During the ADE 2018 we had a chance to interview one of the rising techno stars of today. This is how a regular interview should start. But thank God this is not a regular interview, because he is not a regular person. The only way to represent him is to show him the way he really is.

His name is Manni Dee and he is not just one of next rising techno stars. He already is a star if you ask me. Not only for his music, but for his personality. If you talk to him, he’ll tell you the truth, if you ask him for a favor, he’ll be the person to help you out. If you look at him while he’s behind the decks, you’ll just know you are on a place to be. His energy will touch you through the music just the way it did me. From the bottom of my heart...I am absolutely inspired and grateful for every word.

Za vreme ADE-a 2018 imali smo priliku da intervjuišemo jednu od techno zvezda u usponu. Tako bi regularan intervju trebao da počne. Ali hvala Bogu ovo nije regularan intervju, jer on nije regularna osoba. Jedini način da ga predstavim,  je da ga predstavim onakav kakav zaista jeste.

Njegovo ime je Manni Dee i on nije samo još jedna  techno zvezda u usponu. On već jeste zvezda ako mene pitate. Ne samo zbog svoje muzike, već i zbog njegovog karaktera. Ako razgovarate sa njim, reći će vam istinu, ako ga pitate za uslugu, on će biti osoba koja će Vam pomoći. Ako ga gledate dok je za pultom, znaćete da ste na pravom mestu. Njegova energija će vas dodirnuti kroz muziku isto kao što je i mene. Iz dubine mog srca…Apsolutno sam inspirisana i zahvalna za svaku reč.

ENG: We know about Manni Dee. He’s performances are wanted. Tracks are crazier than ever and his reputation is getting more appreciated all over the world, where techno can reach. What was Manni Dee before he became Manni Dee? What was the eruption which lead to this?

SRB: Znamo sve o Manni Dee-ju. Njegovi nastupi su sve više traženi. Trake luđe nego ikada pre, a njegova reputacija postaje sve više cenjena širom sveta, gde techno može dosegnuti. Ko je bio Manni Dee, pre nego što je postao Manni Dee? Koja erupcija je dovela do toga?

ENG: I used to make hip-hop when I was a kid, when I was about 14, 15 years old. I grew up in Wolverhampton in little town in West Midlands. Started making hip-hop there, but I moved away from Wolverhampton, I was in a band, but the band really didn’t work out, so I started making electronic music. Initially it wasn’t really about making techno, at that time i didn’t know anything about techno. So I was making just weird music, at that time that kind of music was called Wonky, just beats and a lot of stuff it was more kind of experimental hip-hop. And from there I gradually moved to techno, because that kind of music I was making seem to be disingenuous because it was very American, so i kinda moved more to the British sound, that was representing me and my surrounding. That’s how Manni Dee became techno act, about 5 years ago.

SRB: Kada sam bio klinac, sa nekih otprilike 14-15 godina, pravio sam hip hop. Odrastao sam u Wolverhampton-u malom gradu u West Midlands-u. Počeo sam praveći hip hop, zatim sam se preselio iz Wolverhampton-a, nakon toga sam bio i u bendu, ali bend nije funkcionisao, pa sam počeo da pravim elektoronsku muziku. U početku zapravo to nije bio techno, tada nisam znao ništa o techno-u. Pravio sam čudnu muziku, koju su u to vreme zvali Wonky, samo bitovi i mnoštvo stvari, više je ličilo na neku vrstu eksperimentalnog hip hop-a. Odatle sam se postepeno prebacio na techno, zato što je ta vrsta muzike koju sam pravio delovala neiskreno, jer je zvučala američki, iz tog razloga prebacio na više britanski zvuk, koji je predstavljao mene i moje okruženje. Tako je Manni Dee postao techno izvođač, otprilike pre 5 godina.

ENG: You have another alias called Nuances, on which you prefer more ambient sound. Is that something where you can find your inner peace and hide from everything, or something absolutely different?

SRB: Imaš još jedan alijas koji nosi naziv Nuances, na kome više preferiraš ambijentalni zvuk. Da li je to nešto gde možeš da pronađeš svoj unutrašnji mir i da se sakriješ od svega, ili nešto potpuno drugačije?

