Fractal Architect – Larsen / Facets – Manual Deep

From the opening moments as Larsen gathers pace the prevailing sense of joyous expectation is plainly palpable. Its cross contamination of influences have created an intriguing mix of haunting, delicate guitars alongside shimmering arpeggios, moody bass and electro drums. Facets, proceeds to move across deeper territory with a graceful flair again combining different atmospheric charges into one rather moving experience, tripping the light fantastic in its wake. What also sets these numbers apart is the live interplay of organic instrumentation just like it was being performed as you listen to its passing minutes and seconds.

Release: December 9


3kilo – Searching For You – 90watts

The haunting spaces opened by this rather tasty production from 3Kilo is rewarding in its own right. Moods, voices and textures are made readily available through the expert use of electronics, generating much thought about the human soul as about connectivity through sound on the title track. KAMADEV & Paul Hazendonk provide a first rate remix adding a slinky, funkier slant to the instrumentation while lending the rhythms fresh impetus. Second original, By Your Side (feat Robodanz) then feels tougher in comparison supplying a nice alternative should you so desire.

Release: June 25


Riigs & Skenna – One More Love – Manual Music

The luscious One More Love which begins this new release from Riigs & Skenna fills the air with space and timely emotion. Temptingly open to interpretation as unfolding waves of synthesized arpeggios roll over unhurried drums plus occasional splashes of breathy vocals all of which strongly hints at sun and shine in evocative manner. Ambro, feels brisker by contrast with keys imposing melody amid a heady whir of assorted sounds and swirls.

Release: June 18


Aluria & Aman Anand – Stop The Silence – MNL

Talking of revolutionary fervour, Stop The Silence injects the fire of much missed energy into their provocative statement of intent. Accompanied by pounding drums and bass there is an urgency to it all which focuses thoughts on the future with Aluria’s words delivered via the force of Punk attitude. Followed by an excellent Dub version highlighting the melodic chime of punctuating keys amid the resolute intensity of the assaulting rhythms. Next the GMJ remix feels that touch deeper reworking the elements into an ever evolving tease of the senses.

Release: March 1


Aman Anand


Alex Cicada РSy̬l РManual Music

This reflective production from Alex Cicada sets the future standard high as his debut release brushes the senses with the air of emotional resonance. The yearning vocal is at the heart of Syèl from which the splash of tastefully crafted instruments all breathe soul into the arrangement that is more about the depth of quality than simple dancefloor repetition. Two excellent remixes pay compliment with Ebrahimi reworking the elements notably heightening expectation via haunting keys, and from Hannes Wiehager who gets tougher with smouldering synths and drums all enhancing the atmosphere.

Release: February 8



Sasheen – Colors – Manual Music

The opening bars of Colors greets you with breathy anticipation soon being resolved by the introduction of treated voices intoning thoughts of the wonder of nature. The soul of electricity pulses throughout the arrangement of chiming, melodic keyboards but not before a contrasting burst of darker synthesizer hits midway. Dreamlike intention. The heavier, though equally atmospheric Qbical remix supplies an excellent alternative to the original, not by pulling punches but excelling in intensity. The punchier, Origin again excites the circuitry this time with a looser more improvised feel to finish.

Release: August 28

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Alessandro Diga Q&A

Your new single: Grace’s Secret/ Skies Are Crying is due out in May on Manual Music. What is the inspiration behind the titles?

The track name for ‘Skies Are Crying’ is based on my experience on a flight I took to Berlin last summer. When the plane took off it rained pretty hard, so in a literal sense it felt as though the sky was crying and it was a strangely beautiful sight. When I came home I took this as inspiration to finish the track and so named it after this experience. The other track, ‘Grace’s Secret’ doesn’t quite have the same sort of thoughtful story behind its name. It’s named after a racehorse in the Peaky Blinders TV series!

Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks, including any favourite pieces of studio gear you like to use?

I really like to use my guitar, because playing on the guitar always calms me down and the combining of electronic parts with acoustic elements is one I really enjoy. It can lead to some very interesting and unexpected results! Also, I like to record all kinds of common sounds and noises in everyday life. Everything can be used in music and I really like the versatility of things. In terms of favourite pieces of electronic kit, I’m very impressed by the Roland TR-8 – it’s such a nice machine, especially for its cost! I really love that piece of equipment.


