Hachiku, a.k.a Anika Ostendorf, 24, writes and produces dream pop with an avant garde twist from whichever bedroom she is currently inhabiting. Born in Detroit and raised in Osnabrück, Ostendorf can best be described as a global artist whose bedroom studios are perpetually changing. She formed her sound at 16 while on a road trip across the U.S. with her dog, Lexus, before relocating to London and recently Melbourne. Since the release of Hachiku’s self-titled debut EP in 2017 through Milk! Records, Ostendorf found a home and 4 piece band in Melbourne. The 5 track EP was self-recorded and mixed across 3 countries using a semi-portable home studio setup and plenty of borrowed microphones, guitars, and drum kits. A residency at the Tote saw their dance card fill up in 2017 & 2018, playing shows with Courtney Barnett, The Breeders, Sasami, Snail Mail, Japanese Breakfast, Camp Cope and Fazerdaze as well as their first tour of Australia with Saskwatch. Hachiku’s latest single ‘Murray’s Lullaby’ (2018) marks the first time Ostendorf has collaborated with a mix engineer, enlisting the talents of Tim Shiels (Double J, Gotye). She describes the experience as “the perfect collaboration. Tim made some bold choices that brought something new to the mix and made the song the best it could be.”
1: My first name is actually Angela, the name Anika I’m known by is my middle name.
2: If you have a garden, look into planting wildflower patches for insects. Don’t cut off the stems in winter because many bugs hibernate in them when it gets cold.
3: If the Cologne cathedral ever collapses in an earthquake it will NOT fall on my house 17 km away.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Probably my diary?? That’s for lyric writing… Actually to be more precise my notes on my phone, I usually write all my thoughts in there. Creatively, I feel most inspired by my loop station. I use keyboards / effects / guitars / random sounds to build layer over layer and then listen to it for a couple of hours while trying to come up with a melody. Old Casio keyboards have great, kind of shitty organic key/organ/string sounds as well as drum beats that build the foundation to many Hachiku songs.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
My parents signed me up to nylon string acoustic guitar lessons when I was 5, but I didn’t like it very much. I pretended to be able to read sheet music, until one day my teacher asked me to play a song I had previously learnt and I had no idea what I was looking at. I also wasn’t allowed to chew any chewing gum. Boring. I then learnt keyboard and a bit of piano but my personal enthusiasm only started when I taught myself electric guitar on YouTube when I was maybe 13. Billy Talent, Jack Johnson, Green Day – that’s as evolved as my 13-year-old music taste got haha.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
Anthony & The Johnsons – I am a bird now
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Beach House – Beach House
Holy Fuck – Latin
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
14-year-old me on a school trip wearing a red hoodie for 5 days and taking group photos in the holocaust memorial (very shameful & disrespectful, I don’t know why our teacher didn’t stop us). 21-year-old me trying to get into 5 clubs at New Year’s Eve and not getting in anywhere because it was full. Freezing at -9 degrees on a bridge. Taking photos in a black and white photo booth after eating curry in an Indian restaurant. 23-year-old me in a very pink hotel room with my dog on the last night of the Jen Cloher tour 2018.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I’m originally from near Cologne but have been living in Melbourne for the past 3 years – let’s say any sort of outside area of a breakfast cafe on a sunny, COLD day (it is breakfast time right now and I’m quite hungry, so maybe that’s why…).
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Marine biologist on the Galapagos Islands.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
A random collection of 7″ vinyl records to send to my girlfriend as a gift in the post (I can’t remember which ones though).
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Mmhhhmmm I am a bad collaborator I think, too controlling haha. Maybe doing guest vocals on someone else’s track? How about Grimes?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Performer: A show at Shacklewell Arms I played in London last year organised by Eat Your Own Ears – I had never played a headline show outside of Melbourne before and the energy in the room was amazing and the amount of people that turned up completely unexpected. My one drunk friend was singing along in very off harmonies to every song – very distracting but funny. Spectator: M.I.A. in Cologne in 2010 & The Knife in London 2013.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Very important unfortunately. I wish I could write a song start to finish in one go on a piano or guitar but my songwriting process is very much intertwined with the recording process (mac + logic) When I develop song ideas I straight away record them, then move parts around on the computer to figure out structures. I often don’t even play parts all the way through a song – I just loop them / copy & paste because I get lazy.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, one sister! I love her very much and we support each other in all our endeavours. She lives in Germany so I don’t see her that often but when her and my mum visited Australia they came to our single launch wearing matching Hachiku t-shirts and she has all my CD’s + 1x 7″ vinyl release on her windowsill (unless she only puts them there when I come to visit…).
Späti Palace releases Hachiku’s debut EP in a limited cassette edition on May 17th, two years after it’s original release on CD by Milk! Records. The cassette incl. download code can be ordered here beginning on the release day.
Photo © Hachiku