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DJ, Illustrator, Radio Host, London

Rhythm Section’s boundary-blurring selector’s ready to reshape the sound of London clubbing in 2018.

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“I'm always looking for punchy sounding tracks, tracks that make me wanna dance as if I'm punching the ground or something — I find that sound so empowering”

DJing is about possibilities. It is about reassessment and reshaping, blurring, blending, and mutating. It is an artform that necessitates a certain level of experimentation—why stick to tech-house’s one monotonous note when there’s an entire world of music out there? London based DJ and illustrator Anu Ambasna embraces that idea more than most. Tune into anu’s monthly show on NTS—she’s also made regular appearances on Peckham’s internet-broadcast station Balamii, and the indomitable Rinse FM—and there’ll be brittle techno, early-80s industrial-curios, and even some odious sludge courtesy of Pissed Jeans. “I tend to play sounds that I don't get to play in the club, more downtempo and weird stuff, or just music that's well suited for home listening,” she tells us. “My approach to finding music doesn't change, however, and although the selection is slightly different, I still feel it has that "anu" sound.”

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While she modestly reckons that “I don't know if i would be in my current position if it wasn't for radio,” noting that she taught herself to mix over the airwaves, she’s making a massive impression in the clubs of London, Berlin, and beyond. Since meeting Bradley Zero in 2013, anu’s been an integral part of his South London collective, Rhythm Section, where she’s now a resident. Grouping together an eclectic bunch of DJs, hand-picking incredible guests—including the likes of Jayda G, Hashman Deejay, and Pender Street Steppers—the party’s been at the heart of everything good about clubbing in the capital over the last few years. It also gives anu an opportunity to demonstrate just what sets her apart from the crowd. The answer is simple: “I'm always looking for punchy sounding tracks, tracks that make me wanna dance as if I'm punching the ground or something—I find that sound so empowering.”

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She’s recently found herself inspired by Radar Radio favourite Manara, who’s one third of the station’s BBC Azn Network team. “ I saw her play last month at Five Miles. She brought so much energy from the start and her selection was so confident. I want her to teach me how to mix, because the way she plays Bollywood is next level.” Other favourite DJs and producers at the moment include Bake, Batu, Debonair, Scientifc Dreamz of U, Sofay, TTB, and vampire crab. “I want to push myself to make all of the ideas I have a reality, and work with people I really admire,” she says of the year to come. There’s talk of a label on the way, and some huge bookings coming up. Any half-decent promoter looking for a DJ who isn’t afraid to play outside the box knows where to look.