Interview: Mangabey on launching Jose Records and the French club scene | Soundspace

Interview: Mangabey on launching Jose Records and the French club scene

Interview: Mangabey

Toy Tonics and Cracki Records are among the labels that French producer Mangabey has released his jazz-tinged electronic club sound on in the past, and he’s now added another label to the list with the launch of his very own Jose Records imprint.

The inception of the label is marked by the release of a four-track offering titled ‘Capitale Sympathique’, which combines all original music from the Frenchman in the from of tracks ‘Rave 2 Tam’, ‘Travelling Brain’, ‘Diablo’, and ‘P8 Maelstrom’.

We recently got the chance to ask him a couple of questions about the new EP, where we also spoke about inspiration, what else he has planned for the near future, and his thoughts on the French club scene. Read the full interview below.

You’re about to launch your new José Records imprint on March 1st, what brought on the decision to start your own label?

I gave it a lot of thought before setting up my own label. It took me a long time to decide, but it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. To have my own universe, my own vision of the music world, to be able to express myself freely to the people who listen to me or the artists I love and whom inspire me. To be able to host a community around the free and fun spirit of the ’90s, rave and house.

The first release is a four track EP from yourself, talk us through the four originals in your own words?

The first single was released at the beginning of February, ‘Rave2Tam’, it’s part of my ‘Capitale Sympathique’ EP. ‘Rave2tam’ is a track with multiple meanings. Rave is a pun on the French word for “dream” (rave and “rêve”), so it’s Tam’s dream (the young woman who speaks on the track – she’s reciting a feminist transcript in Brazilian Portuguese). The other meaning is simply a reference to the spirit of a 2am rave.

Other tracks include: ‘Traveling brain’, the brain’s journey into the crazy world of ’90s rave music. This track is there for dancing and the spirit of freedom we all have inside of us. ‘Diablo’ has a darker ambience that plunges us into the raw, suave world of the club! A place for the devil. An ideal track for letting loose and for peak time. And the last track, ‘P8 Maelstrom’. A more sentimental, geeky track for DJs like me. P8 refers to the Prophet 8 synthesizer. This synth is a reference for me, and that’s why it’s a musical storm of emotion.

And who else can we expect to see on the label over the next few months?

I’m kicking off the label with my own release but for the rest, there will be some great people, but I can’t say too much, it’ll be a surprise. All I can say is that the next Jose Records project will be a VA album.

You’ve also released music with Toy Tonics and Cracki Records in the past, will you still be putting your music out on other labels alongside José Records?

The creation of my label is a separate project from my Mangabey project. So yes, I’ll always be working on projects for other labels. I’m part of the Cracki Records team, and I even have an album project with them coming up sooner than you think!

You’re of course from France, what’s something you love about the French club scene?

They say that “you can’t choose where you come from”, and the French scene is my cradle. I love the cultural, musical, and even social diversity to be found here. There’s a real sound here, the French touch, specific to our influences, a way of working with mixing, effects, and sampling that’s unique to us. This is what gives us a respectable place in the world of electronic music.

Psychedelic sound experiments like Chassol or François de Roubaix, crazy genre mixes like Justice who mixed ’70s rock with electro, or rap and breakbeat with my friends Kaba and Hyas, or even the crazy spirit of the scene with Baraka. In short, there’s the desire to do something new, even if it means taking risks, and that’s what I like.

And something you would like to see change?

It’s gender parity, and not just in France. It’s inconceivable that in this day and age, there isn’t equality on the dancefloor or behind the DJ booth. I know it’s getting better, but it has to become a general mindset. Also, there are things that aren’t urgent for the artists, but rather to the venue! We need more respect for the players and consumers of the club scene, more subsidies for venues with better sound quality and safety, and safe venues for everyone, regardless of gender or origin.

Is there anything else you want to mention before we go?

All I can say is that, as a consumer and a player in this field, I’m proud of the mutual support most of us spread. I would also invite you all to dance as freely as you can for as long as you can! That’s the essence of what I want to show with Jose Records.

40 Questions: Ramon Tapia