In late 2013 Austrian DJ/producer Mannix dropped an ace cover of Melba Moore’s disco classic “Standing Right Here” featuring Dina Vass on Favouritizm. The one-named Viennese housemaster and soul aficionado, who has produced and remixed for a myriad of imprints during his illustrious career, makes his return to the label in a big way courtesy of “So Much Time,” a sultry house jam featuring Lisa Shaw of Naked Music and Salted Music fame.
A journeyman who’s worked in retail (remember that?), music journalism (DJ Magazine Hype Chart contributor, Tilllate reviewer) and various production groups (Whipped Creem, Double Jackpot), Mannix is a serious student of the dance music game.
With that in mind, we asked him to tell us about five producers who’ve helped influence his work. As a click bait website might say to build up suspense, you won’t believe what happens next!
1. Joey Negro
The man with the countless monikers simply does it for me. Since his very early productions like “Do What U Feel” in the ’90s Joey Negro (a.k.a. Dave Lee) has delivered so many outstanding productions and remixes that it seems hard listing all of them. Beside his main project, being Joey Negro, The Sunburst Band is my personal fave act he’s bind too. Not only are they a huge live performing band, but they bring back the spirit of ’70s disco to the here and now which is very important to attract younger people to this kind of music. My personal highlight of all his productions are the two compilations Remixed With Love that are just awesome in any kind of perspective. As a producer who does the occasional disco edit, I can clearly see how much work and effort he puts into those remixes — to make records that are 30 or more years old sound like a modern piece of music.
2. Masters At Work
In a recent interview I gave, I mentioned that many people will should some time to understand what Louie Vega and Kenny Dope have done for our community. If you listen to their House Masters albums, you only get a little hint of the diversity they have in their productions, from super soulful cuts to full on peak-hour bangers. They have developed a signature sound over many, many years and have worked with the very best vocalists on this planet.The results are always breathtaking and unique. Having a lot of their old records in my storage, I still have to favorite Louie’s current album as one of the best. I think every house music lover should have a copy of that one at home. It’s just outstanding in every way.
3. Altern 8
The sound of breakbeat hardcore and especially Altern 8 was one of the most important things to happen in my life. Originally spinning hip-hop, I got attracted to the ’88 acid revival sound while being on a school trip in the UK in 1990. After “Infiltrate 202” touched my heart in a rather massive way, I bought every Altern 8 release on any format available, and I had of course all their apparel and fan goodies as well. I later discovered their other productions as Nexus 21 and Mark Archer’s solo projects, DJ Nex and Xen Mantra, as equally important. I’m very happy Mark still continues to tour as Altern 8 and, of course, I have ordered myself a copy of the limited remastered album Full On Mask Hysteria on vinyl, which recently was released!
Sten Hallström (a.k.a. StoneBridge) is not only one of the nicest chaps in the scene, he’s also responsible of some of the biggest club records ever done. Sometimes he might get reduced to his signature production for Robin S “Show Me Love,” but in fact it is far more than this. Over many years, he has done hundreds of remixes and original productions that — especially in the ’90s — were absolutely huge for me. Most of his remixes on Champion Records were key releases for me and still stand out from the rest today. Later on he adapted the sound, which led to more success and even pop chart entries, which for me is fair enough. I brought him to Vienna a couple of times, have released on his label and have also remixed him — it’s always was great fun to play with him but even more it has been very interesting to chat with him about many interesting subjects, not only music.
5. Mark Di Meo
For me the Italian don is one of the best producers when it comes to soulful house Music. No wonder the late Frankie Knuckles loved his offerings as they are the logical enhancement of the sound Frankie himself was known for. Probably the effort of Mark’s sound is not seasonable for today’s world as he features many live instruments, but still we need to be happy that someone like him is around and does what he does in a very good and effective way. Some time ago the man has also established his own label, Soulstice, which is home for exactly the sound described. I guess we will hear a lot from Mark and his collective in the future.