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Recognise: Sedef Adasi

Sedef Adasi standing in front of a grey background holding a blue necklace

Panorama Bar’s newest resident, Augsburg's Sedef Adasi, balances blissed-out house with rave-ready acid, trance and electro in her Recognise mix, and tells Sophie McNulty about her route into DJing, fostering a sense of togetherness through music, and why she's not moving to Berlin

“I couldn’t just be a DJ. For me, what’s most important is that I contribute something to my scene,” says Sedef Adasi. We speak to Adasi from her hometown and birthplace, Augsburg, a Bavarian city of 300,000 people. Despite her international DJ career, she hasn’t felt the need to relocate elsewhere. “The first question I’m always asked is, ‘When are you moving to Berlin?’ I’m not moving to Berlin,” she grins. “I love Berlin, it’s really nice, but I’m comfortable and happy here with my family, friends and the scene we’ve built here.”

As a DJ, Adasi’s sets sparkle and bounce alongside tough and psychedelic acid lines. She’s one of those genre-hopping wizards who can seamlessly slink into new dimensions beyond the booth. Her debut EP ‘Fantasy Zone’, released in 2021 via Public Possession, transferred her eclectic tastes to production with similar ease, weaving her all-important acidic flavour with pastelly trance, glistening house and electro.

Adasi has been doing her thing for a decade now, and her HAMAM Nights party at Augsburg’s City Club has been instrumental in putting her city on the map. “Now we get international DJs who just want to come and play because they heard it’s good, which is super nice,” she says. 

Over the years, Adasi has held residencies at clubs big and small, from the now-defunct Augsburg club, Schwarze Schaf (Black Sheep in German), to Munich’s famous Blitz Club, but recently she reached a new high. Adasi is the newest resident at Berlin’s Panorama Bar — “Which is, like, hilarious, you know?” she laughs. “I’m still confused!” Her rise is a process she describes humbly as “natural”. “Things built up year on year,” she explains. “You play at a party, then somebody sees you and they like you, so they invite you to play at their next party.”

What’s clear throughout our conversation is Adasi’s willingness to do things. “I was always so happy to play any gig. Even if it was an opening set or if I paid for my train there on my own,” she continues. “It was just nice to see I could connect people with music I enjoy.” 

Adasi has loved music from a young age. “We had a big Sony soundsystem with a CD and cassette player,” she remembers. “As a child I didn’t even play with my toys, I just enjoyed putting music on and dancing.”

Although raised in Germany, Adasi was born into a Turkish Muslim family. Her parents are from Macedonia and she keenly cites family road trips to their homeland as a catalyst for her eclectic tastes. “We would be driving for 23 hours through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, depending on which route we took,” she says. “I would listen to music from all different cultures on those trips.”

She also remembers the influence of her then-teenage older sisters. “They had so many cassettes and they all had different tastes. One liked R&B and hip-hop, one was more into wave and rock and the other was very poppy,” she explains. “Everything was mixed up together and I saw all genres have great music.”

Sedef Adasi

Aged 14, Adasi started making CDs for her family trips. “I got really nerdy with it,” she remembers. “I had Windows Media Player and I’d make the playlists there.” Eventually, those CDs led her to her first gig... sort of. “My career actually started making CDs for Turkish weddings,” she says with a cheeky smile. It was here she started to learn the art of DJing, unaware that being a ‘DJ’ was even a thing, having never set foot in a club. “When I played those CDs, I realised there was a pause after each track. The ladies were all dancing and shaking, the vibe was there, but then this pause killed the moment.”

Undeterred, she set about researching how to smooth out her sets. “I recognised that I needed something to go constantly for one to two hours, so I started recording sets on Audacity and using YouTube,” she continues. “I would play with two tabs on my laptop. There was no mixing, of course, but I just wanted to get rid of the pause!” All was not lost with her CDs either. “When I was making CDs I became very curious about the process of building a story. I realised I could build something up and the position of each track was important in doing that.” Still, at this point she would have never considered becoming a DJ — “I just enjoyed the music and it made me happy to share it with other people.”

Story and meaning are central to Adasi’s work, whether in her DJ sets or with her party HAMAM Nights. “I wasn’t interested in throwing parties to stand behind the booth looking cool with a crew of 10 guys,” she starts. “I really thought about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to say.”

When you look at HAMAM’s Instagram, you’ll see grids of memes drawing from early ’00s Nickelodeon-era pop culture, all laced with socio-political, pro-feminist and LGBTQ messaging, albeit in Adasi’s light-hearted manner. She started posting to the HAMAM account for a whole year before announcing the first party — a juicy promotional campaign.

“My party is a message to the scene out there; it’s intentionally pink, glittery and over the top,” she beams. But it hasn’t always been easy for her. “In the beginning, I felt quite insecure about it. I thought the graphics had to be all black and very edgy,” she explains. “In the end, I realised I was lying to myself and I was just trying to fit in... I mean, I couldn’t say ‘I like Britney Spears’? Like, what? I grew up with Britney!”

With HAMAM, Adasi has sought to create a sense of togetherness, something she felt was missing within the Augsburg scene. “There was always separation between the hip-hop people, the rockers and the ravers, or whatever. I didn’t want that for my party,” she says. “As a Turkish person, you experience societal separations in a real way. But I believe you can learn from every culture, so I like to combine them. Everyone can be in the same space.”

Adasi is also keen to empower others in carving their own paths, regardless of their location or background. “Dance music is so focused around capitals and bigger cities, but we also need people in little towns and smaller cities, it’s so important,” she continues. “Anybody who has an idea to start something should just do it and see where it goes. There is always a way. You can make something happen if you want to. I had no penny when I started out.”

As we continue to reflect on her trajectory to date and lessons learned, we naturally swing back around to her recent big news — joining the Panorama Bar roster. “I’m really honoured to join the Ostgut family,” she says. “I built this thing here in my hometown and now I’m a resident of this huge institution, which is also a sign that you can reach anything or everything you want to, just focus on your passion and everything else will come.” But, she adds, “I’m still not moving to Berlin!”

Listen to Sedef Adasi's Recognise mix below. 


Country & Western ‘Centrifuge’
Anderson ‘Automat’ 
Candy land unreleased track
B2 ‘The Beat Club’ [unreleased]
Bakked ‘Zion’ 
Caunos ‘Herzsprung’  
A2 ‘It's Not A Mindtrip’ [unreleased]
Diplomat ‘Check It (Beagle Remix)’
Manao ‘Comeagain’
Siu Mata & Amor Satyr ‘Acidez’
Quarium ‘Body Musique’
Ji X Viikatory ‘Getup!’
AGT Rave Cru ‘Fusion Power’
X-Coast ‘Horns’

Want more? Check out Recognise features with Ploy and SNO

Sophie McNulty is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter @sof_mcnulty

Lead photo credit: Julius Ertelt