Anil Chawla Plugs Into Kaiserdisco
The Brit-born house music producer and DJ on what makes 2012 his most hectic year yet
Being billed as an openingÂ act is a daunting responsibility.Â Especially atÂ an electronica festival where fickle-minded audiences are knownÂ to walk away from the stage withinÂ seconds of not “feeling the vibe.”Â But on day one at Sunburn 2011,Â the duo of Brit house DJs Dale AndersonÂ and Anil Chawla were responsibleÂ for creating that magneticÂ field that drew audiences toÂ their stage. Opening the three-dayÂ festival, Global Underground’sÂ party-starters played a three-and-a-half hour set making sureÂ that the stage was buzzing. WhileÂ Anderson and Chawla have beenÂ creating music for nearly half aÂ decade, Chawla’s career as a DJÂ began in 2001, in the labyrinth ofÂ London’s nightclub district.
For three years, before its shuttersÂ downed, Chawla held a residencyÂ at the London nightclub,Â Turnmills, opening for acts suchÂ as The Chemical Brothers, FatboyÂ Slim, Trentemoller and more.Â “That was my apprenticeship period,”Â says Chawla, “Opening anÂ evening is a di erent sort of anÂ experience. You know how to shiftÂ moods by shifting tracks.”Â
Chawla soon drew the attentionÂ of dance music label GlobalÂ Undergound that pushed Chawla’sÂ music around the world, winningÂ him a weekly radio showÂ on Ministry of Sound RadioÂ and a global fanbase. AlongwithÂ studio partner Anderson, he releasedÂ his debut album RoadhouseÂ in 2004. The record won multipleÂ nominations including oneÂ for DJ Mag’s Best BreakthroughÂ DJ and Mixmag’s Future DJÂ Hero award. While GU is a parentÂ label of sorts for both AndersonÂ and Chawla, Chawla has beenÂ regularly releasing his solo workÂ on various labels. Chawla’s latestÂ release, a deep house EP titledÂ Bells, was released on GermanÂ techno giants Kaiserdisco’s newÂ label, KD Music. “I have never actuallyÂ met the boys from Kaiserdisco. I’m hoping I will catch themÂ soon this weekend at a party,”Â Chawla told us over the phoneÂ from London, “They seemed reallyÂ excited about my music andÂ we have only been in touch overÂ email.” Chawla has been in talksÂ with Kaiserdisco for over a year. InÂ April this year, he released a virtualÂ techno record called TandrumÂ with another label called Takt thatÂ Kaiserdisco does A&R for. “I hadÂ a scratch of “Bells,” a track I hadÂ been working on. They loved it soÂ much that they did a remix of itÂ and soon, we were working on anÂ EP,” says Chawla. The EP featuresÂ the Kaiserdisco remix, which isÂ the only slow-tempo number onÂ the otherwise upbeat album.
Currently Chawla is workingÂ on tracks for a number of solo releasesÂ on various labels. There’sÂ a three-track EP on Arjun Vagale’sÂ Maktub Recordings, a collaborativeÂ EP with Anderson andÂ Vagale called After Nine that hasÂ been signed to British tech houseÂ label Monique Musique and twoÂ remixes for Oliver Moldan on BritÂ house label Sounds R U.
“Even though Global UndergroundÂ is home for me, I like toÂ keep things open. It’s importantÂ to work on various remix es and
collaborations, and create releasesÂ for other labels. It keeps your mindÂ fresh and buzzing,” says Chawla