Podcast 37 ManooZ
Mannheim native, ManooZ is a man on a mission. Throwing down the sort of jackin’ House music that sounds like it was made with sweaty basements firmly in mind, but with a nod to his hip-hop and soul roots, the ManooZ sound is making a firm impact on the global house music community.
As well as notching up regular chartings on Juno, and being a regular in Beatport’s staff recommendations, ManooZ is a mainstay in the boxes of the house music patriarchs. Names such as Robert Owens, Last Magpie, Zoo Look or Julien Sandre are enthusiastically supporting his raw & ballsy sound, yet his across-the-board accessibility shines through, with support continued from industry bibles, Rinse FM or XLR8R.
Manooz reserved some time on a cold Friday night to record a podcast. As always we asked some questions which hopefully give you more information about the artist and his background. Make sure to follow this Mannheim-based producer, we predict ManooZ his name will pop up an a regular base in 2014.
To start with, how’s life at the moment, what keeps you busy or is on your mind?
“Hey guys, first of all thanks for asking me for this interview and the podcast. I’m doing good at the moment, winter is here now but I’m keeping myself warm with a decent coffee and the heat on in my crib.”
Can you explain how you set yourself up on a day-to-day basis?
“I usually get up at 6am, go to work and come home at around 5pm. I’m blessed with my wife who most of the time has cooked something nice for dinner. Then I spend the rest of the evening with making music and everything that has to do with it.
I don’t like wasting time on the couch, except when there’s some nice football match on TV.”
Your one of our favorite producers but we couldn’t find much information about you, besides your hip hop background and the fact you’re a Mannheim resident. Can you tell us something about your youth and your hip hop background?
“Oh many thanks! I grew up showing interest in music quite early, recording my favourite tracks from the radio and listening to my tapes during the nights, while mum thought I was sleeping. Both of my parents are very much into music, so I grew up being surrounded by music from a young age. Since the 90’s I was straight up into Hip Hop, going to Jams with B-Boys and Graff writers, DJs and MCs.
For many years I’ve also released Hip Hop albums, distributed and performed throughout Germany. I was used to do everything by myself, from my own label work, managing gigs and doing the promo work with magazines, TV channels and stuff. I feel like that experience has helped me nicely these days dealing with the music business. In my hometown Mannheim I’ve had my first gigs, these days I’m privileged to get booked outta town and now also internationally.”
How did you get in touch with electronic music?
“Like I said, Hip Hop music, or in general, Black Music, is definitely my biggest musical background. From 70’s soulful Isley Brothers & Teddy Pendergrass records, 80’s Mtume stuff to the 90’s East Coast Rap and R’n’B from Wu-Tang, Def Squad, Nas, AZ or 702 etc. I also like African or Arabian music, I love to hear their Soul crying in it. Still I always liked electronic music, back then I was a Jungle fan, listening to Kenny Dope or Mickey Finn mixtapes from London.
Later on house and techno mixes on the radio and house party’s came into my life. I wasn’t well-educated, but always kept searching for what’s behind this music. The fact that you could really dance to that sort of music was pretty dope, as I loved dancing but in Hip Hop clubs it was more about looking grimy than moving your body.
House music lets you forget everything around you while losing yourself in the rhythm. That’s also my aim when I produce my tracks – making people dance and bump their head to it.”
What should we definitely know about ManooZ but has never been asked to you?
“Mmm, hard to say. I guess that people were surprised about the fact I don’t have studio monitors to mix my productions. All I use are my HD25 and some shitty PC speakers for € 40. Now, was that a interesting secret? I guess not haha.”
Can you name some artists or people who had a major musical influence on your career and why?
“Quincy Jones has to be named here, everything he has touched sounds like gold. When I was a kid I already was highly impressed by his productions and his skills to make me dance. The whole Wu-Tang stuff from the early & mid 90s has a major influence to my music. RZA’s dusty, ruff, melancholy and still warm music has influenced me incredibly. Alchemist, Havoc and Erick Sermon too.
Housewise the whole New York and Chicago House stuff, the old Strictly Rhythm, Nice-N-Ripe, King Street releases were important, again they had ruff and still soulful music, pure house to me. Oh yeah, the early Daft Punks & Armand Van Helden tracks. The more I think about it, the more I could name on the list here, because I also was listening to Techno.”
What was your intention with the podcast? Any special backgrounds?
“Well, it’s just packed with some heavy tunes I dig at the moment and I hope you dig them too. It’s recorded on a Friday evening, listening to it now I must have been ready for the weekend. So, stuff you might hear me playing live in clubs.”
From which artist do you find inspiration or can you introduce us with new talent that really needs some appreciation ?
“So many artists and musicians have inspired me, meeting people with nice conversations inspires me as well, riding my car with the system bumping, parties with good DJs etc. I recently was out with Tony Lionne and my buddy Borrowed Idendity – even these few hours have inspired me to produce a new song the next day within a few hours.
On the other hand a few months ago I had a little writer’s block and no inspiration – it sucked big time. But I can say Kerri Chandler, Jordan Peak, Agnès, Milton Jackson, Mr G or Bambounou are my inspirators, MCDE, SlapFunk and One Rec releases are always on point. Some new talents I can name are Cliq, two boys from the UK, and also Liam Geddes is a very good producer I think we should keep an eye on.”
Can you tell us something about upcoming projects, releases or events?
“Sure, I was quite busy in the past months and have signed a few releases for 2014 now, from Extended Play to Morris Audio and Dutch label Soulfood, a collab EP with my friend Timmy P on Swink Music and the one and other Remix. There are some other things cooking as well, but I can’t bring them to the table at the moment.”