Anja Schneider introduces the sound of Sous Music

When Anja Schneider announced her new album on Facebook earlier on this summer, her post caused something of a stir among her fans.

Firstly because she hasn’t put out a full-length since Beyond The Valley, meaning this was to be her first album in 9 years. But the most surprising part was that it would be landing on a new label she’d launched, and that she’d left her long-running imprint mobilee.

Schneider has described SoMe as her most personal record to date, which is easy to discern from the influences she references: while it’s a techno album in essence, she also says she had formative interests like drum & bass in mind.

With her album dropping imminently and a return to Farringdon just around the corner on 15th September, we wanted to feature Schneider on the blog with a mix and interview. For her mix she blended groovy and minimal techno, before discussing her new record and label, Sous Music.

Download: Anja Schneider fabric Promo Mix

You’ve just announced your new album SoMe will be released in November – is the mix themed on that at all?

I think most things I’m doing are themed to 'So Me'. But honestly, I just did what I felt and what I liked and this was the context behind the mix.

From where did you source most of the records in the mix?

I dug through most of the records in my old collection. But for me, ‘old’ can also mean tracks from 1 or 2 years ago. There’s so much good music out there every week, and times flies by so quickly in our job and business that sometimes you can forget what’s so close and near…

Is your label Sous Music about taking a new musical direction in what you do?

It will take a direction focused on my artistic freedom. I didn’t want to run a big brand that was only focused on getting business done, or growing more and reaching a higher chart position. I needed to come down from all that and concentrate on what I stand for. It’s been a self-reflective and grounding process.

What did you mean when you described this as a personal venture?

It’s personal because I’m more or less alone. After 15 years working with a collective and making decisions which are right for the team I had to think about me and my focus. Previously, the world revolved around my people and now it’s time to find my middle and challenge myself with new things. Change is good and keeps you fresh. It’s always very personal because Sous is the name of my family, but it also means ‘So us’ – so I will open up my arms and welcome you to this label.

Do you think people were surprised by your decision to leave mobilee?

Of course. I was mobilee. But it could be considered like a long-term relationship, where you go in different directions or have different visions. My vision is way beyond what I reached with mobile.

From the clips it seems like the record showcases quite a broad range of sounds – where did the idea to include other styles come from?

There’s a drum & bass track at one point – I was a huge drum & bass fan and a big groupie of the Berlin drum & bass scene back in the 90s. I always loved it – you should have seen my dancing skills. The first records I spun were actually drum & bass.

Did you seek out a lot of other electronic music before getting into techno?

Yes of course. Starting back in the early days with Depeche Mode, The Cure and Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb, before getting into more electronic and acid house sounds.

You’ve always spread yourself across several different pursuits – do you feel like the label is going to become your main focus?

For me, the main focus will always be to be a good human being. I try to get better at this every day – that’s difficult enough. But doing something that you love is a luxury and to make other people like this is priceless. But the most important thing is to be true to yourself.

Anja Schneider will release SoME via Sous Music on 7th November. Stream a teaser on Soundcloud.

Friday 15th September

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