Anna Reusch: Interview
Anna Reusch is a DJ/producer who’s enjoyed a spectacular rise in 2019. Born and raised just outside of Frankfurt, she’s begin to come to prominence as a DJ, with her well-honed sounds perking the ears of some of techno’s best-known labels, with Bouq and Tronik among those who’ve embraced her in recent times. By now an established part of the club and festival circuit in her native country, 2020 looks set to be the year where she goes one step further, to the point that she’s almost nailed on to become a household fixture in Europe over the coming months. Quite what we can expect from her over the next few months we can’t say for now, but much like her mixes, it’s sure to make for an unpredictable journey. We sat down with Anna recently for an extensive chat — and here’s what she had to say…
Hi Anna, thanks for taking the time to chat to us today. So let’s begin by chatting about your history in electronic music. We believe your DJing career began almost by accident when a friend had to take a toilet break, right!?
Yes, that’s right. When I was 15 years old, I secretly sneaked out at night to drive into the city with my older friends to visit the disco. I quickly became a regular guest so a friendship with the resident DJ started. One night I stood behind these DJ, when he whirled around, stuffed his headphones into my hands and said: “You take over, I need to go the toilet!” With that, he vanished into the crowd and there I stood, 15-years young, never having mixed two records in my life, just an all-night-long-dancer, bearing the burden of keeping the party alive. Then, before I could step up to the challenge, the DJ returned, laughing, having played a trick on me. But I asked him to teach me and it turned out that I was a natural talent. Since then, every week I played the warm up. Sometimes for big names at that time like Kai Tracid.
How do you look back on those early raving days? Do you love electronic music these days as much as you did back then? And what do you think makes it so special?
When I started to go to the disco I went into a big room disco. There were different rooms with different music styles. In the techno, or trance that time, room were simply the most pleasant people. There was never any trouble and the basses made me feel good. It was not that you went there to show how nice or great you are … but just because you wanted to have fun dancing the night away. It was so warm and family. Much has changed in recent years. Techno is more popular than ever and that’s why many people who are going to a rave these days do not know the culture. At a rave it doesn’t matter who you are, what you have or what you can do. Its just about feeling the music, creating your own story in your head. I wish that the newly added techno-friends accept this. I always preach diligently 🙂
Do you consider yourself a confident DJ? How long did it take you to get to that stage?
I never thought I was super self-confident but probably enough experienced. The last few years have been very instructive for me. I’ve been with bouq for a long time and have been very committed to their style. I was always advised to do everything as cool as possible. No matter what, the main thing is to be/play cool. With everything I did, I always wondered if bouq would please that. As we parted ways in 2018 I was on the one hand unsettled because they have always helped me in many things but on the other hand, somehow free because now I just had to ask myself. Because of that my first EP without any influences, the Atmosphere EP, is different from the previous tracks. Since then I only play what makes me dance. I realize that I can rely on my intuition but that, for example, big festivals makes me still nervous and that I have to deal with new situations every now and then. I `m always learning because music is always changing. The audience, too. When I play I just want to enjoy the time. I love listening to my favorite tracks aloud. I rely on my feeling and know that I will always do my best to handle new things.
Looking back on your career to date, what’s been your favourite gig so far? And what do you feel are the essential ingredients that make a great party?
I really can not pick one special gig. There were so many who were special to me in their own way. At the Love Family park I prepared a warm up set and suddenly at 11am the tent was full. I just played completely intuitive. Luckily it worked very well. At Feel festival I had five power outages at prime time!!! I chose to drink rather than cry, having a better mood with each new start and the audience as well. Then there were a couple of club nights where two hours of playtime turned into five or six … I’m so happy I did not have that one awesome gig because you would be mourning afterwards. There are always surprises waiting. A good party is like a recipe with many ingredients but for me the most important thing is the desire to make the best of everything. There are many things you can not influence, such as the weather. As a DJ it means setting a good example and spreading a good mood.
You’ve played some really big gigs this summer. How does your approach differ to playing these large-scale festivals as opposed to festivals?
I prepare every gig new. When I play a large space, I play expanse tracks. If it is open air is rather melodious and in the club a bit darker, much sub bass. I always try to play very up-to-date and classics come to me – if – only at the end. I like the full range of electronic music and so it’s nice to be able to play differently depending on the location.
