Anja Schneider

The mistress of Mobilee hits the decks in NYC.

Germany’s Anja Schneider first deejayed in NYC one year ago, at a Brooklyn warehouse party for the ReSolute crew. “I was a little nervous for that,” she recalls, “because I had heard that New York was a little bit boring and people go home early. But I got there and it was packed, and everyone had an amazing energy. It was like home!” High praise, considering that home is the clubbing mecca of Berlin; that’s where Schneider and longtime friend Ralf Kollmann run Mobilee Records, one of the most respected labels in the house-and-techno realm. Five years old this summer, the imprint recently released Mobilee Back to Back Vol. 4, a collection that highlights Schneider and Kollmann’s sweeping view of what makes for good club music—so sweeping, in fact, that the double-disc comp includes jazz-fusion covers of Mobilee tracks, performed by label artist And.Id and a team of crack players. (Schneider’s also just released her own EP, I Thought, and a killer album from techno vet Dan Curtin drops on the label next week.) You can catch Schneider every Saturday night from 10pm to midnight Berlin time on the Fritz radio station (—but better yet, come to the Blkmarket Membership party on Saturday 3, when Schneider will be on the decks alongside labelmates Sebo K and the Pan-Pot duo.

Mobilee is five years old, but it seems to have the adoration of labels that have been around forever, like Minus or Bpitch Control.
I feel that it’s actually kind of funny that we’ve managed to be around as long as we have! When we started, it wasn’t the idea to be this big, strong label. I really just wanted to use my position, with my radio show and everything, to help young, talented artists to simply release their music. I remember when I met Pan-Pot for the first time, they were just playing this little gig with five people—and now they’re playing big, big festivals and huge amounts of people are loving them. And this kind of thing makes me very proud.

Mobilee was called a minimal label when that term was more popular, but it’s always seemed like you and Ralf took a wider view of club music.
To me, it was really just always about house music. If it’s not grooving, it makes absolutely no sense.

Are people making sense of those jazz covers on the compilation?
When we heard the finished versions, we were superamazed by them. But as the release was getting closer, I did have this moment: How are these four-to-the-floor techno fans going to react? Maybe they’ll be like, “What the fuck is Mobilee doing?” But to be honest, not a single person has complained about it—everybody seems to think it was really good and a good idea.

Well, electronic-music fans are supposed to be open-minded, right?
Yes—and now they have something for their parents: “Look, Mom, see what kind of music I’m listening to?”

Anja Schneider plays Blkmarket Membership: Mobilee Records Showcase Sat 3.

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