Legend has it that a race of giants lived long ago – formidable in appearance and filling those who did not understand them with terror. The mythological grandiosity these giants possessed is the reason DJ Anakim chose them to share his name. The sound his art creates is one and the same: big and menacing. L.A. Weekly publisher and podcast host Brian Calle connects with DJ Anakim to learn more about what it takes to make such impossibly large sounds, and how artists are changing the way they create in times of quarantine.
If you seek to discover new art, the time is now. Locked indoors and separated from those we love, we have been given a unique opportunity to expand our horizons and discover new mediums. You never know, you just may find a whole new way of life when you try something different than your usual tastes. That’s exactly how it all started for this week’s guest.
Growing up, DJ Anakim was never really into electronic music. Living in Southern California, he found his tastes lay more with the hip hop sounds that defined the West Coast. When he moved to L.A. for college, he found his place with a new group of friends: ravers. Not into the scene himself, it took some convincing to get him to check out his first show. Not just an underground party, DJ Anakim went big, experiencing his first time at EDC 2010. “When I got there, I had never felt more at home,” reminisces DJ Anakim.
He fell head over heels in love with rave culture, embracing the PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect) vibe in totality. “I basically became a professional raver,” DJ Anakim laughs.
Like many Angelenos, he had come to L.A. with the intent of acting. Moderately successful, he landed a few commercials and TV gigs, but his heart wasn’t in it. “I just didn’t feel fulfilled, it’s like there was something missing. The pursuit of acting felt empty,” laments our guest. Deciding to make a change, he was determined to learn how to make the same sounds that he had fallen in love with at EDC. How does one teach themselves to DJ? By sitting in their room everyday, spinning until they figure it out.
His tenacity paid off, and he was accepted into the exclusive Icon Collective College of Music. It was here that he found his style. “I call it an intergalactic underground sound,” explains DJ Anakim. When he first began laying down tracks of his unique melodic techno, the sound was practically unheard of in the scene. Five years later, the wave is now catching on.
What exactly is intergalactic underground sound? “Every single time I sit down to make a track I want it to be a soundtrack to interstellar travel, a soundtrack to other worlds,” says DJ Anakim. The artist is fascinated by interstellar travel and the possibility of what’s out there. Every track he makes is the accompaniment to the journey in discovering those possibilities.
Coincidentally, our current shared reality lends well to these imaginative soundscapes. “It really feels like we are kind of living in this dystopian future but it’s our present,” muses the DJ.
Like most of us, he finds it hard to create while in quarantine. Worries over his parents’ health and missing his loved ones weigh him down. “It’s all just really eye-opening, the current state that we’re in right now,” he shares.
Not one to waste inspiration – good or bad – he finds ways to get himself back into creating. “If I can get myself moving, get that heart rate up, it can usually snap me out of whatever mood I’m in.”
And be glad he does. Fans old and new stand to benefit from the inspirations of a worried quarantine, as he tells Brian on this week’s podcast that “the music that I’ve been making now is some of the best stuff that I have been making and I really can’t wait to share all of that with the world.”
Tune in to the latest episode of the L.A. Weekly podcast to find new ways to inspire yourself, and how to derive meaning from isolating moments.