ENG: That project started as contrast to the techno stuff, I felt like there was another side of me that I wanted to express. The project was all about the inevitable ending of things, which is a bit ironic, because now that project is finished. I always intended to stop that project once my album came out. Before there was even an album I always thought once my album comes out I’m gonna kill that project because I wouldn’t be able to express on Nuances what I feel like Manni Dee. It was a project that was such a big contrast from the club stuff, so I felt necessary to separate these two, and it was just different side of my personality that I wanted to express, more emotional, and it didn’t really fit in the framework, where techno definitely fits.

SRB: Taj projekat je započeo kao contrast techno stvarima, osetio sam kao da postoji druga strana mene koju želim da pokažem. Projekat je uvek išao ka neizbežnom kraju, što je pomalo ironično, zato što je sada taj projekat završen. Uvek sam nameravao da zaustavim taj projekat kada moj album izađe. Pre nego što je album i postojao, uvek sam mislio, kada moj album izađe, ugasiću taj projekat, zato što kao Nuances neću moći da iskažem ono što osećam kao Manni Dee. Bio je to projekat koji je bio tako veliki kontrast od klubskih stvari, tako da sam se osećao potrebnim da ih razdvojim, to je bila samo druga strana moje ličnosti koju sam želeo da izrazim, emotivnija i nije se uklopila u okvir, gde se techno definitivno uklapa.

ENG: You are longtime member of Perc Trax family, which is not small thing at all. Tell me how did all started, and are you proud of the tracks you signed for them?

SRB: Dugogodišnji si član Perc Trax porodice, što uopšte nije mala stvar. Reci mi kako je sve počelo i da li si ponosam trakama koje si potpisao za njih?

ENG: It all started when I saw video on Twitter where Perc was playing my track called „Rebuild/Disintegrate“ that came out on my first techno EP which I signed for Black Sun Records. Than I thought Oh, I can send him some tracks, and then one of my tracks ended in compilation called Perc Trax vs. Pole Group with Oscar Mulero, Forward Strategy Group and some artists from Pole Group. So that’s how all that started, from then on I kept sending him music, and then he signed some other tracks. I think the EP that I did for him is probably my strongest. He’s really great man to work with, probably out of everyone that I worked with. He takes what the artist is trying to say into consideration more than a lot of other people and he gives artist a lot of freedom to say what they wanna say.

SRB: Sve je počelo kada sam na Twitter-u pogledao video na kom Perc pušta moju traku „Rebuild/Disintegrate“ koja je izašla na mom prvom techno EP-u koji sam potpisao za Black Sun Records. Pomislio sam, oh, mogu da mu pošaljem neke trake i tada je jedna od mojih traka završila na kompilaciji Perc Trax vs. Pole Group, zajedno sa umetnicma kao što su Oscar Mulero, Forward Strategy Group i još nekima umetnicma iz Pole Group-a. Tako je sve to započelo, od tada sam nastavio da mu šaljem muziku, a zatim je potpisao i neke druge trake. Mislim da je EP koji sam uradio za njega verovatno najjači. On je stvarno sjajan čovek sa kojim treba raditi, verovatno najbolji od svih sa kojima sam radio. On uzima za ozbiljno ono što umetnik pokušava reći više nego mnogi drugi ljudi i umetniku daje puno slobode da kaže šta hoće da kaže.

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ENG: You are famous because of your dark and raw techno music, which i especially appreciate. So I want to know where do you find inspiration for your tracks, because that amount of darkness cannot be found anywhere?

SRB: Poznat si zbog svog mračnog i sirovog techno-a , koji ja posebno cenim. Zato želim da znam gde nalaziš inspiraciju za svoje trake, jer tolika količina tame se ne može naći bilo gde?

ENG: Well, a lot of inspiration comes from energy in the club, when you figure out what you can do as a DJ, like infusing room with the energy. It’s connected, because you fill room with the energy, you feel that on yourself, and after that you can take that energy to the studio and try to recapture that moment, you feel that even seeing and listening other DJs in clubs, so yes, a lot of inspiration comes from that.

