Dipping a foot into different sounds and operating between genres can hardly be regarded a rare occurrence in recent times, but Detroit’s rising producer Manuel Gonzales, who goes under his alias MGUN, is one of the few who can pull it off and impress better than the rest. Having released ‘The Upstairs Apt.’, his latest and second solo output on London’s Don’t Be Afraid in November, Gonzales has grabbed attention through the display of his startling Detroit techno sound, adorned with traces of deep experimentation. Each track shines through and stands out on its own merits, but they’re also tied together through their immersive and dangerous atmosphere.
After collaborating with Kyle Hall as NSNT PRJCT in 2010, Gonzales has debuted an EP on Hall’s Wild Oats label this year. He has also recently revealed details of his upcoming six-track record, to be released on Will Blankhead’s celebrated The Trilogy Tapes, due out in December. In his latest mix for Dummy, Gonzales has brought creeping, sub-aquatic sounds to the table, showcasing a recording mostly comprised of Detroit local obscurities, as well as a few cuts of his own unreleased material.
Hi Manuel, what’ve you been up to recently?
I been getting my studio together and collecting records.
Can you tell us more about this mix you made for Dummy?
The mix contains a few of my unreleased works but mostly Detroit dance records that I love and think all of you will enjoy!
Please highlight a few tracks included and why?
The first track Tritan is an unreleased joint I did back in the summer of 2011 which I felt would be a good opener for this mix. A little later in the mix we have a track by Kevin Reynolds called Anonymous Room which I scored a few years back, really love that song. And finally yet another unreleased track of mine named UMM AH AH which is not dance related at but all things must come to a close so why not.
How did your latest EP ‘The Upstairs Apt.’ come about?
The tracks are a taste of what my everyday musical diet contains. They just so happend to catch our man Semtek from Don’t Be Afraid’s attention and now I’m here talking to you.
What’s your background in music production? How did you get into it?
It all started with a Casio from the thrift back in ’98 when I was in middle school. My dad also had all sorts of stereo equipment in the basement he put away when me and my brother where born. Just collecting dust for years til we went down there one day and revived it all. After many attempts of hooking up, taking apart speakers and setting the gear up on the front porch for the whole block to hear, I found great joy in making all this stuff work again. So long story short, I started recording tapes, buying records and gear and have not stopped since.
How would you describe the sound of MGUN to someone who’s never heard of you before?
The MGUN sound is all over the place and sometimes can’t be described by me but best by the listener. I like to describe how I’m feeling sonically so emotions go in and tracks come out.
You collaborated with Kyle Hall awhile back as NSNT PRJCT, how did that come about?
The NSNT PRJCT came about when MOP TOP aka Kyle MF Hall gives me a ring on a rainy day. He asks, “ What you been up to man? Do you have any tracks that I can give a listen?” I replied, “yeah as a matter of fact I do.” So I email him two tracks later in the day, he hits me up after he checks them out and says he is very interested in them especially the one named Recog. So we got together and started working on We Invented This in his basement studio on the westside. Needless to say after many trips to the gas station and Coney Island for much needed junk food we had a finished product.
What’s exciting you at the moment?
I’m really excited about all the Drexciya records I been running into.
What’s your favourite colour?
Best thing you’ve heard/ seen this year?
Well this is tough. I’m really digging Big Strick’s productions and Kevin McCord, even though his stuff is dated I think the man is a pure musical genious and love to find his records. But visually and sonically it has to be Dopplereffekt at the DEMF this year. Even though the mysterious Kim Karli is not in the duo anymore.
What’s next for you?
Next we have The Trilogy Tapes release, ‘The Near Future’ and all I can say about that is it’s gonna be even more MGUN sound for you to decode.