Premiere & Q&A: Listen to MANIK’s “Fresh With It” from Upcoming All Night Long EP on Fresh Meat Records

MANIK returns to Fresh Meat with an EP written specifically with our label in mind. After successfully completing his second full-length for Ovum, the NYC native has created music inspired by Chicago’s gritty roots. The four tracks here speak to the raw, dark, basement vibe that so many of us have grown up with.

We are premiering A1 from the release, entitled “Fresh With It.” Listen to it below and read on for MANIK’s words on the release.

What was your process for writing the music on the All Night Long EP?

I wanted to make stuff I would play out myself. Sat down and fired up my laptop and studio, deep grooves sort of took over, and the end result is this EP. I wanted to also say something with Fresh With It. This track stands out for me.

Walk us through the kinds of things that inspired you to write these tracks?

My personal favorite cut on the record is “Mind Your Soul.” The particular inspiration on this tune was deep, Chicago House – soulful yet atmospheric. The same goes for the rest of the record too.

What instruments and gear were used to make this music?

There was a time in my past where I owned dozens of keyboards and synths, and various cool music paraphernalia. However, since I’ve moved to California, I’ve actually trimmed down a lot of the fat, so to speak. It has really helped me in my work flow. These days I’m only working with my main sampler – the SP 16 from Dave Smith and Pioneer- which has sort of replaced my MPC 2000, a Juno for extra pads/atmosphere, and my various drum machines. This plus a decade of building my custom sample library, gives me my current sound. So somewhere between all of the above, this Fresh Meat 12″ was born.

The spoken word on “Fresh With It” has political overtones. Can dance music affect social change?

For sure, I think it can affect social change. Our music and our culture is rooted in freedom of expression, inclusiveness, and many of the environments we create through music, is a place for all types of people to go and hang out. In my opinion dance music is the perfect ambassador for change.

Do you have any creative outlets beyond music?

I do. I enjoy art, graffiti/street art, things like that. I am also into Fashion and streetwear…… just to clarify that, I don’t mean fashion in terms of seeing what other magazines are dictating. I particularly like vintage, urban and sports influenced streetwear. It’s my style and another way to express myself. In addition to this, I do enjoy researching, reading, writing, and learning about urbanology, musicology, sociology etc.

Why are these tracks coming out on Fresh Meat? Is there any connection between the music and the label?

As soon as I made these tracks, I thought “Fresh Meat Chicago” will be the perfect outlet for this. They were one of the first labels that I actually released my early “MANIK” music on. I’ve always respected what Mazi/Audio Soul Project has done and he knows his music no doubt.

Did you have an audience in mind when making these tracks?

Frankly I didn’t. I just figured proper house heads and deep heads would appreciate it. You know my goal when I go into the laboratory to work on music, is I just try to emphasize and highlight what feels right in the moment- not picture where it would fit. But if I had to pick something, I would say some dank basement holding 120 people tops would be the ideal place to play these cuts!

Each copy of All Night Long is being hand stamped with the iconic image of Jack Nicholson from the film The Shining. What’s the significance of the Jack Nicholson stamp!?

Honestly, The Shining is my favorite horror movie of all time and I’m obsessed with it. I thought we should include it on the release some way, shape, or form to breath some atmosphere into the record as a physical object.

Track List:

A1. Fresh With It
A2. All Night Long
B1. Mind Your Soul
B2. Groove Em Up

MANIK’s All Night Long EP comes out in February 2018