Anastasia Zems: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix

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Anastasia Zems‘ output has a hypnotising effect.

Her dark and seductive brand of electronic music sucks you in, drags you under and consumes you whole.

Distinguished by her sultry vocals, which feature in every single one of her productions, regardless of whether its an original work or a remix, she describes her creations as an escape from the urban concrete jungle she grew up in.

These have found their place on a host of labels so far, from London non-profit imprint Needs to Paris platform Les Yeux Orange, as well as IDA and Why People Dance – now she makes her debut on one of our very own labels.


Her latest release comes on our newest R$N Records sub-label, Human Endeavour, and marks the first solo artist EP on the imprint. Taking cues from EBM, acid, coldwave and new beat, Confession Time is full of mid-tempo sludge for the late night lurkers – it deserves the attention of your ears.

Ahead of the full release on 4th November, she treats us to a mix of the sounds that inspire her own work and that permeate her DJ sets. It’s heady and intoxicating, pulsing rhythmically then floating freely, featuring some of her own tracks from the new EP and her upcoming collaboration with Radial Gaze…

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

My name is Anastasia Zems, I am a music producer and vocalist born in Russia. Now it is quite difficult to say where I live, as I am currently in the process of traveling the world and exploring places where I would like to stay. A woman of the world, so to speak. Strange times.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

My music can be different and depends on the mood, but it seems to me that somehow it’s all hypnotic, like a swirling ocean or a flowing river in cloudy weather. About the picture, something in the style of the TV series Twin Peaks comes to mind.

Where was the mix recorded?

It’s not strange, but the mix was recorded at home in Saint Petersburg, on a cloudy day. 

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

I really like listening to it on the way somewhere: driving, on the train, in flight. It is ideal in order to thoughtfully hear the narration. Musical journey during the journey <3

What should we be wearing?

Definitely something that gives you confidence and reflects you! As for me, leather, metal, strange accessories and bright details are ideal companions.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

It will probably sound unoriginal, but a sunset in the mountains, a good audio system and a collection of favorite tracks outside the genre would be ideal.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Is it too selfish to call your own track your favorite? 😀 If yes, Radial Gaze & Kubebe – ‘Iron Pinky Toad’ is my favorite here – I really like the style and mood. 

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

I’ve listened about a thousand times to the recording of the Identified Patient’s set from Dekmantel Selectors 2019, great selection and cool development from slow dance to trance. 

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

I would really like to meet and chat with Frankie Knuckles. I watched several documentaries about his life and the development of music at that time – it’s very inspiring! This was the time of a real musical revolution.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I wouldn’t say that my setup has changed. I record mixes through Ableton Live and new equipment appears only for writing music. Well, unless my studio monitors have become much better 🙂

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

A difficult question. The first one should put you in the right mood, and the last one should put an end to this journey. You can’t throw out either one or the other, but the last track is always more difficult for me to choose.

What were the first and last records you bought?

My first record was the album “III” by Moderat, and the last was a compilation in honor of the eighth anniversary of the label Whypeopledance.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

It seems to me that it would be soup. Spicy and with a bunch of ingredients that complement each other.  Something from the category of those that languish for several days :))

If it was an animal what would it be?

Oh, I think it would be a snake. I don’t know why.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything? 

There’s a very cool track from Suns of Arqa – Govinda’s House. It’s just crazy on its own but doesn’t fit into any mix. It’s too self-sufficient. 

Upcoming in the world of Anastasia Zems

I have my biggest work coming out – the EP Confession Time on the label Human Endeavour. Four tracks with different moods, from acid, EBM, new beat to cold wave. In addition, there are two compilations ahead and a very promising collaboration with Radial Gaze.

Anything else we need to discuss?

I just want to say a few words about music. Music should unite, give psychological support, and help us to cope with difficulties. This year has not left anyone untouched – let’s support each other.

Stream ‘Underwear‘ from Confession Time.