Dubai has always had a thirst to find new and creative ideas that develops scenes and inform its population. It hasn’t always been easy with such a transient population but things are changing and there are some passionate people who have been planting acorns in the new metropolis. Over the next few months FNND will be unearthing the people who are creating diversity. So meet Mehdi Ansari, co-founder of Analog Room. As the chief promoter of and one of the residents at Analog Room, Mehdi Ansari has been instrumental in breathing life to the electronic music scene in the Middle East and it has been long over due. Analog Room doesn’t have red carpets and ‘poshness’ – it is a dark, underground space, with concrete walls and in front are the crowd who are here for the rhythm … Welcome to Analog Room. Welcome Mehdi Ansari…
1. Hi Mehdi, Analog Room has enjoyed a sharp rise in popularity, what made you start Analog?
There was a need for a quality Underground Electronic music scene to help create a better music culture in the region.
2. So, how long have you been DJing and producing? have you always been based in Dubai?
My brother Salar, who is one of the best music producers from our region, and I started playing and making electronic music in our motherland Iran. It goes back to 2000’s.
3. The music programming is clearly very important to Analog, what is your philosophy behind it?
Presenting top quality with the consideration on how ready Dubai is for them. It takes a lot of research into the industry. Our bookings are not based on names, they are based on who is hot at the moment. Most of the credit for this goes to my good friend and partner Siamak Amidi.
4. That’s brilliant. Do you see a shift in Dubai’s electronic music scene? Is it developing in a positive way?
Big Time. The game has changed. People seek good music and promoters know that they cannot do whatever they want anymore other wise they are done. People have more knowledge and are more educated towards good music. Movement has started but the scene still needs to learn how to live it. What is happening, definitely is an important part of Middle East music history!
5. I agree that musical changes in the Middle East are on the horizon. How did your love for music develop and who were your influences?
I always loved music. Started to learn and enjoy music from my parents house parties in Iran. Getting so excited whenever someone played any instrument and especially being interested to play percussion instruments. There were many influences in my life who are unknown to you.
6. Sounds inspiring, what were the key factors that made you choose Q underground as the venue?
As we all know 99% of the night clubs in Dubai are in hotels because of the alcohol situation. So finding a venue that is not decorated by a posh blink blink hotel was something that we didn’t miss. Empty dark room that is big enough and has low ceiling. What else do you need? Good sound and music. Quality music lovers will find you.
7. You’ve just celebrated Analog’s 2nd birthday. What do you think is the main ingredient of Analog’s success?
Having a team of tough quality people with excellent knowledge of the electronic music industry and putting our head down and not paying attention whats going on in the city. Doing our thing faith in it and not changing it for money or to suit Dubai’s music culture. We are here to make culture.
8. Nice, is there anyone else doing something similar in Dubai?
I feel every party is unique, you can get close to someone’s concept but can’t be the same. Of course there are similarities and some cross over but I haven’t found anything like Analog Room. If you do please let me know. There are good parties around that are good at what they do and make their target audience happy.
9. Analog clearly favours quality and substance over swanky style. What are your 3 favourite clubs?
There are many good parties in the world. I prefere not to name clubs but I think quality scenes and parties can be anywhere. I personally like the scene of Montreal and Berlin.
10. The set up in Analog is very unusual, there is no DJ booth, no stage and the DJ is surrounded. What are your reasons for creating this unique positioning?
I actually think Dubai venues are pretty unusual. The reason for having a high stage is coming from big rooms so people on the back can see the artists. We don’t need such thing. For a small room artists need to feel connected to the audience. People need to see what the artist does and learn. What better than a party that everybody is together and next to each other. Everybody feels like they are in the booth.
11. Thank you very much. Lastly, what is the future for Mehdi?
Keep doing what I’m doing. Making more people to join art music from pop music.
If you like to dance to a good system with the best DJ’s to be found in this town, then don’t miss a visit to Analog Room.
keep up to date with the Analog room HERE
or visit their website HERE