ANOTR: "Getting far comes with hard work and life lessons"

On March 9th Ljubljana’s favourite after party club will close its door after 7 years of operations as the owner decided to use this legendary party space for other purposes. The last 12-hours party will showcase some of F club’s residents and the usual suspect such as Angel Anx, Rydel, Tomy DeClerque and Jackie, with special guests flying in from Amsterdam for a big cherry on a cake. Rising Dutch DJ-duo ANOTR are protégés of Armin’s Armada, they contribute to labels such as Defected, Snatch and their own No Art, while their music is caned by a major house, tech-house and even techno DJ's.

In the last two years, they’ve left their mark in Sankeys Ibiza while regularly performing at festivals such as Extrema Outdoors, ADE Awakenings and Tomorrowland. We’ve caught with Jesse Van Der Heijden and Oguz Han Guney for a quick chat before their regional debut performance in Ljubljana.

What’s the element or quality in your production that appeals to so different DJs, from house to tech-house and even techno?

We always try to do our own thing when we’re making music in our studio. When we make music we start with a good drum groove, which has a steady and driving pace. Followed by the main lead element that goes well with a good bass line makes it stand out from other tracks. We think the combination of those elements make it that our tracks are picked up by a wide variety of DJ's.

What kind of music did you grow up with? I hear lots of old-school soul, jackin’, UK garage, even Italian house in your sound. And on top of that, you sound fresh and original.

We grew up listening to a lot of disco, soul, funk and some early rap and hip-hop. Growing up in the Netherlands you can’t go round dance music, which inspired us both to start digging deeper into it. This all inspired us to do what we’re doing at the moment with ANOTR, and it’s good to see people like what we’re doing.

You’ve reworked Armand van Helden’s Funk Phenomena: is there a certain thing in his sound and approach to music that you particularly like?

Obviously, this track is an all-time classic. So, when we found the vocal sample of Funk Phenomena we knew we could give this a shot to make it into an ANOTR track. When we decided to start our own label No Art, two years later we knew this could be a good start. We got our people to contact his manager to get approval and to clear the sample, and shortly after that, we released it.

Your rise on the scene was meteoric; you’ve made big steps in just three years. Do you ever feel deprived of some important life lessons and experiences, since you didn’t struggle a bit more as most of your peers? 

Getting this far comes with a lot of hard work and life lessons, and there sure will be even more along the way.

How important is for you catering to the UK market? You broke through with Strobe EP on Defected, you perform there a lot, Sankeys in Ibiza is basically UK turf, “Flowers” you’ve remixed is also a very British anthem.

The UK is definitely one of the main markets for our type of music, next to that the crowd is crazy and always good fun to play for.

What do you do when you’re not occupied with music?

When not making music we casually play FIFA with friends or do sports, or just visit events to see the artist we like. Next, to that, it’s basically studio all day and gigs in the weekend.

Is there something you could do as good as music if dedicating yourself to it as you did to succeed as DJs & producers?

Dance music has always been an important part of our lives so if we wouldn’t be producers we would’ve loved being managers or something else in the music industry.

Please let us know about your forthcoming projects.

Our forthcoming releases will be on No Art, Sola, Knee Deep In Sound and some other labels. Gigs-wise we have a tour coming up in South America with some really sick shows and the Ibiza season is looking to be one for the books.

By Gregor, edited on 15 June 2018