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28.06.2018 | Words by: Dorien van Linge

You heard it here first: Anja is going to be big. Coming Friday De School has the pleasure to introduce this newfound dj-collective – better known as Job Sifre, Identified Patient, Merel and Post Ave. Their mutual love for music and prosecco brought them together years ago, and now these four are taking their friendship to the next level by playing tunes together professionally. Ranging from synth-heavy new wave to transgressive industrial and cheesy italo to fast paced electro, they take pride in blurring genres and surprising crowds – and each other. I met up with Job, Job, Merel and Jim to ask them about their plans for the future.

First of all: what can we expect this Friday?
Job Veerman.: Job and I will start by warming up the crowd and bringing some ease to the floor. After that Merel and then Jim is closing the night. We don’t know what kind of music we’ll play, the only thing we know is that we want to provoke. We hope that people walk out and think: damn, this was a nice party. But I don’t mean that in a pretentious way. We just want to bring some people together and play cool tunes.
Job Sifre.: I’ll just bring all my new tunes and decide on the spot.
Merel: For me it depends on my mood: maybe I’ll only play depressing stuff, maybe I’ll end up with some happy hardcore! No just kidding.
Jim: I guess the only constant is that we’re all planning on switching between BPM’s. I want to play 100 BPM tunes next to 130 BPM electro, all in one set.
Job V.: You have a fucking fader, why not use it?

How would you describe your sound as a collective?
Jim: Eclectic, hybrid - I wouldn’t pinpoint it to any genre in particular. It can be dark, but also uplifting or groovy. It depends on the night and the crowd.
Job V.: I would describe it as playful: music doesn’t have to be serious or edgy.
Job S.: I play a lot of uptempo styles such as techno, EBM and electro, whereas Job likes to mix in some italo and trance. Merel’s tunes are more industrial. Jim can go both ways. I guess Anja will not be that different from what we play individually, only by playing as a crew we want to challenge each other and create something new together.
Merel: When people expect me to play dark or wavy, I immediately want to do something different. I try to keep an open mind, because I think that a good dj is continuously changing. For example, lately I’m starting to appreciate dancehall - music I didn’t like when I grew up. In the end, every genre has music I’ll enjoy.

How do you know each other?
Job S.: Merel and I met each other on Dekmantel festival four years ago.
Merel: I met the other Job through Job, since they were living together. Where the fuck does Jim come from?
Job S.: We were all visitors of his party. Shoutout to Framework!
Jim: We met on the dancefloor; music is definitely the binding force. I remember hearing Job V. play for the first time when we booked him at a Framework party, and I was super impressed because it was crazy and all over the place.

It’s your first time playing together coming Friday, are you nervous?
Jim: I might get some nerves on the day itself, since it’s my first time at De School and I’m playing peak time. Prosecco will help me through the night - not too much though. It’s always exciting to play back to back, because you don’t know what the other person will do.
Job S.: We all played together in different settings, so I know it’s going to be good. Job and I played together at These Guys, they played together in Darmstadt. But it is the first time were playing as a foursome.
Jim: Yeah, but it’s not like we’re playing back to back to back to back. We’re not the next Swedish House Mafia.

How did you come up with the name Anja?
Job S.: Around a year ago the plan developed to start a collective - but we had a really hard time coming up with a name.
Jim: Finding a name has to come spontaneously, and Anja was one of the first things we thought of. So after a lot of discussing, at the end we just went back to Anja. It started as a running gag because we always nicknamed Merel Anja. We don’t know why actually, we just did.
Job V.: We also thought it was fun to have a collective personified.

How do you influence each other?
Job S.: I think we challenge each other to find new stuff. A while ago Job was in a tribal phase, and at first I really disliked it. After getting used to it, I now think it’s kind of cool.
Merel: I was influenced by Job V.’s technique. I used to be really into long, slow mixing. Then I watched him switch abruptly from track to track, and I saw what kind of positive energy that can give to a crowd. Now I try to experiment with that as well.
Job V.: For me it’s the other way around with Merel. She inspired me to take it slow every once in a while.

From a reliable source I know you often play squash together. Who’s the best?
Job S. and Jim: Job!
Job V.: I got beaten by Merel five times today.
Merel: If I play I want to win.
Job S.: I’m definitely the worst.

Are you also this competitive when it comes to music or dj’ing?
Merel: When the boys are playing someplace nice, of course I think: I would like that as well. But I’m not jealous, it’s just motivation to work harder.
Job S.: I had the same thing when Job was releasing a record, I thought: shit, I want that too. I think that gave me the energy to release my own music. When it comes to dj’ing: when we’re playing together, we want to impress each other with our tunes. So this bit of competition only helps us to improve.

Job and Job recently released music, are you also planning on releasing music as a collective?
Merel: Never say never, but it’s not something we’re thinking of right now. For now we just want to play at clubs and provide a solid party.
Jim: You shouldn’t just start a label for the sake of it - only if you have a lot of tunes to release.
Job V.: It will also be difficult; if you see how long it took us to think of a name...

What other plans do you have as a collective?
Job S.: We’re definitely going to do a lot of radio shows. We don’t want to write a business plan - we’re pretty intuitive people.
Merel: That’s the thing about music. You can talk about it for hours, but you just have to experience it.

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