SRB: Pa, puno inspiracije dolazi od energije u klubu, kada shvatite šta možete učiniti kao DJ, kao što je ispunjavanje prostorije energijom. Povezano je, jer napunite prostor energijom, osetite to na sebi, a nakon toga tu energiju možete poneti u studio i pokušati da ponovo oživite taj trenutak, to osetite čak i kada gledate i slušate druge DJ-eve u klubovima, tako da, da, dosta inspiracije dolazi od toga. 

ENG: But, do you feel closer to the darker side than the lighter one?

SRB: Ali, da li se osećaš bliže mračnijoj strani od one svetlije?

ENG: Well, I don’t really feel close to the dark side of techno, I guess what I do is considered darker, which places me in that world and I don’t really have a problem with that. But, I don’t really see that as darkness, to me, that is just capturing a certain type of energy, and that’s what I focus on when I’m making music, and for me, most of energy is in the drums.

SRB: Pa, stvarno se ne osećam blisko sa mračnom stranom techno-a, pretpostavljam da je ono što radim smatrano tamnijim, što me stavlja u taj svet i ja stvarno nemam problem sa tim. Ali, zaista to ne vidim kao mrak, to je samo zauzimanje određene vrste energije, i to je ono na šta se fokusiram kada pravim muziku, a za mene je većina energije u drum-ovima.

ENG: So, besides all that, you are also doing Live sets with Ewa Justka, and one year ago you signed an EP for Perc Trax with her called „Throbs of Discontent“. Are you planning some new releases with her or maybe some other artists?

SRB: Dakle, pored svega toga, radiš i Live setova sa Ewa Justka-om i pre godinu dana si sa njom potpisao EP za  Perc Trax pod nazivom „Throbs of Discontetnt“. Da li planiraš neka nova izdanja sa njom ili možda nekim drugim umetnicima?

ENG: Well, we recorded all our rehearsals and all Live sets. Recently we played our third Live show at Unsound festival, that was fuckin’ great! It’s so much fun to play with Ewa. Ewa also did the vocals for the track, „London isn’t England“. I was making that track and thought it would be really good with some vocals, so I just knocked on her door, and asked her: Are you up for screaming for one of my tracks? Ahaha. It took about three minutes, and that was exactly what I wanted. So that was more kind of a feature, because she recorded vocals for me, but the stuff we do live is more direct collaboration. I’ve got all of the  recordings we did, so I need to go through them and pick some parts that can be structured and sound like a track and yes, I don’t have any other collaboration in my mind right now.

 

SRB: Pa, snimili smo sve naše probe i Live setove. Nedavno smo radili naš treći Live show na Unsound festivalu, koji je bio jebeno odličan! Jako je zabavno puštati sa Ewa-om. Ewa je takođe uradila vokale za moju traku „London isn’t England“. Pravio sam tu traku i pomislio da bi zvučala dobro sa nekim vokalima, pa sam joj samo pokucao na vrata i pitao je: Da li želiš da vrišti za jednu od mojih traka? Ahahah. Trebalo nam je tri minuta i to je bilo tačno ono što sam i hteo. Dakle, to je bila više vrsta obične saradnje, jer je snimila vokal za mene, ali stvari koje radimo Live su više direktnija saradnja. Imam sve snimke koje smo radili, tako da samo treba da prođem kroz njih i izaberem deo koji može zvučati kao traka, i da, nemam nijednu drugu saradnju na umu trenutno.

 

ENG: During this year ADE I had a chance to see you in situation where you supported your DJ friends in any way needed. Today, everybody is hungry for success. What is your advice for all DJs around the glove in supporting colleagues?

SRB: Tokom ovgodišnjeg ADE-a imala sam priliku da te vidim u situaciju u kojoj podržavaš svoje prijatelje, DJ-eve, u svakom mogućem smislu. Koji je tvoj savet za DJ-eve širom sveta, kada je u pitanju podržavanje kolega?

