Christian Murphy, - on 14/8/12
Irish born, Berlin resident Mano Le Tough (a.k.a. Niall Mannion), has carved out a reputation over the last few years for his distinctively warm and considered productions, a human touch amongst the deluge of soulless 'deep house'. In addition to well recieved releases on Internasjonal, Permanent Vacation and Buzzin' Fly, he co-runs the well loved Passion Beat night alongside his friend The Drifter and together they have recently started their own imprint, Maeve (check the debute here). To find out a little more on what to expect from Maeve and for a quick chat, we caught up with the man himself.
Hello Niall, whereabouts are you speaking to us from today. Hi there, I am currently at home in Berlin doing my usual relaxed Monday after a weekends touring!
July 30th saw the launch of your new label Maeve in partnership with your friend The Drifter; the first tune released being a wonderful pop inflected number by Baikal. How did you come across the tune and is this a good indicator of the kind of music we can expect from Maeve? Pop inflected?! I think just because something has a vocal doesn't mean it is poppy! Baikal is a friend of ours here in Berlin, he is sitting on a pile of amazing unreleased music and we can't wait for the world to hear it, he is one of the central artists of the label and his sound is a pretty good indicator of what we like.
Does having your own club night in the form of you and The Drifter's monthly Passion Beat act as a sounding board for potential label material? Yes, most definitely, Passion Beat is a great place to try stuff out, we have a regular crowd every month and people get to know the records.
Can you tell us a little bit about how the night came to be? Some Irish friends started a little club called Kleine Reise around 2 1/2 years ago in Berlin and The Drifter and I were asked to do a night there in the first couple of weeks. we have done it every month since then and as the KR guys opened their excellent new venue, Loftus Hall, we moved the party there. It has been a great success and one of the best things I have been involved with.
Your press release emphasises the desire for the label to create memorable and enduring records. Is this something you feel is generally lacking from electronic music as of late?Well I think it´s more a case of that, if a record is different and in some way an original idea, it has a chance to have a greater life span than a record that is an emulation of someone else´s idea. We want to release records that are special and due to their uniqueness will hopefully leave a lasting impression.
Your music is consistently praised for its emotive quality and melody-when making music how important is it for you to create this kind of emotion? I guess I try and make music that has an emotional resonance without being overly sentimantal or schmalzy. It means a lot to me to try and connect with the listener on a deeper level and add something to their lives thats more than a hands in the air 5am moment in a club (although there is nothing wrong with that).
Although your tunes have the dancefloor efficiency that allows them slot to comfortably in to the mix, there are clearly many other more varied influences than purely dance music at play in your creative process-where else do you get inspiration from?I guess events in my life have a big influence on my creative process. Its difficult to talk about the creative process as I think its best not to analyse it but I guess I try to translate emotional states from an abstract and open point of view.
As a Berlin resident for over five years and one who is thoroughly involved in the club culture over there, how much do you feel the current threat of changes in GEMA legislation (clubs look set to face large charges for playing copyrighted music) will affect the city and the scene within it? To be honest I think that it will all work out and venues wont be forced to close. I think and certainly hope that the powers that be in the city realise the monetary and cultural value the citys nightlife provides the city with and use common sense to come to a reasonable agreement for all parties. (no pun intended)
The last release from you, 'Mountains', made extensive use of your own treated vocal as a melodic device, is the use of your own voice in your music a direction your looking to continue pursuing? Certainly, I think the voice is a tonally unique musical instrument which everyone has and that instantly personalises your music. It recently became central to my music and will remain so.
Finally, how is your album on Permanent Vacation shaping up and how has a project of this scale challegened you differently in comparison to your prior releases? The album is basically complete. It will be out in January or so. It has been a big challenge for me, the album format is still for me the most important statement for an artist such as myself. It has been a lot of work and I have learnt a lot about myself in the process which is the most important thing. I am very excited to see if people like it!
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