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Anja Schneider: Room at the top

Mixmag joins Anja up on the roof

  • Words: Duncan Dick | Photography: Pablo Bustos
  • 27 November 2015

Anja Schneider is a little stressed, and it's not just because of the white-knuckle taxi ride we're taking through rush-hour Barcelona. "Sometimes it's better if it's not your party, if you are just a DJ and you just turn up and play," she confesses, clutching the door strap tightly as our mobile phone-toting driver rockets us past a bus on its blind side. "Actually, all the time."

Ever since their first party on the rooftop of the Silken Diagonal Hotel, back during Sónar week of 2011, Barcelona has been a second home to the Berlin-based Anja and her label Mobilee. But this is perhaps their most ambitious homage to Catalonia yet.

It starts with a Saturday show at El Monasterio, the old monastery in the manicured grounds of the El Poble Espanyol complex, with the label hosting the fourth in the summer series of gigs that's already seen sell-outs from Flying Circus, David Squillace's This And That and Pampa Records. And unfortunately, we're running a bit late.

But Anja needn't have worried. Her partner in Mobilee Records, the charming, frequently barefoot Ralf Kollman, is setting the scene with a late afternoon set, and we enter the grounds to the strains of a cheeky Mobilee bootleg of Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere'. The crowd, laid back yet anticipatory in the still-bright early evening sunshine, lounges about on the manicured grass of the gentle hill that overlooks the dancefloor and DJ.

As Ralf finishes up and Venezualan duo Fur Coat take over with their brand of hypnotic groove, more of Barcelona's better-looking house and techno lovers start to stream in through the huge gates. The golden twilight is lending the Monastery, which resembles the kind of Mexican chapel that used to serve as the scene for the climax of innumerable Westerns, a slightly unreal, film-set feel - perhaps because this building is actually a 1929 reproduction of various medieval buildings from around Catalonia. The canopies of the eucalyptus trees overhead even seem to resemble marijuana buds, but that might be something to do with the smoke that's drifting over the area. As the sun goes down the genial, sturdy figure of Alan Fitzpatrick steps up with an incandescent, relevatory set: every tune a different vibe, but somehow flowing together, transforming a chilled day in the park into a fevered, dry ice filled rave. As he finishes off with a rapturously received Chemical Brothers remix, the chanting begins: An-ja! An-ja! An-ja!

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