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Anil Chawla Plugs Into Kaiserdisco

The Brit-born house music producer and DJ on what makes 2012 his most hectic year yet

Sharin Bhatti Aug 28, 2012
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Photo: Ryan Dinham

Being billed as an opening act is a daunting responsibility. Especially at an electronica festival where fickle-minded audiences are known to walk away from the stage within seconds of not “feeling the vibe.” But on day one at Sunburn 2011, the duo of Brit house DJs Dale Anderson and Anil Chawla were responsible for creating that magnetic field that drew audiences to their stage. Opening the three-day festival, Global Underground’s party-starters played a three-and-a-half hour set making sure that the stage was buzzing. While Anderson and Chawla have been creating music for nearly half a decade, Chawla’s career as a DJ began in 2001, in the labyrinth of London’s nightclub district.

For three years, before its shutters downed, Chawla held a residency at the London nightclub, Turnmills, opening for acts such as The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Trentemoller and more. “That was my apprenticeship period,” says Chawla, “Opening an evening is a di erent sort of an experience. You know how to shift moods by shifting tracks.” 

Chawla soon drew the attention of dance music label Global Undergound that pushed Chawla’s music around the world, winning him a weekly radio show on Ministry of Sound Radio and a global fanbase. Alongwith studio partner Anderson, he released his debut album Roadhouse in 2004. The record won multiple nominations including one for DJ Mag’s Best Breakthrough DJ and Mixmag’s Future DJ Hero award. While GU is a parent label of sorts for both Anderson and Chawla, Chawla has been regularly releasing his solo work on various labels. Chawla’s latest release, a deep house EP titled Bells, was released on German techno giants Kaiserdisco’s new label, KD Music. “I have never actually met the boys from Kaiserdisco. I’m hoping I will catch them soon this weekend at a party,” Chawla told us over the phone from London, “They seemed really excited about my music and we have only been in touch over email.” Chawla has been in talks with Kaiserdisco for over a year. In April this year, he released a virtual techno record called Tandrum with another label called Takt that Kaiserdisco does A&R for. “I had a scratch of “Bells,” a track I had been working on. They loved it so much that they did a remix of it and soon, we were working on an EP,” says Chawla. The EP features the Kaiserdisco remix, which is the only slow-tempo number on the otherwise upbeat album.

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Currently Chawla is working on tracks for a number of solo releases on various labels. There’s a three-track EP on Arjun Vagale’s Maktub Recordings, a collaborative EP with Anderson and Vagale called After Nine that has been signed to British tech house label Monique Musique and two remixes for Oliver Moldan on Brit house label Sounds R U.

“Even though Global Underground is home for me, I like to keep things open. It’s important to work on various remix es and
collaborations, and create releases for other labels. It keeps your mind fresh and buzzing,” says Chawla

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