After a transcendental experience at the Panorama Bar in early 2016, Ede decided to move…
Anathema Records’ label manager Cali brings to life his music project under the alias nēmm. Aimed to offer story-telling journeys with his personal selection by exploring different electronic music genres and sub-genres, nēmm, alongside co-founders Fec and Alerch, is part of a perfect trifecta driving one of Mexico’s premier musical outlets in Anathema. Now, the label presents its own Anathema Records Series via EG, and nēmm delivers its first emission.
EG caught up with nēmm to learn more about the first installment of the Anathema Record Series, talk about his origins, the state of the label, plans for the future, and more.
EG: Hello Cali! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us today. How have you been? Where are you right now?
nēmm: Hey guys, all good and quite busy planning the label’s releases and mixes for 2022. I am currently at home, in Cd. Juarez, Mexico; chilling out and enjoying the weekend. Hope that you are doing well and healthy too.
EG: First of all, thank you for your first installment of the brand new Anathema Records Series! What can we expect from this DJ set series?
nēmm: It’s been such an honor to kick off this new project in partnership with EG. For this first installment, I thought it was better to have the audience taste of what Anathema Records is all about. Now, related to the series in general. The audience can expect our catalog producers to bring their unique sound and style to the upcoming mixes, so stay tuned and get ready for a new musical adventure.
EG: And what can listeners and fans expect from this particular mix? Do you weave stories through your mixes? How would do define them?
nēmm: Although Anathema started aiming to a melodic house and techno sound in the early years, truth is that we have opened and expanded the music-realm by moving from organic house all the way to indie dance, but always having that mysticism under which Anathema Records was conceived. Hence, this DJ set is all about our history, an Anathema ‘sound-stamp’ for the audiences, revisiting old releases, 2021 releases, and a special surprise from our upcoming EP.
Now, related to my music project, I do try to use personal experiences, and channel them through my mixes in a story-telling format, especially on my series called ‘The Vortex of Circumstance’. If I could tell the story behind this first installment, I would say it tells the story of sacrifice, tears, and joy that Anathema Records has brought to our lives since its conception. You can almost taste the journey that we have had so far, starting with a dusky entrance that represents the sacrifice and tears, then moving to more joyful beats that represent how much we enjoy running a label and having our releases hit and climb through Beatport’s Top 100.
EG: Where is Anathema Records at right now? How has it grown since its conception?
nēmm: We are entering our 6th anniversary, and I can tell that Anathema’s growth has been exponential. I would be lying if I say that everything has been like a honeymoon since we first started…we have learned from our mistakes, and we have put every effort to grow our audience, and to put quality music out for our fan base. A quick example of how we have grown is the fact that all our 2021 catalog has made it into Beatport’s Top 100 in different categories, and not only that but also, we were featured in Beatport’s ‘Best of the Month’ with at least 1 or 2 tracks from each 2021 release.
“Time to ️ challenge gender norms, empower each other, celebrate diversity, break stereotypes, reject the binary, mobilize and take action”
EG: How was the label born? What was the motivation behind starting Anathema Records?
nēmm: I will share my side of the story because it’s some sort of funny story. The label and its concept were conceived by Fec and Alerch, trying to boost and expand the horizons of local electronic music because there were not many local options to release new music, and we all know that as a young producer it’s quite hard to get your music released in the so-called “big labels”. In addition, the plan was to also invite their favorite producers to the label to release their music; but as the old saying goes, “first impressions matter”. Basically, the label release party would have Aaryon as a special guest at Hardpop. Hence, they were looking for investors for the party, and back in those days, I liked to throw parties and organize tours, etc. Long story short, I was invited as an investor for the label release party. A few days later after the party, I was going to receive my cut from the earnings, but Fec asked me if I was willing to invest the earnings on Anathema’s first release, ‘Fake Voices’, which included remixes from Several Definitions, and legend John Tejada. Obviously, I said yes with no hesitation, and here we are 5 and a half years later. In summary, do not ever invest in parties… just kidding LOL! I am so proud of what we have accomplished so far, and Anathema is my passion, pure love.
EG: Right now, the label is showcasing its latest release, ‘The Offering, Vol. 2’, which has a special backstory to it. Could you tell us more about the release?
nēmm: I am so glad you brought up this topic. It all started two years ago, we had Lorely Mur’s track available for release, so we thought having a VA (Various Artists) release as a follow-up from our ‘Offering Vol. 1’ would make more sense. We started inviting producers to join the project. Just as with ‘The Offering Vol. 1’, we were aiming to donate all earnings to a new cause. Although the plan was to donate all earnings to a UN Women’s campaign, we were struggling to make the donations automatically. Therefore, the final decision was to give artists 100% royalties in order to support UN Women’s campaign to break the cycle of violence, assist survivors, and drive economic inclusion and equal rights for women and girls everywhere giving emphasis to UN Women’s statement: Time to ️ challenge gender norms, empower each other, celebrate diversity, break stereotypes, reject the binary, mobilize and take action. I cannot thank Lorely Mur, Ntsha, and RONA enough for taking part in this VA while boosting the flag for #GenerationEquality.
EG: Now, let’s dive into your origins. How did you first get into electronic dance music? Was there a record or gig that first blew you away and pushed you down the rabbit hole?
nēmm: I am influenced by 80’s Synth-Pop, Mexican pop-culture, and Mid-90’s Dance music. Later, I started exploring late-90s pop-punk & punk bands; then going deeper into metal sub-genres such as black-metal, progressive-metal, and symphonic metal. I was into Trance music in the early Y2K, but then I moved from Hidalgo del Parral to Ciudad Juarez in 2005; where the rave scene was booming. It wasn’t until 2008 that I went to one of Sander Kleinenberg’s shows here in Juarez that made my craving for underground electronic music move from trance beats to sub-genres such as house, minimal, and techno; and definitely after that, the shows at Hardpop club boosted my love for electronic music even more; that was undeniable the rabbit hole for me.
EG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? Where you do think we still have a long way to go?
nēmm: Even though the scene seems a bit saturated, it’s visible that we have a long way to go. Take for instance Indie Dance, who would have thought that 80’s synth music would be back in a new shape and form. As many producers and musicians have mentioned in several interviews, music always comes to its roots. We are in an endless circle of inventing and reinventing. Young producers are hungry, and they will define new horizons and music trends. I cannot wait to see what the big next thing will be. Just writing about it, it gives me the chills, LOL.
“Even though the scene seems a bit saturated, it’s visible that we have a long way to go”
EG: What else can we expect from nēmm & Anathema Records in the near future? What new milestones are you looking out for in the coming months?
nēmm: I cannot wait to release the 5th installment of my series ‘The Vortex of Circumstance’ via SoundCloud, so this is coming soon. In a long term, I hope I can tour my country, to deliver my taste in music to a broader audience. As for Anathema Records, we are in the works of releasing a new EP from a local producer ‘BlackBoa – Midnight Voices’. Also, we have some other EPs in line for 2022, so I’d recommend our fan base to stay tuned for new and fresh music. In addition, we have a very interesting roster of DJs/Producers lined up for our monthly Anathema Podcast, not to mention the ones lined up for EG’s brand new Anathema Records Series. Also, we owe to our local fan-base an ‘Anniversary Party’, so hopefully, we will be able to throw a proper party this year, free of pandemic restrictions.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Cali! We wish you all the best for the future!
nēmm: Thank you as well for this opportunity and space. I really appreciate your outstanding support throughout these years, and I do wish the best to all the EG crew. Cheers!
‘The Offering Vol.2’ is now available via Anathema Records. Pick your copy here.