This Friday sees UDOU II take place at Amsterdam’s OT301, with an even more impressive line-up than the last. Playing alongside the great Total Freedom is Berlin-based DJ AN NI. Fascinated by the juxtaposition of technology and nature, AN NI explores the overlapping of two opposites that create “a new form of ecology”. Additionally tackling current politics and feminism, AN NI is a breath of fresh air in the electronic music scene.
Your Instagram account (just like your Soundcloud, really) shows a lot of contrast between nature and technology. How come?
I’m foremost fascinated in the way technology and organic nature overlap, creating a new form of ecology, where one works as an enhancement of another. A further niche of this is nature-inspired tech such as (soft) robotics and its application areas, which is actually one of the fields I want to explore in the course of my ArtScience studies.
What’s your first ever memory of music? Also, how and when did you start DJ-ing?
Hard to pinpoint, probably in primary school when I had some piano lessons. I first started playing around with a DJ controller and Traktor fairly recently, about one and a half years ago.
Can you tell us a bit about the meaning of / motivation behind your edit of The Star-Spangled Banner?
It’s Fatima Al Qadiri’s 2014 edit of US anthem layered with several elements: Trump’s pro-gun speech, his election soundtrack Freedom Kids and footage of police shooting at people. Since 2014, the political situation in US has deteriorated to the point where upcoming elections are the concern of the whole world. This Star Spangled edit is a cynical proposal to upgrade the US anthem in case Trump comes into power—the vision of freedom that his election soundtrack speaks about comes in account of the freedom of others and translates in reality into destabilisation of NATO, homicide rates surging because of the pro-gun policy, more people being killed by law enforcement than by terrorists, just to name a few. Facts and rationale have no weight in the age of post-truth politics.
How would you describe an AN NI set in a maximum of 10 words?
Synthesis of surroundings, for now.
During the upcoming UDOU party you’ll be playing next to Total Freedom. How do you personally relate to his work?
Total Freedom is iconic in the underground music scene, I feel humbled to play in the same line-up. His edits and mixes were one of my first encounters with club music that blends seamlessly between a vast variety of genres. Plus all the vibes that GHE20G0THIK channels—playful, uninhibited, no rules (in contrast to dogmatic techno scene)—were like fresh air at that point, which has had an impact on so many artists and club nights around the world.
This past summer you played at Sister Night in Berlin, also described as an “empowering space” for female-identifying electronic music artists. Do you feel like these sorts of nights are still much needed?
Yes, greatly! Nightlife is still substantially male dominated, non-cis male artists have to deal with a varietly of biases, paygap, harassment etc. The Sister group, Discwoman and other platforms alike are vital in many regards—supporting starting artists, creating a very safe and encouraging learning environment, promoting artist with non-binary sexualities, giving a positive signal to society in general, resulting in a more diverse, open and fulfilling (club) culture in the long run.
Can you leave us with a track we really need to listen to?
On the fence between Rabit’s Straps and Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel—both super immersive.