Anja Schneider Announces First Album in Nine Years, Shares New Song 'Sanctuary': Premiere
The Berlin-based DJ and producer's new LP, 'SoMe,' will be the first release on her newly founded Sous label.
As a radio broadcaster, label owner and internationally in-demand DJ, Anja Schneider has cemented herself as a key figure in Berlin’s thriving underground. 12 years ago, Schneider founded Mobilee Records -- an imprint that has became an integral part of the fabric of Europe’s house and techno community. From hosting early releases by artists like Solomun and Nicole Moudaber, to helping break fresh talent like Rodriguez Jr. and Kevin Over, Mobilee has solidified its reputation as a bastion of Berlin club music.
In August, however, Schneider formally stepped away from the label after over a decade spent building the imprint to its current acclaim. "It was not an easy decision,” she tells Billboard on a Skype call from Berlin. "I had this feeling the last two years... it wasn’t feeling right."
More specifically, Schneider cites the growing demands of the label as one of her main reasons for leaving: "Suddenly you have to feed the monster. When you have all this machinery, you have to release a record every two weeks; it has to be in the charts. I lost a little bit of the sense of the music."
So Schneider did what most creatives are afraid to do: she cut ties. She gave it all up. "It wasn’t easy for me, because I was the one for the last 12 years saying we are a collective, we are a family," she says. "Honestly, and this sounds really weird, I was like, 'I don’t want this anymore. I want to do what I want to do.'"
Now, with a blank canvas, she’s starting afresh with newly founded label, Sous. "It’s a new era," she affirms excitedly. Starting over isn’t exactly easy, however. "Young is the new cool," Schneider says. "I was laughing about it 10 years ago because I was the young one. Now this new scene is very careful. I have my difficulties with this. It’s not so easy as when I started."
Schneider is kicking things off on the label with her first album in nine years, SoMe. "It’s a personal history of my life and the music I love," she says.
The album came about when Schneider began revisiting her record collection last year. Rummaging through her old vinyl, Schneider recalls "feeling the memory of each record." As the album came together piece by piece, it soon became something of an homage to Schneider’s roots in the scene. "I was a raver back in the day," she gleefully admits.
As such, the album is glistening with nostalgic '90s influence. From the jungle backbone of "WMF" (a nod to the famed Berlin club of the same name), to the soulful Chicago groove of "All I See," SoMe is a glorious ode to rave heydey.
"Sanctuary," which is premiering here exclusively with Billboard Dance, reinforces the album's diversity. A collaboration with Stereo MCs, the track recalls the timeless rave appeal of artists like Faithless and Underworld. With its yearning vocal hook and indefatigable techno groove, it’s destined to become a dancefloor favorite.
With her new album SoMe due to arrive Nov. 3 on Sous, Schneider’s metamorphosis is in full effect. As to what’s next for the German veteran, she’s embracing the unknown. "After 12 years, I don’t have a plan. I love this. I feel really free."
Pre-order Anja Schneider’s new album SoMe here, and check out her upcoming US tour dates below.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Oct. 26 -- Philadelphia -- 714
Oct. 27 -- San Francisco -- Halcyon
Oct. 28 -- San Diego -- Spin
Oct. 29 -- Detroit -- Marble Bar