inés, I’m good! Super happy right now, was spending 2 lovely weeks with my bf from Kyiv whom I hadn’t seen since I moved to Berlin – almost half of the year!
Inés: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your sound?
Anny: I grew up in Kyiv ghetto and from my teenage years I was deeply involved in hip-hop culture and breaking. Hip-hop DJing instilled in me a passion for the groovy beats with fat bass lines that made one’s body move and I still feel it like the main influence from my background.
Inés: What has DJing brought you, or taught you, in your path and what have you changed since starting out?
Anny: I think the most important understanding I’ve got from this business is that a musical track, being already a completed composition by itself, can acquire an infinite number of new manifestations through a DJ who decides to play it in his set. How will he play it, mix it, what moment will be chosen to drop it, what tracks will be played before and after it – these are the factors that can transform the same track into completely different shapes. The skill to make all these moves in the right way – this is the thing I’m trying to grasp more and more in every set.
Inés: When you were living in Kyiv you were involved with Closer Connections, can you tell us more about the project and how you landed there?
Anny: In my opinion Closer Connections is the most flexible DJ school in Ukraine with the individual approach. The course for each student was based on his interview according to his specific requests, skills or the goals. CC is not only about the DJ school, first of all it is a community for sharing one’s knowledge and experience, making events, a studio available for practicing or recording the podcasts and now it’s even a shop of used musical equipment, Roman K the owner of CC invited me to join the team before its opening so I was able to take part in the first steps of the school. For me it was a big honour to become a part of it and I really miss that place.
Inés: What advice would you give to people that are starting to DJ based on your personal experience?
Anny: Try not to be better than other DJs but try to be better than you were yesterday. And do not compare yourself with the others! If we are talking that DJing is a kind of art – the comparisons are not acceptable in this context and can disorient a young DJ. Just follow your inner flow and sincerely trust in your music and your goals.
Inés: What would you say is the key for a perfect mix?
Anny: For me it is a kind of storytelling when each next track smoothly continues the previous one, a chosen mood is kept through the whole story or wavily changes but within one sound palette. I guess it is also important to reflect with your music what are you feeling right now and what do you want to tell with it. If you will not be honest with yourself and with your listeners there is a chance that The Story will not be understood in a right way.
Inés: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the music you’ve included in the podcast, perhaps about some of the labels or artists featured?
Another great fresh find for me was the music of Alexander Skancke who is running the Quirk label. I used his track «Are You Happy?» but probably will buy all his releases – I really find him to be something unique in a range of nowadays electronic music.
Inés: You are also 1/2 of Attechtion, please!, how do you and E.lina met and when do you decide to start a project together? What’s your favourite part of playing b2b with E.lina?
Anny: We met long ago in a hip-hop culture. Both of us were pretty cool dancers and we respected each other slowly becoming friends. But the most close connection appeared when Elina moved to Kyiv and stayed in my place – we understood then that living together is a super joy for both of us even in a 1 room flat. I already had my first ~50 records with electronic music. Elina bought her first synth and was more focused on producing music without a big passion for vinyls. But she always was standing behind me while I was trying to reach out the essence of smooth mixing hahahah I think that’s why Elina subconsciously also understood almost everything that was happening on the booth.
In 2019 we moved to a big flat in the center of Kyiv, placed our small studio in a living room and very soon Сovid brought a first quarantine with the most strong restrictions that locked us at home. Trying not to lose the mind we were creating the entertainments for ourselves – mixing her live sets with my records for example. I think so the seed of our b2b was already growing, so when Elina started regularly mixing records and buying music we already knew what our duo would be about.
Playing together is always a big pleasure because the level of mutual confidence and awareness is on the highest point. From receiving a request for the set to smoking our joint when it’s finished, including the record bag packing, choosing the outfit and just discussing how we imagine it – is an absolute delight.
Inés: If your record bag would have a personality, how would it be?
Anny: Sanguine with a good sense of humor, brave and confident, spontaneous, but sometimes pretty serious – a proper discotheque director haha 🙂
Inés: Anything you wanna add?
Anny: I want to thank you for having me on the Sundowner series!
To those who are reading this – thank you for being interested!
To those who are going to listen to the podcast I wish you a pleasant time with it and hope it will fit your mood and autumn vibes!
Inés: Thank you Anny for sharing your story and best tips with us and looking forward to hear what Berlin will bring to your career!