How did you become involved with Paul Hazendonk’s Manual Music?

When I released my first tracks on Eelke Kleijn’s Outside the Box Music label, he advised me to spread my releases on different labels and introduced me to Paul. From that moment we have had a really good thing going on. Paul is a cool and friendly guy, realistic and knows what he is doing. Therefore I wanted to release my album on Manual (‘Grace’s Secret’/ ‘Skies Are Crying’ is a first taste of what’s to come) because it feels trusted and natural to do it on his label.

You played guitar in a Punk band before immersing yourself in Electronic music. What ideas/attitude did you bring from Punk into Dance music?

Probably the attitude of being really, really stubborn and not willing to let go of your ‘own thing’. Besides that I also like to use a lot of distortion, something that is also really common in the punk scene. But the most important thing, I guess, is the no-nonsense attitude, just being myself and enjoying making music, like it or not.

What DJ’s/ Clubs first inspired you?

The list is endless, but to name just a few… Awakenings Festival was the first Techno festival I went to and it had such a big influence on me. Before that day I actually didn’t like electronic music that much. At least that was what I thought! The atmosphere, so many friendly people, and interesting and complex music made me want to be a part of this straight away. After that day I bought my first turntables and learned how to make music – that was 10 years ago and I still have that same passion and enthusiasm I had back then.

If I mention musicians that have inspired me, I always have to name Extrawelt and Dominik Eulberg in my list. Their sound is still the ultimate for me and I was so proud that I could make a release on Traum, just like these guys. Right at this moment I’m also really liking guys like Ame & Dixon. That’s maybe not a very surprising or original answer but, everywhere these guys play, it’s always so good and I’m really impressed by that. But there are so many very good artists at the moment, I could fill a whole page telling you about what DJs I would recommend that you should listen too.

What can we expect from your debut artist album ‘Figments Of My Imagination’? And how long did it take to put together?

This album is a translation of the last three years of my life. So the good things I experienced, the bad things, the pain I felt, the highs, the lows… So I think it incorporates a very versatile character. For example, the track ‘Standing On My Feet’ is about the infection I had in my foot. The doctors were fearful that I would lose a couple of toes or a part of my foot, but after being in the hospital for a month and then 3 months of antibiotics, the infection was gone and I could keep my foot. Thank god! But the pain and despair I felt at that moment is very easy to recognize in that track in my opinion. Then, on the other hand, a track like ‘You Put A Smile On My Face’ is about a girl I met and who made me very happy at that time…

How is life in Breda? What clubs/bars would you recommend?

Things there a really quiet and burgundy… The scene in Breda is in upswing with some nice projects such as Ploegendienst and Broeikas. For the more known parties, such as DGTL and Awakenings, you have to make the one-hour trip to Amsterdam and its surroundings.

Please tell us about your forthcoming tour of Holland? Plus any other plans for 2017?

For this moment we have three shows planned in Amsterdam, Breda and Groningen, and I hope to do a little private party with a live stream of the show. Maybe we will add some other cities to the tour, but at the moment this is it. Further plans I have for 2017 or the distant future are setting up a label. My brother and I are playing with the idea of starting an electronic music label and are exploring the possibilities right now. It’s still in its infancy but we are working on it.


Alessandro Diga – Grace’s Secret / Skies Are Crying – Manual Music

In anticipation of a forthcoming album Alessandro Diga’s highly charged assault on the senses sees fizzy, exuberant bass lines fuse a dangerous sense of melody together with hard-hitting notation. Supremely addictive as Grace’s Secret also underpins the action with contrasting delicate string-like plucks which offset it all rather nicely. THe WHite SHadow version follows injecting a darker sense of occasion against a fiery succession of additional drums and hot synth lines playing out like an excellent alternative to the original. Second track, Skies Are Crying again witness’s a concentration on low-end theory this time adorned by grainy yet emotive pads, leaving Emiel van den Dungen to tease out all synthesized possibilities on a sparkling rendition.

Release: Beatport May 1 / All Stores May 15