Anja Schneider's Mobilee comes to Glasgow
David Pollock talks to label boss Anja Schneider as Mobilee Records take over techno night Sensu
Although this month’s Sensu will be a showcase event for Anja Schneider’s Berlin-based techno label Mobilee, it would take a lot more than a four-hour club night to sum up what she’s all about, and the impression she’s made on the German club scene. From radio presenter to DJ to producer to heading up Mobilee, it’s a pretty overpowering career arc for a woman who moved to Berlin from her home city of Bergisch Gladbach in the west of the country in the early 90s.
‘I’m sure you’ve never heard of it,’ she laughs. ‘The only interesting thing about the place is that Heidi Klum is coming from there. It means everyone from Germany is knowing the city, you mention it and they say, “Ah, Heidi Klum’s hometown!” Well, it’s also mine.’
So why did she move to Berlin? ‘I first came in ‘93, ‘94,’ she recalls. ‘It was this time when the Wall was down and there were lots of parties happening, Berlin was like a magnet. I first went for a weekend, to clubs like Tresor and Planet, and after that I decided I had to live here. For a long time after that I worked as a programme manager for the radio, until one time my boss said: “You know so much about electronic music, why don’t you present the show yourself?” I was scared to do it, but I decided yes and it was the best decision of my life.’
Schneider worked for first the Berlin branch of KissFM and then for Fritz Radio, both big deals in the city, and she still presents to this day. Among, of course, all those other occupations. ‘After I presented the show I got so many requests to be a [club] DJ, so I did that. And then I got sent a lot of music from new artists and I thought to myself, it makes sense to do a label and put some of this music out myself. So everything I’ve done has happened really organically, I suppose.’
After she released two 12”s (‘Tonite’ and ‘Creaky Thoughts’) on PIAS in the first half of the last decade, Mobilee was formed in 2005 with her fellow DJ Ralf Kollman, and celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this year. A showcase for new and upcoming DJs, among its successes are Pan-Pot, Miss Jools, Dan Curtin and Schneider’s fellow guest at this date, Sebo K. The latter was behind Mobilee’s first single release, ‘Too Hot’, and has also collaborated with Schneider on ‘Rancho Relaxo’.
How did the pair get to know each other? ‘Oh, it’s an old story about an ex-boyfriend,’ she laughs. ‘He was his best friend. We’re still friends, but my ex-boyfriend and I, we’re not. Sebo’s a really good producer and a really good DJ, though, and I absolutely believe in his talent. Our sets in Glasgow are gonna be great, obviously [laughs]. I’ve been to the Sub Club and also the Arches before, and I’m good friends with Slam. I have to say, the club scene in Glasgow is very similar to Berlin.’
So what does the future hold for Mobilee now? ‘Lots,’ she says. ‘Now we’re releasing the final part of our five years compilation, then there are albums from Pan-Pot and Sebo K. There will be something else from me too, but I can’t say when. At the moment it’s all touring, flying and going into clubs, meeting nice people and making friends.’
Sensu at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 20 Aug.