Bringing Baile Funk to Europe, label boss Daniel Haaksman dedicated his Man Recordings to release all veins of club music. Now reaching five years and fifty releases, Haaksman's label is set to launch the new Valeu! compilation in celebration. In attempt to link Baile Funk and European club sounds, the concept of the label was to bring together Baile MCs with classic house and electro sounds. Not fated to be just another Berlin house or techno label though, Haaksman has endeavoured to create a hybrid of tropical house with energetic ghettotech sounds, and without attempting to pigeon-hole it to any one genre, Dazed speak to the man himself to find out what it's all about.
Dazed Digital: Why did you start Man Recordings and over the last five years has the ethos remained the same?
Daniel Haaksman: I initially started Man Recordings to give Baile Funk from Rio a platform in Europe and to present the genre´s key artists to a global audience. In the series "Funk Mundial" I comissioned artists such as Crookers, Count & Sinden, Feadz, Jesse Rose amongst others to do their adaptions of Baile Funk, and they created excellent tracks with which DJs could switch from Baile Funk to more UK and European club tracks. The ethos of the label - establishing artistic collaborations across the world - is still the same.
DD: How do you find and/or pick your artists?
Daniel Haaksman: I DJ and travel a lot and thus am exposed to a of new music. Also, I get sent a lot of music. And at Man Recordings we are occasionally doing remix contests which are also great for discovering new talents. I discovered Bert On Beats from Tallinn, Estonia, who´s an incredibly gifted producer, through one of our remix contests.
DD: Is there something in common that runs through all your signings or a sound you’re looking for?
Daniel Haaksman: Production-wise, the beats have to be big and loud, the beat programming fresh. And the artists have to have a very personal approach making their music. And in some way or otherhave to relate to the whole South American / Global Bass spectrum that Man Recordings has become known for.
DD: Do you primarily see yourself as a DJ or a producer?
Daniel Haaksman: I started as a DJ and all music I put out I primarly put out for DJ use.
DD: How do you feel the label's sound has changed or progressed over time? Are you sticking with Baile Funk influences?
Daniel Haaksman: Well Baile Funk is kind of the starting point, and in some ways - the roughness of the beats, the energy of the music - all Man Recordings artists are still relating to these elements. But overall the label sound has progressed, if you take artists like Bert On Beats, he´s more into African beats and UK bass science. Ku Bo is about Afro-Brazilian rhythms and Schlachthofbronx are into polka, ghetto tech and baile funk all at once. So I´d say that Man Recordings today presents a more global sound that isn't rooted in one particular region.
DD: How will you be celebrating?
Daniel Haaksman: We´ll do a couple of parties across Europe this autumn, the kick off party is in Berlin tomorrow evening with Schlachthofbronx, Zombie Disco Squad, Marina Vello+DJ Chernobyl, Oliver $ and myself playing all night long.