Storming stages with a signature music magic and fabulous stage persona, India’s Ankytrixx stands unmatched in his takeover of the underground electronic dance music of his home country.
A specialist of the deeper shades of electronic music, Ankytrixx covers a vast spectrum of underground electronic sounds effortlessly, having caught the attention of the likes of John Digweed, Dave Seaman, Guy J, Henry Saiz, Richie Hawtin, and Dubfire – having lent his support to each over the last decade.
A true renaissance man of the scene, Ankytrixx also co-runs the Audiophile Agency, which specializes artists, events and customized concepts in the nightlife entertainment segment of India. Naturally, he is also a qualified Producer and Internationally touring DJ, but it is his November date at Wonderflip Festival‘s inaugural edition, which is on our radar…as we will also be on hand.
Here, we get to meet Ankytrixx with an exclusive mix ahead of Wonderflip, plus our in depth conversation, which covers everything from his own artists identity to the current landscape of the Indian electronc Music scene, and much more.
What was your first introduction to electronic music? What made you want to pursue the life and culture? How were you first ingesting music when starting out?
I think I was born with musical bone! My mother always mentioned that I was noticeably inclined to music since the age of 3.. and back then there wasn’t a big flow of electronic music, nor was the exposure or access! Anything that was fast w repetitive beats was electronic for me back then. It was like hypnosis… it got me hypnotised enough to choose my path at a very young age, and gave me enough inspiration to pursue the chase to discover more!
As an artist, what is your approach to your sets? Do you prefer longer showcases or shorter festival sets? How did you approach this mix vs a DJ set of yours?
I always play what I feel like playing. I don’t plan my sets all that, ever – I prefer to just feel the moment and feed off that. It’s always on the fly, always searching for tracks. That snare from that tune, and that bell The only few times I planned my sets were when I was on the warm up duties for maestros such as John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Sasha, Guy j…
Festivals require a certain, different dynamic to clubs. You’re typically given a much shorter set, maybe an hour or hour-and-a-half. In that amount of time it can be more difficult to showcase your sound and create a story with your music, but I enjoy the challenge. It’s more about keeping up a very intense energy.
Small clubs have different environment energy and dynamic. These intimate setting are sometimes far more appealing to my inner self that large festival scenes. The energy is infectious & lot of story-telling can be done. The way you play your music can be more subtle and you can take your time.
Playing music, whether its at a club, festival, bedroom or mixtape, is always about story telling. And that never changes whether I’m at a gig or here, stitching a mix for new souls!
What is your general strategy is how much you tour vs how much time you spend in the studio and brand building?
Touring has been very intense last few years, its clearly because DJing has and always will be my first love. If you know your music and the people around, I believe it’s more than just mixing two tracks together, it’s about building journeys and making your audience feel something special.
For the longest time, I was lost in DJing, the incredible high one feels from weaving all the great music that the world has to offer, is indescribable. Till a point came where I started to see that there is an intense world out there which makes that music, which reminds me of my friendship with 16 Bit Lolitas that helped open up the flood-gates for producing music. And it has been a couple of years that I kind of found my space wherein week days I made sure my phone is off, and there are no distractions, full focused and on the ball. The balance is working beautifully.
I also own a company called AFE, under which we host festivals, weekly club nights, weekly guest djs, all over India, and few shows in Europe. Hence, that gives me a solid backing of professionals who are masters of public relations & marketing. However, I’m a man of person to person strategy. The brand builds as the love for you grows among the people who are around you, who come for your shows & lose their minds, who you meet on the street, on at a lounge in the airport.
This mix anticipates Wonderflip Festival, of which you are involved. Can you explain to us a bit about the idea behind the inaugural Wonderflip?
WonderFlip is the brain child of my friend Aliya, who is known to be someone who brings people together, Someone who is always on a look out for the next big adventure, whether its the weekend show at the near by club or a list of European summer festivals to go to. She is a perennial organiser, always getting the gang psyched up for the next adventure. Over the years, we have made virtual pictures of that perfect setting, day dreamed about the colours and smiles, and all of this manifested into a beautiful reality called WOnderflip!
It’s best described in three words – immersive, experiential, and expression.
Immersive in that we would like people to come in and embrace their alter egos, release the little circus creature inside all of us, and have a little fun. We will have costumes, makeup, a chance to do impromptu performances, and much more.
We’ll also have experiential art, allowing people to literally go inside some of the art installations, and feel a sense of awe and exhilaration.
And finally, expression. They can dance, be in the great outdoors, and break away from the mundane, robotic existence of work-sleep-eat-repeat.
Where does Wonderflip exist in the landscape of the Indian Festival scene? Is it true that EDM is still the bulk of the festivals in the country?
I guess its a bit early to comment on this… we want to let our actions talk louder than words. 🙂
How do you see the underground scene in India these days? What is strong about it? Where does it need improvement?
We grow everyday where we learn something new. In India it is no different from how it is in Europe or America the amount of intensity, the amount of money spent, the amount of business done, the magnitude of events, almost on the same level. We have an arsenal of some of the best djs & producers ready to rock any dance floor around the world. The listeners are evolving and only growing every single day. The fanfare & the love is unparalleled. The promoters are doing their bit as hard as anyone else in Europe or internationally anywhere else in the world. It’s the same thing yes the only thing I can think of in terms of improvement is our time restriction bit, it’s the only thing we cannot change as an artist I have no control on it. That’s the only area we could definitely do wonders.
Where are some locations around the country people can go to hear quality underground music?
We call Mumbai the maximum city here, cos its just unstoppable. There are gigs popping mid week leading all the way to the big weekends. Hence there are a tons of venues & clubs for underground music. For me, its AntiSocial in Mumbai, Terra Maaya in the North east city of Guwahati, Subkltr nights in Bangalore, Waters & Marbela Beach in Goa, O2 in Indore – a city in central India, Phoenix in Kolkata.
As a prominent DJ from the country, how do you see the breakdown of your gigs, in country vs International?
I haven’t really given a thought about strategically planning domestic and international shows, I take it as it comes. Of course the year end parties in Goa are something we all are pretty addicted to. There are tons of big shows planned and most of the underground artists are billed weekly, which makes it slightly difficult to take shows out side India.
Aside from the festival, what are some other events or activities you are personally looking forward to through the end of the year?
Just after WonderFlip, I have another festival that is really dear to me, something that was created with a lot of emotions, only for the homegrown talents in India who didn’t get a stage to play at. when The Big Festival were the only mega-sized events that would book a few of the national acts. It is called CTRL ALT DANCE and we are going to host the 4th edition of the same over 3 days in Goa.
1 – A45 – Somewhere Into the distance (Musumeci remix)
2 – Henrik Schwarz – Take words in return (Jimi Jules remix)
3 – Butch – Shahrzad (Matthias Meyer remix)
4 – Ankytrixx – Quantom (Original mix)
5 – Lauer – Ward (Original mix)
6 – Depeche Mode – Wheres the Revolution (Patrice Baumel remix)
7 – Fairmont – Shadows of mine (Rebolledo’s ride)
8 – Tale of us – Monument (Barnt Remix)