ENG: Don’t steal other people music, that’s the main one. Just try to be humble, it’s hard sometimes, and this is probably the most difficult one, try not to follow trends. If you are directly influenced by something in the club or the track, it’s really easy to be overt with your reference to track when you try to make your own music... Oh yeah, and have patience. Patience is best advice I was ever given, just don’t rush. When I started making techno I just locked myself away for about six months, I know my friends thought that was really weird, because I wasn’t coming out of house, I was just making music, making techno and tried to find my own sound and I think that’s so important. There are so many artists that are so good, but they are too quick to release music, they say yes to any offer they get, and at the end of that you have really good artists, releasing on really small labels. I can understand why that happens, cause you make something you are really excited about, and you want to get that out as soon as possible. Having patience is the key, if you really want longevity, patience is invaluable.

SRB: Nemojte krasti muziku od drugih ljudi, to je ono najbitnije. Samo pokušajte da budete skromni, ponekad je teško, a ovo je najteže, pokušajte da ne pratite trendove. Ako ste direktno pod uticajem nečega u klubu ili neke trake, stvarno je lako završiti sa vašom referencom za traku kada pokušavate da pravite sopstvenu muziku... I da, imajte strpljenja. Strpljenje je najbolji savet koji sam ikada dobio, samo nemojte žuriti. Kada sam počeo da pravim techno, samo sam se zaključao na šest meseci, znam da su moji prijatelji mislili da je to stvarno čudno, jer nisam izlazio iz kuće, samo sam pravio muziku, pravio techno i pokušavao da pronađem svoj vlastiti zvuk i mislim da je to jako važno. Ima toliko umetnika koji su tako dobri, ali oni brzo izdaju muziku, kažu da za svaku ponudu koju dobiju, a onda na kraju imaš stvarno dobre umetnike, koju izdaju za stvarno male etikete. Mogu da shvatim zašto se to dešava, jer stvarate nešto za šta ste stvarno uzbuđeni, a želite to da izbacite što je pre moguće. Imati strpljenje je ključno, ako zaista želite dugovečnost, strpljenje je neprocenjivo.

ENG: If I ask you what any track must have in order to become an aphrodisiac, you will tell me...

SRB: Ako te pitam šta bilo koja traka mora ima da bi postala afrodizijak, ti ćeš mi reći…

ENG: Well, kick-drum is most important thing for me, I spend a lot of time on that and I think that’s really the most important thing, because techno is club music, so if you make techno for DJ sets you need make sure that the kicks and the subs sounds strong and powerful on sound system. Which is hard to gage if you don’t have the right equipment. When other people play your tracks you can hear that in clubs, so the bottom end, the bass and subs are obviously the one.

SRB: Pa, kick-drum je za mene najbitnija stvar, trošim dosta vremena na to i mislim da je to zaista najbitnija stvar, zato što je techno klupska muzika, ako pravite techno za DJ setove, morate biti sigurni da kick i sub-ovi zvuče jako i moćno na ozvučenju. Što je jako postići ako nemate odgovarajuću opremu. Kada drugi ljudi puštaju vase trake u klubu, možete čuti to, tako da su donji kraj, bass-evi i sub-ovi očigledno ti.

ENG: Your name is rising and your music is reaching every corner of the world. How soon will we be lucky to have you in Belgrade?

SRB: Tvoje ime raste, dok tvoja muzika doseže u svaki deo ovog sveta. Koliko brzo ćemo imati sreću da te čujemo u Beogradu?

ENG: Hahaha, I don’t know, I’ll speak to my agent about that. I’ve got couple of friends from Serbia, Scalameriya and Lag, so hopefully soon.

SRB: Hahaha, ne znam, razgovaraću sa svojim agentom o tome. Imam par prijatelja iz Srbije, Scalameriya-u i Laga, tako da uskoro, nadam se.

ENG: And maybe London isn’t England, but Manni Dee is definitely a human being that keeps me believing... I hope you understand now why I needed your voice to speak so much.

SRB: Možda London nije Engleska, ali Manni Dee je definitivno ljudsko biće u koje verujem... Nadam se da sada razumeš zašto mi je bio potreban tvoj glas za priču.

ENG: Thank you. Thank you so much!

SRB: Hvala ti. Hvala ti puno!

You belong behind the decks. Never stop making people happy. 

THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING MANNI

Tvoje mesto je iza pulta. Nikada nemoj da prestaneš da činiš ljude srećnim.

Hvala ti što si tako divno stvorenje Manni.