Great things happen when opportunity and preparation come together at the same time. Summer 2011 has been just that moment for M A N I K (don’t forget those spaces between the letters) as his name and music exploded into the popular consciousness.
Having arrived on the scene right at the point that a new wave of similarly talented east coast producers turned all our attention toward the United States, M A N I K proceeded to drop a tide of killer 12” singles in the last few years, before his debut album arrived on Ovum in May 2011. DJ Mag commented that he is “a purveyor of his own breed of out-of-the-box house” but this tells only part of the story as the hometown-inspired LP ‘Armies of the Night’ touches not only on house but funk, nu disco, acid and electronica - leaving a hard to categorise milestone of a record that stands the young New Yorker out as one of the breakthrough acts of the current era.
The album picked up plaudits across the board - DJ Mag “some of the best house we’ve heard in years.” iDJ noted its continued pertinence as “more than just a snapshot of the current dancefloor flavour of the month” and long-term admirers Mixmag put it more simply “hate to say we told you so”.
Equally huge strides were taken as a touring act, with M A N I K completing three fully-booked European club tours. Over 20 club dates were played across Europe alone, including the UK, Russia, mainland Spain, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and France. He also undertook his first performances in Ibiza at Space, Zoo Project and Sankeys as well as making inroads into the festival circuit with appearances at the huge Tomorrowland and Dance Valley events with the Ovum crew. People back home weren’t slow to catch on either as he criss-crossed the North American continent for the first time playing the likes of Electric Pickle, Miami; Verboten NYC, Smart Bar, Chicago; Life in Washington, D.C; the Standard rooftop in LA and many more besides. This ultimately brought in a nomination as one of the United States’ top DJs of 2011.
What next? Well proving that this current success is merely only a first step, and with barely time to draw breath, the remainder of this year looks set to catapult the 26 year-old further still. His next EPs arrive on two of the current labels du jour – with long-term collaborators and friends Culprit, as well as on Hot Creations plus there is a remix for DJ T will also arrive on Get Physical.
If his album title was a nod toward the nocturnal, let’s hope for now that M A N I K just finds some time to sleep…