Analog Room turns three – five minutes with founder Mehdi Ansari

Mehdi Ansari, owner of the Analog Room. Courtesy Threedots Photography
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Three years ago, Dubai’s after hours scene made a significant left-turn with the birth of Analog Room.

The alternative club night opened up in a dark, gritty, unused underground venue – and (nearly) every Thursday since it has welcomed edgy electronic names from across the globe, spinning to an increasingly educated audience.

We’ve had “underground” clubs before. But Analog Room deserves serious credibility for surviving, for staying true to it’s ethos – for continuing to programme interesting sounds, every week, three years later.

To mark the anniversary the team have booked three nights of madness. Thursday November 5 welcomes Detroit legend Juan Atkins, generally regarded as one of the originators of techno, to The Q Underground.

A day later, on November 6, sees the return of German ambient-influenced name Move D (AKA David Moufang), who played the very first Analog Room three years ago, to headline an “after-party” in a “secret location”.

The festivities wrap back at The Q Underground on November 12 with another Berlin techno hero, Efdemin. But the beats will keep coming, week in week out.

To mark the landmark, we spoke to founding father Mehdi Ansari.

What’s your greatest achievement since launching three years ago?

Cultivating a more educated scene that seeks real artists and quality fresh music. It’s such a good feeing to see how everything is changing, and seeing this huge movement from inside. And of course, the personal experience that we had and have is priceless.

How has the scene evolved in the past three years?

The young energy is everywhere and their concept of clubbing is changing. So many music lovers become promoters and start new, good causes, and that’s beautiful. We are creating the culture together. This has never happened here before. There were always certain big nights and very few small ones, but now it became a movement, thanks to the ones who handed it to us three years ago.

How would you describe the UAE nightlife scene in general?

Young, energetic and confused.

What needs to change to help the scene grow and educate the audience further? 

There can’t be an immediate change. It needs to take it’s own time. The crowd have to respect themselves and seek for good music, and support the real music promoters, if that’s what they really want. I think crowd is the most effective element to keep the real music alive.

What’s next for Analog Room?

We already launched our big room concept called Finest Friday [at Media One]. It had a very good impact and we are looking forward to having more. We gave the pure clubbing experience as a small room concept already. Now it’s time to give the real experience of quality leading music in a bigger scale. Meanwhile we will keep on bringing the hottest acts to Analog Room [at Q Underground]

Tell us about the best five nights you’ve hosted at Analog Room.

Hard to call, but what I really loved vibe-wise and musically could be our first night with Move D, plus Anton Zap, Moritz Von Oswald, A Guy Called Gerald, and for sure some of our resident nights.

I want to thank all the people who spend time on point at the music scene, with a cultural and educational approach. This is history, the movement that we are all part of. When this is properly shaped, the younger ones will look back and follow. They are smart. The money-making music scene is always going to be there, but where it has been created and coming from, there is nothing but real artists and the “real” underground.

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