A place for hosting independent artists who want to have a break from the city, Annahütte Train Station has been a secret refuge. Here artists are free to record their live music surrounded by a stunning setting and a natural environment.
First floor of the main building which includes three rooms to host resident artists.
Back in the days, the train station was the center of the social life in Annahütte, a small German town located nearby major cities like Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig. In the 90’s the train station was shut down and the building was abandoned. Meanwhile the nearby forest grew over the rails and the platform. In 2016, two Berlin based Architects called Simon & Ruth bought the space and started renewing the building with the idea of creating a contemporary cultural spot.
Ruth De La Calle & Simon Berth, Winter 2019.
After two years of renovations and one year of artistic projects, Annahütte became a multilayered space with a recording studio, rehearsal rooms, an art-residency and an ever expanding platform on the outskirts of the cultural megapoles like Berlin. Anyone entering the station is likely encouraged to imagine how the train station was build a century ago.
Facade of the main building next to the abandoned platform and rail lines.
Since its inception, the station of Annahütte has hosted independent bands, varying from traditional folk music to punk rock and experimental electronic tunes, either for rehearsing, creating or performing.
In February 2019, was the debut of the first live-session that initiated Slimdogrecords, with the goal to spotlight independent artists from different backgrounds while providing media coverage with in-depth interviews for different platforms. While Ruth focuses on the interior, Simon is curating the artists and directing the sessions.
The host is Miguel Baptista, a portuguese architect and music enthusiast who joined the studio in 2019 . He interviewed all the guests ever since, giving a deeper look at the artist's process of creation.
Artist Marcos Meza (left) being Interviewed by Slimdogrecords host Miguel Baptista (right).
“The idea is to spotlight independent artists who are actively creating music while growing in this ambiguous music scene.”
Double exposure from artist Marcos Meza during Winter 2019, after his performance.
For a test run in February 2019, Slimdogrecords invited the Chilean musician and composer Marcos Meza. The good experience confirmed that the concept is working, yet it would require a period of experimentation and adaptation. Meza is a music producer and piano player who combines elements of classical piano, ambient, electronics, and modern chamber ensembles. As an arranger, his work has been nominated for three Latin Grammy Awards. Meza has released five instrumental solo albums, of which the last one is titled ¨Four Rituals¨ (2019) featuring Paulo Sapiain. Meza became a solid part of the project and is the dedicated in-house sound-engineer of the sessions.
Triptic from the facade of the main building next to Bahnhofstraße.
Since then, more bands have visited the station of Annahütte, amongst which we can find names like Ransom, Jaguwar, Und Ich Mag Dich and Guanduo. Each session has been a moment of creativity and experimentation for the project, proposing different styles of image and testing different kinds of sound-setups.
During the sessions and even sometimes just right after rehearsal, the bands produced new songs that are now published.
Ransom rehearsing in a Slimdogrecords session, Spring 2019.
In spring 2019, the station was hosting the Berlin skate-punk band Ransom. After having a long break since 2007, the band gathered again not as a nostalgic reunion but with new fresh and mature ideas. They recorded the first songs of a long E.P. album called “Caught Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”.
Detail of graffiti in Annahütte train station.
Four months after its debut, filled with fresh ideas, Slimdogrecords had the chance to host Jaguwar; a shoegaze band presenting a mix between noise & pop blended over the years. It was very interesting to witness throughout the session the transition not only in style of music but also of the whole landscape around the station.
Jaguwar in front of Annahütte station, Spring 2019.
The surrounding of a green mass of trees and bushes acts as a reminder that the station was recovered from its abandoned state not so long ago. Jaguwar’s experience gave the producers at Slimdogrecords the feeling that the project was on the right track: The band was the first to be podcasted with a female lead artist, conscious about the lack of representation in an industry where equal gender participation is still an issue.
Surrounding of Annahûtte train station in Spring (left) and Jaguwar rehearsing for a Session with Slimdogrecords (right).
Shortly after launching the Session with Jaguwar, Slimdogrecords announced that the Band was invited to curate the Slimdog Festival that is scheduled for September 2020 in collaboration with the@neuebuehnesenftenberg.
Jaguwar rehearsing for a Session with Slimdogrecords.
The last band podcasted this year was Guanduo. A Brazilian Duo made up of the musicians Juliano Camara and Eduardo Pinheiro, two guitarists, composers and friends who have performed on some of Brazil’s most important stages and festivals. This year, they published their new album “Música Disfarçada de Gente” (music disguised as people) featuring also songs of the composer and multi-instrumentalist Angelo Ursini.
Guanduo at the Studio for a Session with Slimdogrecords, Fall 2019.
The renovated railway station is located on a plot of land at the edge of the village of Annahütte. Right next to the Silver Lake (Silbersee) in the middle of a forest with the former railway line passing by. You can reach the location by car via the A13, or by train to Senftenberg or Großräschen.
Detail of main building at Annahütte, Winter 2019.
Photographed by Magma staff photographer Pablo Hassmann.