Are you someone who generally prefers playing lengthy sets? Do you think there’s a very different dynamic playing for over 3 compared to say, 1.5 hours?
It depends on the gig. At festivals with a packed line up and lots of different floors, I feel like people want to be entertained nonstop. At such gigs 1,5 h is enough because I play only peaktime tracks there. After that I’m done myself. 🙂 At club gigs or smaller festivals, people are better off listening. There I can build up, develop a dynamic and people get involved. Then 3h are really great.
And on that note, what’s your favourite DJ set you’ve ever witnessed as a raver on the floor?
That’s a good question and it’s been a while since I was standing on the dance floor all night as a raver. I’ve been playing almost every weekend for years and when I get a free one I enjoy my couch. The last DJ I remember is Stephan Bodzin’s 2018 closing set at Homerun. That was great because it was a great goodbye to the day and you were not at the top level wanted to continue celebrating. Perfect completion of the day.
Is there one DJ you’ve played alongside that’s impressed you more than others? And what is it that you feel makes a great DJ?
Authenticity. It does not matter what kind of music you play, it’s the most important thing that your listeners believe in your message. If you love what you do, then sooner or later this will automatically be transmitted to the listener. Such a DJ is for me Mathias Kaden. He is 100% his music, his feet can not stand still when he plays and he’s rousing.
Let’s chat a bit about Germany where you’re from, which is just outside Frankfurt, right? Are you old enough to remember the city’s golden age of techno at The Omen etc?
No and I’m sooo sad about that! I am the U60311 generation. I only knew my bigroom discothek and trance. One day I went to the U60. That was so impressive, the low ceiling reinforced the bass. In some corners I thought that my chest would be crushed. It was a lot darker than in the disco. It opened on Thursdays and closed on Sundays. And I still knew the Palazzo. Those were the hallowed halls at that time.
If we were to spend one evening raving in Frankfurt, where would you recommend we go to?
Unfortunately, Frankfurt has lost a lot of its club culture. On my question why many answer that the city/government would make it difficult. I live for many years near Dresden so I’m not more full in the topic. But a very good and international line up offers the Tanzhaus West. I was resident there for years and I have the feeling that the U60 spirit lives on there. I often played in the morning from 5 and it was full until the afternoon. Great. There are still some smaller clubs and in Offenbach ,of course, the Robert Johnson and MTW should not go unmentioned. As a raver you will definitely love RheinMain. It is a very specific mood there. Extremely uncommercial and so open-minded audience.
You’ve been keeping relatively quiet over the past while release-wise but we believe you have a busy 2020 in the pipeline. Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve got planned?
Yes, it was so quiet because of the separation from Bouq mentioned above. I tried some collaborations afterwards but none of them really fit. I’m not so good at myself and fast enough so I always get help. One day my booker Talida suggested me Dave, Reset Robot, and we landed a direct hit. It immediately fit with him and we harmonize very well in the studio. I have two great numbers for 2020 including a remix I’ve been playing all summer and have always received great feedback. In January I will visit Dave again and then we work out my ideas I collected over the summer. I`m looking forward.
Do you set yourself goals as a DJ and producer? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time, for example? And is there anyone in particular you’d really love to work with
My goal is to communicate with the listeners exactly what they can expect when they come to one of my gigs. Good, happy danceable techno. Sometimes groovy, sometimes stripped, sometimes melodic. I’ve been working with Dave Robertson since the Atmophere EP in 2018 and I can not think of a better one right now. He does not influence, he does not judge and uses his expertise exactly where I am missing. I have never been the super producer and that will never be my strength. I am totally DJ. I want to publish just 2,3 EPs a year but for what I stand for and continue to convince with my sets.
What’s next for you that’s really exciting for you outside of music?
About three years ago, a small farm was bought and since then rebuilt and renovated. Here lives rescued dogs, horses and cats. This is my project outside of music, my calm pole. I am excited what in 2020 everything can be built.
And finally, will you be making any new year’s resolutions this year?
I try to make the best of everything every day. Every day is beautiful, every month and every year. I do not need a specific day to remember this. But on the silvster rave I’m really looking forward to 🙂