Manuel Darquart are a UK via New Zealand-based duo who have managed to make quite a name for themselves in a short period of time. Blazing onto the scene in 2017 with their Dippin & Tripping EP on Coastal Haze, they’ve since gone on to release on labels such as Childsplay, Infinite Pleasure as well as Soothsayer and now have a new EP, coming out on the renowned WOLF Music staple. Their own brand of music, though it has evolved over the years, has still retained a very identifiable quality.
We got a chance to ask them some questions about their life during quarantine, how they’d describe their own music and what the future holds. Read below while listening to the dancefloor-inspired mix they’ve put together for us.
Thanks for chatting with us Louis & Sean. Where are you currently spending your 2020?
[Sean] We’re currently milling around Hackney. Our studio is near Hackney City Farm and we live around Broadway Market and London Fields.
How are the restrictions there? What do you miss the most about the pre-COVID world?
[Sean] As of today, while I’m writing this the restrictions have just changed to what the UK Government is calling ‘Tier 2’, which means we can no longer hang out with members of other households – bad news for making tunes! What’s lacking in the new-normal is atmosphere and energy. Whether we’re at work, at the club, or in a bar, the inability to mingle and meet other people has been lost, and this has impacted our ability to do things we enjoy (making, listening and playing music).We did get to hang out at Spiritland the other day and play some tracks, which was excellent. Super cool space – highly recommend checking it out!
How has your productivity been this year with everything going on?
[Sean] Louis has been better than me if I’m honest. Although he was on furlough for a bit and instead of making tunes, he bought a PlayStation.
[Louis] Haha yeah, I sold it because it was literally cutting into my time making tunes.
Is there a particular way you would describe your sound? Do you feel it has evolved since your earlier releases?
[Sean] I guess Adriatic/Antipodean party music would be how I would describe it, but I wouldn’t expect that to make sense to anyone. A lot of the time the music we make is influenced by what we’re listening to or what we’re doing. As we’ve grown up, moved countries, and started travelling around Europe, our sound has changed and evolved.
[Louis] We’re also very cyclical. We made a lot of boogie stuff, then house-y, then got massively on the Balearic tip so no doubt we’ll get stuck into some boogie stuff again and it’ll all be, like, the circle of life or something.
You’ve got a forthcoming EP on WOLF Music, if you had to promote it with one word, what would it be?
You’ve released on some pretty prominent labels to date, is there a dream label to hook up with in the future?
[Louis] Running Back would be incredible. World Building, we love. We’ve got a track on Planet Trip’s new comp, but a full EP would be a dream too. Kind of would love to release something on a reissue label too and see if we could trick anyone hehe
Who are some other artists you’re really feeling at the moment and who are some that have been inspirations for you throughout your career?
[Sean] Really feeling Space Ghost at the moment. We popped into Phonica Records the other day and they had their latest LP on, and we grabbed it instantly. Also – Max Graef has just released an LP under a new moniker Employee called Hold Music, which is killer. We played this out at Spirtland the other day and it was a hit.
[Louis] Yeah, Paula Tape, CC: Disco, Space Ghost, Tech Support, Coolant Bowser, Heels & Souls. It’s actually a really fun time for music right that’s getting released, I think. But there’s a lack of spaces to play and hear the music in which sucks.
Is there any particular direction for the mix you’ve provided for us here today?
[Louis] Kinda just straight up party jam heaters that portray a few aspects of what it’s like to see us live in the club. Oh, and a couple tracks from the new EP hehe
What’s up next for Manuel Darquart?
[Sean] Perpetual lockdown, I guess? No more gigs for a while that’s for sure.
[Louis] New music. It’s all we got!
Interview by Igor B.