By: Dream Chimney
The following interview was conducted on December 11, 2023
Manuel Darquart continues to impress with his next effort up on London’s WOLF Music Recordings. With a knack and some flair for Italo House leanings, The Del Sol EP gives us even more of an insight into the tastes and inspirations of this exciting new producer. We thought it would be cool to ask the Darquart about his selections for a sonic backdrop to his perfect after hours. The lights are low, the drinks are flowing, the shoes are off. This is the playlist.
Nightmares On Wax - Nights Introlude
Ok, so, some context about a night back to mine - for me. If I've been at the club all night, I'm bringing my friends back to have a proper chat and a good time. Couple sticks of incense around the coffee table-type scenario. So expect plenty of moody Rhodes keys, sepia-toned organ moods, and classy brass flourishes. It's not the deepest of digs, but, fuck it, it's my list. Where better to start than the iconic opener to Nightmares On Wax's 'Smokers Delight' album?
D'angelo - Brown Sugar
An afters' staple for me and my friends (after Britney Spears and all that is out of the way). Can't go wrong with this jam, just melds into the background at the perfect volume and puts everyone in a good mood.
Raveena - Honey
Bit of new school neo-soul from Raveena whose whole output is sick. One of those tunes where you can just nerd out with a friend about the crispiness of the production and the perfectly balanced low-end. Good sound system is important.
Erykah Badu - Otherside Of The Game
One of my actual favourite songs EVER. Grew up listening to Baduizm -thanks to my mum - and the chord changes in this one singlehandedly made me wanna learn piano (which I still can't really play lol).
Gareth Donkin - Tell Me Something
A recent find for me, this dude is super- talented and I love how you can feel the space of this track, dust-particles-in-the-air-type of shit. Bit 70s, bit modern, bit floaty yet punchy.
Mike Francis - Let's Not Talk About It
Unsung hero of Italo disco and funk where's he's kind of not headsy enough to get played a lot, but not Pino D'Angio where everyone knows about him. This is just another one of his effortlessly funky, warm, and fuzzy numbers.
Al B Sure - Nite And Day
Fun fact: back in my youth I was a failed drum & bass DJ and I found out about this original via a DJ Marky & Makoto track. Looked up the original and it's just mint. Then was utilised in my fave Megan Thee Stallion track 'Big Ole Freak'. Versatile.
(I've actually just looked this up and it's not remotely true - The track that got sampled by Marky was Keith Sweat - Make It Last Forever. Also a jam but not as good at the afters. No idea where I got the tune from but it's the part of the journey.)
Larry Heard - Missing You
Simply sublime stuff from the big man here. Effortlessly beautiful and also a little sad(?) but it doesn't matter cos it keeps the head bobbing. Those pads will make you absolutely melt at 6am.
Azura - Theme From Azura (Dream Version)
EASILY my favourite release of 2023. Whoever Azura is (I could venture a guess but won't embarrass myself just in case) they always bring Italo house perfection. Sounding like something picked up in Rimini circa 1991, the dream mix is late, late, late night house at it's very finest. Perfect wafting out of a set of speakers in the midst of good conversation.
Roy Davis Jr - Gabriel
The ACTUAL perfect kick on song. If I could have made this list 10 instances of 'Gabriel' then you're goddamn right, I would have! But unfortunately, some people get bored of listening to this on constant loop at an after party \_(ツ)_/¯.
Check out the latest release from Manuel Darquart