Over a decade ago, if you had told Denise and Karina that they were to become regulars among the notorious roster of DJs that frequent the Ibiza clubs they probably would have laughed in your face. But, you would have been entirely correct and hopefully on your own path towards a career in fortune telling.
Today, the Danish duo known as Anek are on a steady incline in the world of house music. With summers booked in Ibiza via VIVa head honcho, Steve Lawler, tours that take them around the globe, and releases on several renowned music labels including Chronovision and VIVa MUSIC, Denise and Karina are living the dream.
Emerging from Copenhagen, Denmark, the upbeat twosome first discovered house music during one fateful trip to Ibiza and never looked back. "Sometimes we speak about it and it's like it happened yesterday or something because it was quite a special moment for us," says Karina. "The house scene was not really big in Copenhagen."
"Obviously we had parties in Copenhagen," adds Denise. "There was a lot of stuff going on. But the scale was just so small, so when you go somewhere and you realize thousands of people, hundreds of thousands at the same time are like, 'Yes, we love the same (kind of music).' You're like, 'oh my god we've found home! We've found our island where we belong!'"
For many, Ibiza remains a vacation destination; a modern day "Sodom and Gomorrah" where people from around the world flock to bask in luxury and hedonistic pleasures of the debaucherous nightlife scene. Yet, for Anek the lure went beyond temporarily relishing in the turquoise of the Mediterranean Sea, the white sandy beaches, and the deep house pulse of the dance floor. For the Danish duo, the two week trip opened a doorway into their future.
On the island where clubs set the record for highest capacity in the Guinness Book of World Records and remain open until 6 AM, the young pair had officially entered their own electronic music haven. "They have amazing clubs, because Denmark is a very, very small country, we don't really have that many clubs and no superclubs," explains Karina. "We discovered these massive clubs with amazing music, just what we loved, and all these people who were loving the same thing. At the end of those two weeks on holiday we had to buy some of the music we had been listening to."
Though they had already begun exploring other electronic music genres previous to their first visit to Ibiza, it was house music that ignited their passion for playing and producing professionally. "This particular music just did something for us. It just made us feel something that we didn't feel with techno or drum and bass or rock. I think especially when you're experiencing it in a club and everyone is on that same vibe it's almost like a tribe in that room."
Swept up in the spirit of house, the buoyant and bubbly pair dove directly into learning the art of mixing. Back at home in Denmark, they began their rigours search for the music that caught their attention in the Ibiza clubs. With their hands finally on the records they had discovered, they went to work utilizing what they had. "When we got home we borrowed my step-dad's old record player," says Denise. "It was a little bit broken, but you could hear enough of what was going on."
For the duo, persistence paid off. With releases "Time is Now" and "This World", Anek had officially entered the realm of house music production. In addition to playing the clubs in Denmark, the rising starlets began playing internationally renowned venues such as Ministry of Sound and Fabric and showcasing their talent worldwide.
Friends since high school, Anek are happy to have had each other to share the dream and ride the wave of success. The ability to be able to lean on one another has proven useful through the thick and thin. "If you have a bad night, you can lean on each other and say, 'OK, whatever, it happens.' But if you have a good night, you can enjoy something with someone else. That's the best part."
Out this March, Anek bring their latest release via Resonance Records, Room 311. The five track EP showcases their evolved and sophisticated taste level of tech house, reflecting the sound and vibe of the upscale Ibiza nightlife that sparked their journey. The first track from the EP, "Weia" sets the tone with its steady tribal rhythm and bouncy synths before being recreated by fellow VIVa members, System 2, who layer Anek's clean-cut pulse with added reverb, kicks, and fidgety high hats. The EP enters a more mysterious and darker territory with "Room 311" before rising back up into the commanding and hypnotic groove of "When Time Flies". Last on the EP, "Lioness" keeps the pace steady while distorted synth samples ride the beat, creating a dreamy space soundscape.
Though the pair have come full circle, they remain humbled by their accomplishments. "Back then if you had told us that we would play in these clubs, obviously at this time we were not DJs, so we probably wouldn't have been able to imagine that," laughs Karina. "To be there now, you sometimes look back and think, 'Wow. This is what we always dreamt of when we started DJing.""
Catch Anek at Steam Miami on March 27 with Steve Lawler, Cassy Britton, Dennis Ferrer and more.
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