Download: M A N I K, "Shaolin"
Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
At just 24-years-old, house producer M A N I K is impossibly young and impossibly gifted, building towers of bulging bass and slinky rhythms in his Queens studio. His new McLovin You EP (due this month on Los Angeles label Culprit) is lusher and sexier than his recent Park To The Slope EP, combining deep-diving Chicago bass with gentle cascades of hum and moan. Sometimes he settles into a comfy downtempo snuggle, but his beats are usually too gloomy and restless for you to get too comfortable. Acid-inflected teaser track "Shaolin" splits the role of dark and danceable, its sinister groove providing a noir accompaniment to agitated snares, boxing-glove bass smacks, and some very funky little Godzilla noises.
What inspired "Shaolin"?
I wanted to make a jackin house tune. I was in that sort of mood. I wrote this track right after I played with DJ Sneak at WMC for Ovum night so I guess his sound rubbed off on me. The Shaolin shout out comes from the snare shots, which are actually RZA "snare samples" that I was passed through a friend so I thought the title of the track fit right.
Do you record at home?
Yes, indeed. Queens stand up! I like having my studio right here in my apartment because it makes things so much easier when I have an idea in the spur of the moment. I call it "I'm Nice Like That Studios" and I have made every Manik record right here. My workspace is small, sexy, and gets the job done. What keeps me inspired about my recording space is that I am able to create such complex and detailed sounds from a smaller studio, which I think is rather neat. What also keeps me inspired about my workspace is that I am saving up to put a Delorean with polished 24'' rims right in the middle of my studio. So you'll have to open the door on one side and go through the car to the other side to get into this joint. Now you know that's some MTV Cribs shit right there!
What is more inspiring to you, to hear dance music at home or in its proper environment?
A little bit of both I'd say. Since I am a music producer at heart first, I actually prefer to listen to my stuff at home in my studio mostly. However, I do think it's very important to hear how things sound out in their "proper" environment like a lounge space, club, loft, or warehouse.
Do you have a particularly annoying "DJ request" that you've gotten at a show?
Yeah, for some reason people keep asking me to play the theme song from Aladdin.
What's your favorite place to eat in New York?
Aqua Santa in Williamsburg is quite good. That grilled chicken hits the spot every time! As a New Yorker I also want to give my pick for the best pizza joint, and that's Alba's Pizza which is in my hood of Astoria, right off Ditmars. Amazing slices!
M A N I K is playing a free in-store set at Halcyon Records, 3-6 p.m. on October 30.
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