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2 X 12"
2012 was an interesting year for Manuel Tur.  Having released his second LP Swans
Reflecting Elephants, the Spanish-German producer moved to his fathers birthplace in
Ibiza to spend a year on the island where he felt a strong connection despite having
never lived there.  One year spent on Ibiza might not be that out of the ordinary for
a music producer and DJ but when you take into account that he visited not one single
club in that time choosing instead to spend his days and nights in the hills amongst
fig and almond trees just reading, watching films and contemplating his future
musical direction then things become more interesting.
Manuel fondly named his small studio set up at his Dad's place Es Cub (The Cube) and
it was here in this sanctuary away from the distraction of clubs and friends that he
began to forge the tracks that we present on this LP.  As Manuel describes, what
started life as a collection of little finger exercises and sonic experiments soon
grew into fully arranged club tracks. These were clearly influenced by the
omnipresent house and techno that he could hear drifting from the nearby beach club
which rose above the rustle of wind-swept trees and chirping cicadas whilst he sat on
his terrace.  If all this sounds like a bit of a Balearic cliché, then so be it
because Manuel is happy to admit to just how much the esoteric, cabalistic nature of
Ibiza influenced him in the making of Es Cub.
As Manuel puts it, “Looking back at the year in Ibiza it's been sort of a Sabbatical
for me, a year of orientation, both privately and musically. The album is like a
diary or sonic photo album from this time - as cheesy as this sounds.  It's no
musical manifesto or a concept album or anything too serious though. I've done most
of the tracks in a couple of hours.  El Soplo for example, consists of just a kick,
hihat, clap, ride, bass and two simple synth parts. Es Dub was just a loop I've
dubbed out live on the console in only one take while waiting for the postman to
This spontaneity, simplicity and playfulness, combined with the warmth and solitude
of an Ibizan hideaway, not to mention the cold, industrial minimalism of Manuel’s
Ruhr Valley Essen roots all make for an interesting fusion on Es Cub.  Take opener
Ara Anam for example, we could just as easily be on the Space Terrace as we could at
Panarama Bar.  Tracks such as Werk and Flux combine hints of clipped minimalism with
the driving, analogue synth sounds of say Ame or Baikal whilst About To Fall and El
Soplo contain both depth and a certain majestic beauty gained from the simple,
stripped back, rolling beats and flowing pads.  Far from being the throwaway sketches
that Manuel modestly implies, we hear strong melodic motifs and hooky samples
appearing throughout the entire LP which brings a unique identity to each track as
well as adding a cohesive gel to Es Cub.
Expect to be hearing much more from Manuel in the coming months. He has become in
demand for his mixing skills adding his touch to releases from Andre Hommen for
Objektivity, the latest Shit Robot LP for DFA and an EP from Marcus Worgull for
Innervisions.  In addition to his releases on Freerange and Mild Pitch he has also
co-produced releases on labels such as Running Back (producing for Dplay), Ovum and
Mule (co-producing with Langenberg as Ribn).

Published: April 10, 2014