Listening to a sneak preview of his latest production and remix work, it takes only a moment to realize just how sincerely and modestly - he means it. Manolo is not creating some meaningless, atmospheric soundscape or crafting a heady, artistic journey; his music springs entirely from real emotion and real feeling. These are songs intended for big dancefloors, and there is nothing subtle about their impact. Its really no wonder, then, that it comes from a man who has spent most of his career working in the DJ booths of Bostons biggest clubs.
Survey a club where he spins, and everywhere you look, youll find hands raised in the air and a look of rapture on the upturned faces of the crowd. Nowadays, Manolo spends more time locked away in his state of the art recording and production studio than behind turntables but he unquestionably brings the same overwhelming sense of joy to his recording work that he brings to his energetic DJ sets. Manolo makes powerful, driving music, with big feelings and big sounds. Take a spin through his recent re-working of Sashas Wavy Gravy: the kick drum pounds out an insistent rhythm that doesnt waste time getting anywhere - from the first beat, youre already there.
An earth-shaking bassline provides enough low end to rattle the chest cage of any dancer and enough deep-down funk to get even the most reserved clubgoer into moving. It is Manolos melodic touch, however, that stands out above everything else in his recordings. Darkness has long been an integral part of dance music, and Manolo has always sought to find the beauty within it. He combines everything from dark and deadly serious rhythms to lush and uplifting vocals, creating a singular sound of his own.
Its a sound that has caught a great deal of attention, including that of world-renown vocalist Jan Johnston. She enlisted Manolos help to write and record a new batch of original songs. I don't play my own music, says Manolo, because its very personal. I make it for myself; its therapy.
If other people like it and play it, then thats great! I have fun making it, and that's really my payback. I believe in the music were producing, but as far as other people liking it, well, I guess that is always going to be a matter of personal taste. If the personal tastes of Jan Johnston, Paul Oakenfold, and are a dependable barometer for success, then the dance music world will be hearing a lot more of Manolos music very soon. When they first started working together, Jan Johnston heard Lament, a track that Manolo and Gene Therapy had done together purely for fun.
She urged them to send the song to Paul Oakenfold immediately. Oakenfold loved it, and Lament quickly went into heavy rotation his playlist. At the 2002 Winter Music Conference in Miami, Paul invited Manolo to a private poolside party at the Shore Club hotel with Madonna. "I was standing at the bar with my wife Lida and Jan, Manolo explains, and I heard Paul mixing in Lament during his live set.
I'll never forget that moment." To top it all off, he ended his set with Delirium, the first single that we co-wrote with Jan in our studio. Paul also invited us to his Perfecto party at Club Spin, and he spun both of the tracks again! Clearly, there are few roles that Manolo has yet to fill in the world of dance music as a successful DJ, producer, remix artist, in addition to owning an upscale lounge in Philadelphia called One14, where he hosts some of the worlds leading djs on a weekly basis; Manolo has done it all with humility and integrity. He is a gentle, honest, and caring artist with a tremendous passion for music. Who knows what the future holds, he concludes on a hopeful note, but there is one thing that I am sure of: the music has always been and will always be my mistress. Read more on Last.fm.
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