MANIK fired on to electronic music scene with a brand new album

“Undergroundknowledge is a journey into Queens on the 7 train. It flips through my history (my youth and the sights, smells, and sounds around me) and is a window on how I grew up. Musicality wise, I wanted to explore my background of house music, but also dig deeper on the jazzy and hip-hop influences”, talks MANIK.

MANIK fired on to electronic music scene in 2011 with releases on Ovum, Poker Flat and Culprit. The Queen’s native is the quintessential New York DJ; a connoisseur of dance music with an inimitable style that crosses multiple genres. A seasoned crate digger, MANIK spends hours in record shops to find those forgotten records and hidden gems. Since his electronic beginning, he has also released on labels including B-Pitch Control, Kim Ann Foxman’s Firehouse, Huxley’s label NIO, Fresh Meat Chicago and he is known for cheeky edits of Janet Jackson and the Beastie Boys.

Undergroundknowledge follows MANIK’s debut album release ‘Armies of the Night’, released on Ovum in 2011.

“I moved out to the West Coast three years ago and started writing this album. And somewhere in this time, I found myself as an artist. I took everything back to where I started, super underground, low key, New York, Chicago, Detroit sounds. There are non dance orientated parts, but it is relevant to me a an artist and me as a person. Who I am, where I come from and what I am today. Stepping away from the city allowed me to fully find where I was trying to go in life. Both as an artist and human being. When I moved, I stripped it back to the essentials and it helped me see my work flow way more clearly”.

You called the album “Undergroundknowledge”. Why?

“We are in this age of the ultra celebrity DJ thing, I find that not to be my ethos. This is my way of saying I think we all need to take a step back and make the extra effort, spend the extra hour digging those promos – learn about our dance music history – look for the underground knowledge. Yeah, it’s basically how i grew up in NYC. From taking the 7 train in and out of Queens, to playing basketball in school yards, it’s all up in the record. I also wanted to talk about important NY issues like “Gentrification” and the destruction of “5 Pointz” a few years ago. And also highlight the graffiti community like legendary SMART Crew”.

Your sound is a mix of styles or not? Is it simply techno?

“It is rooted in House and Techno of course. Detroit, Chicago and NYC all rolled into one joint. But I come from a Hip Hop background. A Hip hop background that was heavily influenced by Jazz. It is all on the LP”.

Where you live?

“Currently I am based in Southern California, San Diego specifically”.

Have you your own indie label?

“Not yet but I am planning to in the near future”.

What do you think of Italian music producers?

“Yeah there are some cool producers in Italy. Actually, I love the country of Italy. I have played many times over the years in and around the country. Honestly, the food and energy is always great. I love Italy”.

You produce all your own music?

“Yes. All my tracks are made by me. But if I could select an artist to collaborate with, I would pick Kendrick Lamar or Joey Bad ass. I also make hip hop on the side and I think they really appreciate the quality old school kind of hip hop I like”.

Do you have a favourite track now?

“Till Von Sein new EP is fire.

What’s your favourite all time track?

“For house music it is ‘Can You Feel It’ by Fingers Inc”.

What kind of music do you play?

“When I dj I like to play classic house, and classic techno and of course some acid house. Anything from Chicago, Detroit, and NYC. Also house music with some hip hop and funk elements to it. But also love a good deep classic track too like Dream 2 Science”.

When was your first studio experience?

“I was making hip hop beats in high school but I first started making house music at University”.

In the house/techno world is there few good newcomers?

“Yeah, Rey Aguilar is a great DJ out of Texas that is doing some awesome stuff”.

What way are you taking for the sound of next album?

“Just me”.