Balance Selections 044: Guy Mantzur
Tel Aviv-based Guy Mantzur specialise in creating electronic music that defies over-simplified genre classifications. Drawing influences from tech house, techno and progressive house, his hypnotic melodies and seductive grooves are instantly recognisable through both his productions and DJ sets. With a residency at Tel Aviv’s most popular club, The Cat & The Dog, Mantzur is regarded as a leading light in Tel Aviv’s talent-rich underground scene, and he was even rewarded as “Israel’s Best Underground DJ” by XL Awards in 2013.
His releases on labels such as Kompakt, Diynamic, Systematic, Bedrock, Sudbeat, Lost & Found always turn heads and gain him new fans. In addition to his studio talents, Guy is also the co-owner and A&R for the Munich-based label Plattenbank, alongside Yaniv Tal, which provides another outlet for his musical creations. For podcast number 44, Mantzur has stayed true to form with another blinder of a mix which showcase his attention to detail: ‘I’m taking my mixes and everything else I do really seriously, putting lots of effort into finding the right music that can complete the journey and express who I am and how I feel at the moment’. Featuring tracks from Dee Montero, Adam Port, and of course Mantzur himself, this is a masterclass from one of the game’s top players.
Balance Selections Q+A
Labels affiliated with:
Plattenbank / Lost & Found
My latest three releases:
What music did you listen to as a child?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved listening to music by artists such as Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Portishead, Bob Dylan etc… I was playing live instruments from the age of six and I was a singer songwriter from a really young age too, so I felt a strong connection to this kind of music. Of course during these years my heart got closer and closer to electronic music but my base and first love was all of the above.
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
My romance with electronic music started back in the day when I was about 20 years old, I started listening to all of these triphop bands that used to combine live music with electronic instruments in a way that captured my heart. Bands like Portishead, Massive Attack, Air, Tosca and many more.
The electronic elements gave the music so much power and emotion, it was kind of new for me, I remember discovering and exploring this genre. I was buying lots of synths and efx, I replaced my tape recorder with a computer and started making triphop and lounge music in combination with my live instruments. Not many people know but I have released two chillout/triphop albums in the years of 2003 and 2005.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I really cant remember the first time I saw a DJ because I started to see DJs from a very young age and there were many of them. 1998-2005 was the golden age for the electronic scene in Israel, we had massive parties every weekend and I remember DJs such as Sasha and Digweed coming almost four times a year and playing in a huge amazing open air locations.
There was one party I remember with Sasha, it was on the mountains of the red sea in a city name Eilat, I remember a few specific moments that made me really understand the power of dance music and the outcome of playing the right tune at the right moment, it can go really deep into peoples hearts, touching the soul in a way no other music can.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
My inspiration really comes from a large spectrum of life. It can be a film I saw, an unknown artist I hear, street singers, places I travel, stories I hear about other peoples lives and many more. Sometimes when I feel I have a lack of inspiration I go to the beach near my house and just stare at the sea for a few hours, listening to the sound of the crashing waves. That really works like magic for me, it opens my mind again to new ideas.
Of course listening to music is also very inspiring. Live acts I’ve seen such as Cure, U2, Nick Cave, Neil Young and to DJs such as Hernan, Sasha, Guy J, Laurent Garnier and Digweed to name a few. Watching these guys live always makes me very ambitious and sends me straight to the studio. One of my strongest influence as a producer is Pink Floyd, I’ve always been a huge fan of this amazing band. I think that they took the music production world into a new dimension.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
The last album I bought was the last Leonard Cohen album, I’m a huge fan of his work and an avid follower so I bought it as soon as it was released.
What is your current production and DJ setup like?
When I DJ I play with Traktor, I use the F1 and X1 as controllers and my mixer is a Pioneer 900 Nexus. I play on four channels and use the mixer as a sound card. It’s easy to travel with, it’s also perfect to connect at the club and has amazing sound and stability. As for my studio setup, it contains a lot of analog instruments, I love to play live when I create music, to record it, go with the flow without knowing what the result will be. I guess it’s something I still have from the days when I used to play live music.
