I think it's safe to assume that we all love our fill of four on the floor rhythms. These sounds are unarguable strongholds, supported and supportive. But I don't think I'm alone in admitting to an unwanted, yet growing regard toward the scene which can only be conveyed through a lengthy and audible exhale. The stature of the club crowd as of late tends to come across a bit stale, and I don't think the tunes are all to blame. I've spent many a DJ set attempting to put my finger on the source of my dread, until a couple of guys recently pinned it down for me.
In an industry that subscribes to the belief that an unexplained offering is inevitably a fruitless one, I admire those who take a road of lesser resistance in their musical endeavors. It's counter-intuitive, but valid in a time of marketing over-saturation and overcompensation. Today, I find an artist/label's development much more invigorating to follow when I'm not being convinced to do so. It's this low-flying maneuver that often results in the most fulfilling, non-monetary payoff (yes, there can be such a thing) for both parties.
Which leads me to a certain storyline I am particularly excited to observe. Last month, personal and professional collaborators Mark Slee and Atish Mehta introduced us to their newest endeavor, Manjumasi. Named after Atish's aunt, the 'melodic, groove-based house' label serves as a welcomed next step in the artists' musical footprint, providing the pair with an opportunity not only to premiere some of their own music, but to encourage and elevate the peers they admire. With A&R assistance from DJ/good friend Naveen G, the imprint aims to make it's mark not with hyperbolic, world-changing claims, but a consistently interesting output that's inviting, approachable, and frankly, more enjoyable because of it.
If you've seen these musical magnets behind the decks, you know exactly the kind of yes-ness their sets emit (and the degree to which I'm failing to adequately exalt them). If you haven't yet and are eager for a taste, the two have a generous amount of mixes and live gigs on their respective Soundcloud pages (here and here), but seriously though, go see them live.
I was elated to participate in a bit of their 6-hour Disco Dive takeover at The Rooftop at The Standard this past Sunday, reveling in DTLA golden hour—and musically-induced, deflating LA egos—to the sounds of kicks and melodies that rekindled every remaining house-fiber in me. Somehow, their musical melds stretched through whimsy, brilliance, and starkness with a mark of embellishment that doesn't dare cross the line of overstatement.
The unnameable, catalytic charisma these guys exude leaves little doubt in my mind as to the promising future pages of Manjumasi. Simply put, they seem downright trustworthy.
The label's debut EP features two tracks from co-founder Mark Slee and includes a pair of superb remixes of his 'Nocturne Belle' by Tim Green and Patlac. Due out late summer, you can expect their second release to be helmed by Brooklyn-based artist Brian Cid. And if you're in San Francisco, pleeease don't miss them when they spin up their first major hometown event Sunday, daytime, on August 21st. Thereafter, your best bet is finding 'em on the playa.