(Extended Mix): Manami

Bristol-based DJ and producer Manami has been gathering steam over the last year or two. Her eclectic and dynamic tastes—which take in everything from Italo Disco, electro, EBM, breaks and the Bristolian electronic sounds of the city she’s grown to call home—are showcased through her residencies on Worldwide FM and Noods, as well as at her regular party Better Days. These influences feed into her own productions too, hand-in-hand with her talents as a trained pianist, which have led to outings for Alfresco Disco and Corrupt Data.

Taking an off the cuff approach to her mix for us, she lets the vibe dictate the journey, moving from lush ambient to low slung electronics, all the way through to squelchy acid and euphoric trance.

(Extended Mix) is a new charitable series that celebrates all-night specialists and more simple, carbon-friendly lineups. Instead of paying on the door for this extended experience, we invite listeners to donate to the DJ directly while their gigs are cancelled, or to a chosen charity. For this one Manami has chosen to highlight Tŷ Hafan, a children’s hospice in South Wales where her sister works as a paediatrician.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud Select. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download the mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid.

First off, how have you been finding lockdown? What has been the biggest challenge and more positive outcome you’ve experienced through extended time at home? 

I’ve found the last few months pretty challenging to be honest. Having such little real life social contact with friends and family has been the hardest part. That being said, I’ve gotten a lot closer to my family which I’ve been feeling super grateful for. I’ve also started kitting up my home studio some more and I’ve been working on honing my productions into a sound that I feel confident in. I have the time to do that at the moment which is great. 

Thanks for recording an extended mix for us. How did you find the recording process?

It was a really fulfilling and fun experience. Thank you so much for inviting me! Usually with mixes I have to pick a genre or tempo to base it around in order to properly explore but with this obviously I didn’t need to do that. I really enjoy taking the time to work my way into a sound and building things up gradually to create the release. I recorded this late afternoon and into the evening as it was getting dark. Hopefully you can hear the shift in tone as the sun went down. 

How did you approach the mix? Did you have an idea in mind beforehand? Was there much pre-planning or did you just trust your instincts?

It’s a comprehensive mix of the sounds that I’ve been listening to a lot of during the pandemic. I made a bunch of genre playlists, and knew I wanted to go from ambient to trance. I had a pretty good idea of how the genres were going to talk to each other to bridge that gap, but left the rest of it to the vibe. I feel I properly got into a groove that I was able to nicely ride from around half way.  

Could you talk us through a couple standouts from set?

There’s the new Scuffed Recordings track in there called Pluck by Young Muscle. The rest of the EP is ridiculous and Scuffed have been fully nailing it with their releases. Same goes for Thorpe Cloud by Human Resources on the new Pressure Dome compilation. A huge selection of tracks compiled by Jen Hartley. Lots of new bits in the mix actually, so much great music out at the moment. 

Where’s been your favourite place to play an all-night set, and why?

I’ve only played all night once at The Love Inn, but that was only 4 hours. I can’t wait to get a chance to play somewhere for 6+ hours. I’d love to play an all night set at FOLD, with the sun seeping through the windows as the morning comes round, that’d be so awesome. 

Who are some of your favourite all-night specialists, and why? 

I’ve seen Saoirse play all night a good few times because they’re always so fun. You can really hear her deep musical knowledge via her track selections. Ben UFO is an obvious choice but the way he intricately pushes and pulls with your expectations makes for a very satisfying experience on the dancefloor. 

By celebrating DJs with a penchant for all-night sets, the (Extended Mix) series hopes to encourage a more stripped back, carbon-friendly approach to lineup curation. Reducing our footprint as a globalised underground community is a massive challenge as we try to rebuild the scene after Covid-19 lockdown, and we hope progression can be forged through sharing our challenges and experiences. Are there any thoughts you’d like to add to the discussion?

I unfortunately don’t think we will see any real or significant change on a large scale and I’m not holding my breath for it. However change happens from the ground up and I know this is already coming from the more community-centred organisations, whether that be venues, labels, promoters and festivals. I feel lucky to be in Bristol to see some of this first hand. These organisations have a much more socially conscious approach to the dance, and it’s these parties and people that will grow and evolve the scene for the better in the long term. I’m already seeing them pool local talent, offset carbon emissions and reduce single use plastics.

For my party Better Days, Anil Chohan and I always chat to the artist/agent in working out how to offset their carbon footprint and we also consider how to holistically reduce the carbon emission of the event. We are also aiming to donate a percentage of our profits to the artists charity of choice for future shows. I’m seeing that these kinds of conversations are starting to become the norm, at least at the ground level. 

You can feel it in the vibe of the party when an event is shallowly driven. I’m hoping the focus continues to shift away from these parties and organisations that lack soul. And I’m feeling excited that at the grassroots level the parties post-pandemic are going to look and feel even more like the way they were originally intended to.

Tell us a bit more about your chosen charity – what work do they do and why is it so important to you? 

My sister works as a consultant paediatrician at a children’s hospice in South Wales called Tŷ Hafan. She’s the coolest and most inspiring person I know. The work she and the hospice does for these children and their families is unreal. So if you are able and willing, please do make a donation to support their work.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud Select. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download the mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid.

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