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In Conversation: Manu Gonzalez

In Conversation: Manu Gonzalez

Fidel Trotman | Features & Interviews

Although big name selectors flock to Ibiza from all across the world, the island still churns out house DJs by the dozen; no wonder, perhaps, given the party culture that has engulfed the island. One such product of the White Isle is Manu Gonzalez, brought up on Balearic journeys and the dancefloor offerings of Chicago, Detroit and more. After joining the In The Dark crew at Hï Ibiza with Luciano, Steve Lawler, Nic Fanciulli and more, he's booked in for a set at Egg in August, so we were all too happy to have Egg writer Fidel Trotman speak to him about his hometown, summer parties and the months ahead. Here’s what went down when Fidel Trotman and Manu Gonzalez went In Conversation.

You recently visited a Keith Haring exhibition in Ibiza and has art played a great part in your creative development as well as helping inspire you musically?
Hi guys, its nice to chat with you again ahead of the big show with Steve Lawler and Art Department for the for the Eastern Electrics After Party at Egg London on the 5th of August. Yes, I visited the Keith Haring exhibition in Ibiza last week and I’ve always loved his stuff. It’s really cool that he has an exhibition here during the summer and I can super recommend it for kids as well as they can paint their own KH t-shirts and play around. I actually have some records with replicas of Keith in the artwork, which always inspired me, to be honest. I consider myself a studio rat but I went to the exhibition on a Sunday  and on the Monday I did a 12 hour studio session - lool :-)!

Loving your recent "Day Dream" track on Moon Harbour and what’s the reaction been with the clubbers in Ibiza?  Also Matthias Tanzmann has been a major supporter of your sound and can you tell us how your paths first crossed and how you got involved with his label?
I used to go and watch Matthias play at Circoloco at DC10 from when I was really young and I’ve always been a major supporter of his label and of him. I think every artist on underground scene has as a goal to release on Moon Harbour Recordings and I just did!! I met Matthias in Ibiza and in some green rooms around the world many times but just did couple of records with my good friend Sabb and we thought that "Daydream" might be something Matthias would love. Sabb was feeling it a lot and I went to my manager Danny Whittle's office and played him the record as I always check everything with Danny and Mark before sending a record out and Danny told me "It's a beast of a track" and trust me when someone like Danny with his background and knowledge in music tells you it’s a beast, it really is!! So straightaway we sent it to Matthias.

I left Ibiza to go to Chile for a DJ trip and while I was in the Atacama desert in the middle of nowhere with no reception I finally found a little bar where I could connect my phone and speak with my family and so forth and Sabb just sent me a text 48 hours before saying "Matthias loves the track and he is releasing it also on vinyl”! It was amazing! The track has been really huge and we’ve had every single artist in the underground scene including Nic Fanciulli, Steve Lawler, Sasha, Marco Carola, and Joseph Capriati playing it. Hot Since 82 played it on Friday on Pete Tong's legendary Radio1 Ibiza Mix which is huge for us. I listened to the track in Circoloco DC10, Amnesia, Music On, Pacha, Ushuaia etc and I mean everybody has been playing it :-) It reached No 23 in the Top 100 in 7 days which is massive and Sabb and I are super happy. I can't wait to have the vinyl in September!! Thanks Matthias for supporting and signing our music - it means a lot to us :-) Sabb is an amazing artist and doing this collaboration together and signing it to Moon Harbour has been huge for us. He is super cool and talented and it's always beautiful when music makes new friendships.

Really enjoying your recent EP on the Egg LDN record label What Came First and ”Back To 80" is an absolute banging tune with hooks a plenty. Would you say your tracks reflect elements of great producers such as Todd Terry, DJ Sneak and Kerri Chandler?
It's a great record and we’ve received a lot of support from Marco Carola on this one; he’s been playing it in every one of his sets and is still doing so. I'm only 26 so for me Todd, Kerri and all these big boys have always been an influence for me. They were playing and producing records before I was born!

What's your set up in the studio and do you have a favourite piece of tech and what makes it so special?
I have a Moog Sphatty and Aira kit including an 909, 808 and a 303. I also have a Novation Sl2000, a Prophet and a couple of Korgs and I just plug and unplug them from the studio desk. If not I start playing with everything and never come up with anything hehe :-) My favourite kit is my Moog - it changed my life!! I do love the Prophet too but I'm thinking of selling it to buy a Juno hehehe..

Ibiza 2017…I hear the house sound has been really popular again and which parties are you most enjoying playing at this summer  and what makes them stand out?
I think house music never left Ibiza! I’m really enjoying going to the new amazing HÏ Ibiza (former club Space) on Thursdays for In The Dark. The club is amazing and they have Luciano, Steve Lawler, Nic Fanciulli, Joris Voorn and Kolsch as residents on that night. I'm playing couple of dates there and honestly the club is just the next level.The first show I warmed up for Luciano in the main room and 30min into my set it was rammed and having Luciano next to me taking over was really beautiful.  I love to go to Circoloco DC10 on Mondays too - it's so inspiring for me and the vibe is unreal. I’ve always loved Circoloco and I really can't wait to play there. It’s a dream of mine!

You've played at Egg LDN numerous times now, and what makes Egg so magical for you?  
I absolutely love playing at Egg London - It's one of my favourite venues in the world. There are many things that makes Egg special, from the staff who work there, to the crowd and their amazing energy. The events Egg Ldn are putting on are unreal and I can honestly only say good things about this club. The first time I played at Egg it reminded me of being in Ibiza in August but it happened to be winter time! My second show there on NYE with Guti, Nick Curly and my good friend, Popof, which was unreal and every time has been really. I want to say thanks to everyone at Egg Ldn for always making me feel at home and treating me amazingly well!

We’re looking forward to hearing your set at the Eastern Electrics After Party on Saturday August 5th and which DJs are you looking forward to checking out ?
I played for the Eastern Electrics After Party at Egg 2 years ago with Steve Lawler and I warmed up for him and it was a sold-out event and it was unreal. I’m really excited to be back again and looking forward to listening to all the artists on the line up but of course I'm super excited to hear Steve Lawler play again.

Living in Ibiza is pretty cool and do you find you get a lot inspiration from such a musical island?
Being born in Ibiza is the best thing that happened to me. It’s the best place in the world and I wouldn’t change anything about living here and the people I have around me for anything in the world. It's just so amazing…the energy, the inspiration, the people, the food. It's just the perfect place!..in the summer, the winter…and in one word - paradise.

And lastly what should we be listening to as we head out the door to the EE After Party?
I just recorded a mix for the Eastern Electrics After Party and check it out http://www.egglondon.co.uk/news/manu-gonzalez-exclusive-mix  :-)  Hope to see you there and I can't wait to be back behind the decks and do what I do best!

Manu Gonzalez joins Steve Lawler, Art Dept, Jamie Roy, Apollo 84, Mandar, Geddes and many more for the Eastern Electrics After Party on Saturday August 5th.

Photo courtesy of Manu Gonzalez

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