Behind the Decks & Inside The Studio: In-Depth With Guy Mantzur

Priya Sen

Find out what Guy Mantzur is listening to and enjoying amidst his busy schedule

Guy Mantzur’s steady rise through the ranks of Progressive House and melodic Techno has an organic, never pushed too hard, level headed logic behind it – it could almost be a case study for aspiring producer/DJs to take a keen look at and emulate.

All of that doesn’t just stop there. As part of Munich based label Plattenbank, you can hardly see him flexing his muscles, while the clear and present power of his music productions is flooring dance spaces world-wide in an obvious fashion. Everything is controlled; every club he visits rocks around the clock to his carefully constructed DJ sets, and then suddenly one of Tel Aviv’s warm and friendly performers has arrived and stamped his unique vibe on the dance music industry. With a straight forward trajectory lies a complex and fascinating music maker and a lovable persona that translates all of it through wonderful compositions such as “Children With No Name”, “Moments Become Endless Time”, “Epika” and “Sad Robot”.

Whilst on his recent tour with AFE India, I caught up with the “Guy” I simply call M, to catch up for FRISKY News, and to tell us what he is busy with, his upcoming music projects, and more.

Hey Guy, thanks for taking time out to do this feature with us at Frisky. It’s not your first time in India with AFE, you’ve just concluded your India/ SL tour. How’s it been so far, any special mentions of the cities you enjoyed the most?

My tour with AFE has been amazing, as always. I have this very strong feeling that the scene in India is doubling and increasingly getting better every time I visit this country, more than the previous occasion and that speaks well of the whole movement. It’s a special feeling to be part of this evolving, with a great tour, great crowd. I don’t have a specific favorite, as every gig has its own experience and magic. For example, this time I played at a city that I had never been to before, Indore, turned out to be amazing. Even Bangalore and Mumbai had their individual magic written all over it, same goes for Guwahati.

Could you run us through a day when you are not on tour?

There’s never a typical day in my life as such. But usually I hang with my family for a few hours, as I don’t get to see them whilst I am away touring. But I have been up since very early today, as I had to finish a remix for Nick Warren, and that took about six hours. The rest of the day just goes in a blur with all my responsibilities, and I try to balance it all equally with work as well as spending time with family. Plus some me time where I do things I love personally.

Any club you played at recently that really impressed you with the crowd reception and vibe?

As with India, each and every gig or city I go to has its own vibe and flavor. It doesn’t matter whether I have a hundred people or two thousand people; I enjoy every outing the same way as the last. But yes, I can tell you that my show at Warung was extra special, this space has an incredible energy to it, and when you play a long set like I did in August, and then you know you created an indelible and strong feeling from it all.

What are your 3 favorite tracks currently?

Marino Canal – Midnight Sun on Lost & Found, it’s an amazing track with a beautiful melody and I have been really playing it a lot in recent times.

Chicola has an album coming out soon on Lost & Found, not sure whether I am supposed to say this but yes, it’s one of his best track’s ever, titled Yoav.

I made a remix for Superflu called Insi with Roy Rosenfeld, it will be out at the end of October, I really love the vibe this track creates when I drop it. What I love is that there are many great tracks out there, and people are really making beautiful music. But the above mentioned tracks are popping in my head at the moment.

Who are two producers you’d like the readers to watch out for this year?

This is a very hard one. There are lots of good producers out there now, there’s Kasper Koman from Netherlands, and every track he does is really good, a perfect mixture of melodies and a great groove going on, so he is surely a guy to watch out for. Eiten Reiter is also making amazing music, and he has released on Plattenbank and as well as Lost & Found. Not only is he creating awesome dance music, he is also showing great stuff in ambient and Chill out music. I would also like to mention Eli Nissan, who has fabulous music sense, he is soon releasing on Rumors and his Lost & Found offering has been off the hook. We will be having him on Plattenbank, plus there’s Mariano Mellino from Argentina and Marcelo Vasami, who are just fantastic.

Are you working on any release that we can have a sneak peek at?

I am actually working on several projects, one which is for Superflu, then there’s the remix for Nick Warren which will be out on Sudbeat, also an EP with Khen and some originals, which hopefully create a balance between remix work and my own productions.

When you were getting in to the DJing scene, who were you most blown away by?

When I started back in the day these were the greats that made a huge mark on me such as Sasha, John Digweed and Hernan Cattaneo. I really admired Frankie Knuckles, Masters At Work, Richie Hawtin to name a few. I have a long list of DJs that I love and still do, some for their music, some for their techniques. But for DJ sets the entire above stand out, I even loved Laurent Garnier. They are still on top of my list.

Can you give us your studio setup and what would you choose if you were told to pick an item in your technical gear that you cannot do without?

It’s made up of analog stuff. I have the Juno 60, I have Polly Evolver synths by Dave Smith, the Prophet 6, Moog, Virus TI, the uad soundcard, Eventide H9 EFX, I have a lot peddle guitars that I use as an out source for effects. I love to play with analog stuff, because it makes the sound unique, when you have to create what’s in your head.

Can you name a time in the recent past which made a huge impression on you, music wise?

In recent months I loved Warung which was a long set, then Hernan and I did 10 hours b2b, plus the US, India and Argentina tours were very important for me. Music wise I am really looking forward to my Superflu remix getting out there.

Have you ever got a weird song request?

Yes yes yes!! This is funny cause recently there was this girl asked me for a song called Despacito, which apparently is a huge hit, and the amusing thing was, I found out later that this lady worked at the club itself, so it’s quite funny.

What would you be if you weren’t a DJ?

As a child I recall there was a time when I thought of being a vet, helping animals or to be a nurse in a hospital, it was always about something to do with helping people. But when I grew up, I started to understand that I cannot do anything other than music. I cannot imagine doing anything else. But if you ask between DJing and or making music, I cannot imagine my life without making music.

It’s my life and I’m dedicated to it.

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