I’m also working on Cubase, using synths such as Dave Smith’s Polly Evolver and Prophete 6, Juno 60, Moog, Virus TI, Eventide H9 efx and some more guitar pedals using as analog efx.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
I have just finished a remix for my label Plattenbank Records. It’s for an amazing vocal track by Eitan Reiter and Muzarco named ‘Oh Death’ feat. Omri Klein. It was kind a challenge for me because the original is so good but in the end I found the direction I wanted it to go and made my own interpretation of this beauty. I’m also working on a remix for Super Flu’s new album with Roy Rosenfeld, and also a solo remix for Nick Warren.
I have the second part of my ‘A Guy In…’ series coming out around August. It’s a live mix which includes fifteen tracks and it’ll have a special CD limited addition. The set was recorded on an unforgettable night at Warung club Brazil last April. Beside that I’m working on many original tracks which I’m planing on releasing later this year.
Where can we hear you perform?
I just came back from a few days in Ibiza, I got back to the amazing Lio club to play at the opening night and that was super fun. Coming up next is Track Terrace in Budapest, Yalta Club Sofia with Herman and Guy J, Dot Club St. Petersburg, Tomorrowland festival, 3000 Grad festival in Berlin, Extrema outdoor Croatia, Aim festival Montreal, Schimenski New York and a Lost & Found night in Toronto. That’s more or less how June and July are looking.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
I’m taking my mixes and everything else I do really seriously, putting lots of effort in finding the right music that can complete the journey and express who I am and how I feel at the moment.
I have been searching for the right music to complete this mix already few weeks now, I asked my friends to send me their latest unreleased stuff, and I was lucky to get some beautiful music from them. You will be able to hear this and some of my label’s upcoming releases as well, I made it in my studio on Abelton Live like most of my mixes.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
So many great tracks at the moment but I love playing Sasha – ‘Trigonometry’, it always works amazingly.
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
Thats a great question, I think it’s a matter of the mood I’m in on the day you ask me . Today I’m in the mood of ‘Moments Becoming Endless Time’.
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Again for me there isn’t one best track it’s a matter of mood you are in. In electronic music it can be ‘Dizzy Moments’ or ‘Esperanza’ by Guy J and in live music I will always recommend to someone thats never heard of Pink Floyd to press play on ‘Comfortably Numb’.
My favorite Balance compilation is:
I have to write two here. Guy J and the the second Cattaneo’s Balance both are masterpieces.
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
I haven’t watched many movies lately but on the last long flight I had to Colombia I watched a documentary about the man who built Zara. I have been hearing about this mystery man for a long time now, someone who never shows himself in public and people didn’t think he even existed. Even though he is one of the world richest people he is shy and super humble.
The movie finally exposes his story and explains how he grew up as a very poor child, his mother sometimes didn’t have money to buy food and he was going to sleep hungry every now and then. It was that low place he was in that drove him to promise his mother that they would never go to sleep hungry again. The film is not about clothes or brands, its about humanity and that there is nothing stronger than believing in yourself, follow your dreams and make them reality
My favourite TV show:
If I could choose anyone to compile a Balance comp it would be:
Thanks for having me here and I hope you will all enjoy the mix!
1. Guy Mantzur – For Your Eyes Only (Intro)
2. Valerio Vaudano – Quiet Soul [Beat Boutique]
3. Doyeq, Dave Nash – Raw Walk ( Doyeq Remix ) [Highway Records]
4. Bachir Salloum – Whirlwind Angels [Plattenbank Records]
5. Guy Mantzur – Requiem For Us [Balance Music]
6. Lessons – Tempest (Adam Port Europa Remix) [Sincopat]
7. Eli Nissan – Circle Of Fifth [Lost & Found]
8. ID – ID
9. Dee Montero – Halcyon [Diynamic Music]