Essen, Germany may not have established itself on the map of musical creativity that stretches from Chicago to Berlin and back, but itâ€™s sufï¬ce to say the unassuming German city has provided Manuel Tur with enough inspiration to name his debut album after its area code. It may not be 90210, but if itâ€™s helped provide the backdrop for this slice of soulful deepness then weâ€™ll just have to choose coal mines and a second rate football team over Tango babes and beaches. Having released his ï¬rst EP at the age of 16, Manuelâ€™s notched up a rather handsome looking back catalogue in the last 6 years. Inï¬‚uenced by artists as diverse as Ian Pooley and PÃ©pÃ© Bradock, two of his most high proï¬le releases to date have been his Freerange debut Acorado and Deviate (on Drumpoet), the former wormed its way into the record boxes of everyone from Karizma to Ben Watt, and the latter being nominated for Beatportâ€™s Best Deep House Track. Manuel also picked up nominations for Beatportâ€™ Best Deep House Artist and Best Newcomer at the Ibiza DJ Awards. Recently he has been making forays into the live arena, working with Dessous artist Langenberg under the moniker Ribn to create rough and ready analogue sounding house and techno. Their debut has just been released on Josh Winkâ€™s Ovum label.
Manuelâ€™s debut album, 0201, however, is a departure from the more danceï¬‚oor friendly productions he is known for; instead downtempo and abstract sounds sit happily alongside broken beat infused deep house and ï¬ltered French disco. Avoiding the classic dance music trap of creating an album of hastily thrown together 12â€ highlights, this is beautifully constructed slice of deeply atmospheric delights, with a beginning, middle and end your English Lit. teacher would be proud of.
Itâ€™s not a danceï¬‚oor album â€“ although some of the tracks would certainly make an impression at any afterhours worth its salt â€“ the penultimate Radial especially, with its soaring melody and driving bassline. Rather, it was literally made in a bedroom, for listening to in a bedroom. 0201 harks back to other great â€˜bedroom houseâ€™ albums such as Etienne de Crecyâ€™s Super Discount or Cassiusâ€™s 1999. The dramatic sounding piano keys of the opening track quickly give way to a bassline and chords with echoes of French ï¬ltered disco at the height of its powers. Woven in with the darker and more emotive deep house sounds of now, Manuel has managed to create something that feels both fresh and nostalgic. Thereâ€™s no denying the strong US inï¬‚uence on the album too, as Manuel does his bit for intercontinental relations â€“ marrying soulful house vocals with a more European sound. Golden Complexion features Mark â€˜Blakkatâ€™ Bell whose legendary Shaboom label is another major inspiration for Manuel. Alexander East contributes on Will Be Mine turning in a sublime soulful delivery that shows why his distinctive sound has seen him work with the likes of Phonique,
Jimpster and Mazi.
The rich atmosphere and at times soundtrack-esque qualities to the album may be partly down to the huge variety of sounds that Manuel brings together on 0201. He explains that: â€œThe whole album was made up from samples that I’ve been collecting for almost 10 years now and that I’ve put together like a jigsaw or â€˜patchworkâ€™, as is the title of the ï¬rst track.â€ Obviously a true sound collector with one ear on the past and one eye on the future. The last track of the album Final Layer has the ï¬nality of the end of the road, or at least the end of the night, but you know you havenâ€™t
heard the last of this one.
– – – – TRACKLISTING – – – –
02) Stay feat. Lariassa Kapp
04) Golden Complexion feat. Blakkat
05) Such A Dream
06) Fade And Away
08) Shady Trees
09) Will Be Mine feat. Alexander East
11) On the Radio
13) Final Layer