Photo: Press (Joey Anderson), Interview: Lakuti
With two LPs for Dekmantel and a slew of EPs on his own Inimeg and other labels, Joey Anderson is easily one of house music’s most prolific producers these days. Far from being a lone wolf, Anderson is part of a tight-knit scene including DJ Qu, Nicuri and David S., who connect under the Exchange Place banner with a love of all things house music. Having invited him for one of her Finest Friday nights at Berghain’s Panorama Bar on March 30th 2018 which she runs together with Tama Sumo, Uzuri label founder Lakuti caught up with Anderson to talk his East Coast roots, house dancing and his connection with the Exchange Place crew.
Lets talk about growing up on the East Coast and the creativity around New York City then. What was it like for you as a youngster, surrounded by the great music and the scene around it?
It was law. You had to be loyal to what was around you. Music was first. I mean knowing the music, first, before one could open their mouth. With that understanding, one could jump in with whatever talent they had. I thought the culture at that time was more interesting than anything I ever saw. Mind you, at that time Pete Rose was the greatest baseball player in your face, but I thought the dancers I saw, were better than him.
You got into dancing and house dancing at the age of 13. What was it about the dancing scene then that got you so excited?
It’s like how Europe looks at ballet. I was able to see and appreciate the high standard in the dance. The only difference is in skin color. I remember cardboard boxes everywhere. People were amazed what inner city kids were doing. It shocked the world. As I travel the world, I’m amazed to see graffiti. It was born here, originated here, copied by the rest of the world later. Crazy. The art in dancing made me .
You later transitioned from dancing into production and DJing – does being a dancer influence how you approach your productions and DJing?
There is a beginning and an end. That’s the only thing in my head. In the middle, one does his stuff.
How did you and DJ Qu come together?
Qu and I go back to dancing in clubs. We never said a word to each other. (laughs) But we respected each other. That was the culture back then: shut your mouth and show your art. Qu is a peaceful person, humble by nature. Without making it a big deal, he would talk about a count system while playing. David S., Nicuri, and myself used to sit there like ‘what the fuck is he talking about!?’. After listening to our recorded set, we knew. Qu is the greatest influence on me musically. He taught me in a natural way. I didn’t ask him, it just happened. Exchange Place started after years of of playing together, dialoging about music, blending music, critiquing each other. It almost got to a point of four of us playing like one.
What is next for you on the production front?