When it comes to record labels that have been momentous in their impact on the dance scene, there are few that rival the scale of achievements of Anjunabeats.
This month, the label completes two successful decades in the run, and we couldn’t have found a better opportunity to mull over the history of the label, while we enjoy some hit releases from the Anjuna Kitchen that vividly stand out.
Started in early 2000 as a passion project set up by Jono and Paavo in their university days, the duo met at Westminster University, bonded over a shared love of dance music, especially trance. The third member of the current trio, Tony, at that point was working as the Marketing Director and A&R at the Warner music group. Having a penchant for the genre and having produced music himself, he reached out to Jono and Pavo to help him out with a remix. Working together on a few tracks and realising the similarities in their style of making music, they went ahead and set up Anjunabeats, inspired by Anjuna Beach in Goa, India — the spiritual birthplace of Goa Trance, and a hotspot for jet setters and hippies alike in the early ’90s, as an outlet for their own productions. Over the next few years, the label went on to garner massive attention from trance legends across the globe, including Pete Tong, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Judge Jules, Paul Oakenfold and many more. In the first few years of their inception, Anjunabeats had spearheaded a trance revival and won legions of fans around the world with their deeper, more progressive take on the sound.
One can go anywhere across the globe and will definitely find an Anjuna community that shares the music, bonds over it and collects together to celebrate the milestones that the label hits. The beauty of the label lies in the fact that some of their releases at times can be thrown in at a mainstage and be enjoyed by the masses alike, yet they have their own distinctive take on it, making it shine individually and shaking away the additional frills of better known generic and commercial music. This unique style makes them a credible source of authentic and quality music that is not too difficult to find and enjoy. Welcoming all fans and audiences alike with open arms, the Anjunabeats community and family is warm and accepting and forms a very crucial part behind the label’s current success. Propagating the label’s releases and spreading the love relentlessly with people around, the label fueled the formation of a strong fraternity of enthusiastic and passionate musicophiles and party-goers.
Very tasteful with their selections, the label also went on to gift the trance community with some extremely talented producers such as Ilan Bluestone, Super8 & Tab, Andrew Bayer, Grum, Arty, Mat Zo, Jason Ross and so many more. The list is endless! Not only kick-starting their careers, but the label also played a major role in giving them the success they enjoy today.
When you think of an Anjunabeats or an Anjunadeep event, some of the few things that are strikingly observable include a family ethos and emotional authenticity combined with real musicality. Gigs apart, the community of fans are a strong and a close-knitted one, forming bonds over their shared love for the music, exchanging anecdotes on their experiences surrounding the same and accepting and supporting all of the label’s artists wholeheartedly. In retrospect, yes, the label has grown monumentally over the past decade, but it’s never diluted what it originally stands for and continues to keep propagating its core values of putting out great music to help people connect, heal and whisk them away from all the crumminess of their daily lives.
Even today, in midst of the pandemic, the label still continues to boost the morale of their community by recreating iconic episodes, hosting live streams, communicating and engaging with the fans and keeping a constant flow of music available as a form of support.
Despite having so many achievements during their run till date, it seems like they have only scratched the surface and have a long way to go. We look forward to witnessing this journey with them! Meanwhile, we raise a glass in sheer admiration to the trio for their incomparable contribution to the music community, giving the world the empire that is Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep and strap in for the next 20 years of great music!