Manta: The Monday Is Ok Mix


Having recently released his second LP for Where To Now? we decided to catch up with the mysterious Portugese producer Manta. His latest release sees him explore the relationship between our perceptions of space alongside the deeply rooted human element of exploration. The producer takes influence from writers which include the likes of J.G. Ballard and Italo Calvino. We asked him to record an exploratory mix suitable for easy listening which digs deep into his musical roots tastes and aspirations. Listen and read the interview below: 

Who are you, where are you and what are you?

My name is Manuel Carvalho, I'm a Portuguese electronic musician living in Berlin.

What does your music sound like? 

It's synth-heavy club influenced music,I don't think it's exactly club music, just rythmic and textural explorations that use that same language.

How would you describe Portuguese music and club culture? 

Portugal is a very interesting place culturally, we have on one side this European Christian heritage, all very monolithic and Colonialist and on the other side, especially in Lisbon, there's this massive influence of African Culture from the ex-colonies. That translates into what I think is some of the most progressive, exciting music being made anywhere in the world today.

The boom in Portuguese club music worldwide via Principe Discos is very well documented, those guys are amazing. I've been away from the Portuguese scene for almost 10 years now, so I'm no expert in what else is going on there. 

I'd say there's a lack of well thought out clubbing spaces in Portugal and that hurts the kind of stuff which is possible to do there, everyone just looks for the outside searching for realization. I think that's a double-edged sword where a Portuguese musician might be way more globally minded than for example a Spanish one, but this also means that the cultural identity of much of stuff that's going on is pretty diluted and derivative, with some outstanding exceptions of course.

I've been hearing some good things about Porto and the North of Portugal, with the Terrain Ahead guys going hard for many years now.

Where do your own personal tastes lie in music? 

I guess my taste is all over the place,electronic or acoustic, I always look for something with an emotional punch that's not too straightforward, I like ambiguity and nuance in music.

What role does ambient music play in inspiration to you? 

I started making drone and ambient compositions before I recently shifted into more groovy territories, the droney more minimal background constantly informs all my approaches to music.

Where was this mix recorded?

Half of it was recorded on a plane to Barcelona and the other in my living room in Berlin.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

If you can find the gear do it underwater in a swimming pool by yourself. If not, just your living room at dusk.

What should we be wearing?

Nothing either way.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location, system, format?

Penthouse of a Hong Kong Skyscrapper, on Laserdisc.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Caetano Veloso's Asa Branca is one of my all time favourites and a staple of my childhood house.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

That's a tough one, maybe Jeff Mill's The Exhibitionist mix.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

I'm not a Dj, but if I was I'd love to play with Moodymann.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

I think on a good mix every track is equally important, just each has a different role. Start can be an attention grabber or a massive tension builder. End can be apotheotic or a gentle come down.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First CD is something embarassing like red hot chili peppers or something.

First LP I think was actually Moodymann's Forevernevermore and the last was The Final Countdown by Europe so I could sample it in hi-res and vaporwave it into a 30 minute drone piece.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Would be minty-Lavender tasting. Like those palate cleansers they give you at the end of the meal in some Indian restaurants.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A Sea Cucumber.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Almost anything is mixable in the right context I think. That said the hardest stuff to mix would probably be the finnish electroacoustic stuff like kemialliset ystävät or Tsembla

Upcoming in the world of… 

A few gigs and constantly working on a new record,will be quite a change in sound I think, way more analog gear and Acoustic sampling, hopefully you'll hear it soon.

Anything else we need to discuss?

I think that's all, thanks!

Listen to the latest Manta release HERE. Follow him on Facebook HERE.