Annie Hall is a product of Barcelona’s thriving electronic underground. The DJ and musician (real name Ana Artalejo) has been creating tracks since the age of 19, joining artists like Rob Clouth and John Talabot and labels such as Nebulae by contributing to the city’s leftfield dance output.
“There are a lot of artists over here, really good ones,” she says. “But I can’t talk about the scene in general ’cause I’m like a little weirdo living in my bubble — I’m sure there are many things I’m missing out on.”
With singles going back to 2008 on D1, Detroit Underground, Musar and Semantica, Sheffield’s CPU is where Hall’s sound felt most at home, releasing ‘Tenured Positions’ in 2016 via the label, and a new EP this month, ‘Fum’.
“CPU is a label I will always send my stuff to,” she says. “I think it fits on there. [Label boss] Chris Smith likes the music that comes from me naturally, I don’t need to force anything.” ‘Fum’ shows Annie Hall’s broad range, with ‘Verd Mar’ an icebound atmospheric gem of crystalline cracks and aquatic synth, reminiscent at times of classic Autechre; ‘D’un Altre Planeta’ has offworld machine tones and snapping electro beats; and ‘Promeses De Fusta’ feels like exploring a frosty tundra, dazzling stalactites of sound design emerging from the blizzard. While beat-based, there’s a sense of the exploratory to all that Hall makes.
“Experimental music is what really comes from my soul,” she says. “It’s just the sound I felt more attached to from the beginning. I produced stuff that was a little more dancefloor too for a while, but I don’t really feel part of that world.”
Drawing inspiration from an eclectic crosssection of artists, Annie Hall is a fan of everyone from Miles Davis and The Human League to Slowdive and LFO. If any one uniting factor emerges from that selection, it’s a skill for crafting spine-tingling hooks and melodies. “I would say my music is nostalgic, and maybe cinematographic and dreamy, but never dark,” she says.
Hall was first introduced to electronic music by her brother Jose, who brought her trip-hop and other dance-adjacent records after living in England for a while. These sounds inspired her to become a DJ and producer, and she took her artist name from a favourite Woody Allen film. “My real name doesn’t sound easy to pronounce for non-Spanish people, so I decided on that name instead,” she says.
In 2009, Annie Hall released the split EP ‘Elephant Road’ with Plant 43 on Semantica. Taking a side apiece, her section contained the lush cascading bells of ‘Ansia’ alongside the spiky electro of ‘Natron’: an early indication of her considerable talent. Since, she’s distilled her sound into a yet more potent, leftfield concoction.
Alongside her studio endeavours, Hall works for a music school and as a tester for synth company Arturia, meaning she’s continually supplied with fresh inspiration for her productions. “I’m lucky enough to use their products for testing, so it’s great that I receive new devices and never get bored.” Along with ‘Fum’, look out for more material from Hall later this year, with an EP on Random Island and some compilation appearances locked in.