Manuel Tur

By: Dream Chimney

The following interview was conducted on May 14, 2024

Manuel TurManuel Tur is no stranger to the studio, the Mild Pitch label head has had releases on many respected labels like Freerange Records, Compost, Ovum, Innervisions, Poker Flat, and Mule Musiq. As an in demand remixer, he has worked for the likes of Jazzanova, Solomun, Ane Brun, Skylark, and Roisin Murphy. Manuel Tur’s massive production output has resulted in him becoming an demand club DJ at all the right spot around the globe.

His relatively new label Spaced Repetitions was established in 2021 as a platform for his own explorations in sound, making waves with Keinemusik, Ben UFO, Axel Boman. Benji B and Bonobo.

The Ibizan native treats our ears to ‘Intertextural;’ a vinyl album that is a collection of cinematic, ambient, trip-hop vibes, reminiscent of short interludes from 90s electronic albums. Originally released as a digital offering, here we get to know a little more about this highly creative and much skilled studio wizard.

It's a pleasure to speak to you about your wonderful new album - Intertextural. How are you doing today?

I'm fine thank you very much. Right now, I'm on a short stopover in Ibiza, where some of my family live, before travelling to Berlin for Superbooth 2024 in two days' time.

Interview Image

Where was the album made?

The album was recorded and mixed at my studio in Essen, Germany, where I live for most of the year.

I'd love to hear about the initial idea for the album. When did you first approach this concept and what was your original intention with this release?

Since my early teenage years, I have always been fascinated by these short interludes that you would find on electronic music albums of the 1990s. They were short, but usually atmospherically very dense and often appealed to me more than the actual singles of the respective LP.

They were relatively free of formal conventions in terms of build-up or song structure and just felt very direct to me - a bit like aphorisms in literature.I had already included some of these interludes on my previous albums, but in 2021, during another Covid lockdown, I thought why not record a whole album with just these short pieces, like a beat album in Hip-Hop but more ethereal.

What was most important for you to convey through this album?

I don’t have any specific messages to convey through my music. The interesting part for me is the making of it. I leave the reception to the listeners.

I tend not to listen back to my own music however since -Intertextural” came out digitally in 2021 it has been a record I’ve always enjoyed listening to myself, so I think I can say that I’m really happy with the album as a whole.

What are you most proud of with Intertextural?

The flow of an album like this is something I'm really interested in, and I think the album does flow really nicely, so I guess that is something I'm proud of.

Give us a round of the album through your eyes.

I cannot talk you through individual tracks because I really see the album as one big piece made up of 12 smaller parts.

However, two longer tracks on the album stand out a bit because they also have a slightly different instrumentation.

While the rest of the album is based around warped samples and digital reverb textures, I’ve added live bass and a lot of analog tube tape delay on “Crop Rotation,” while the title track “Intertextural” was recorded entirely using just one single synthesizer. These two tracks are perhaps anchor points in the structure of the record, however I feel like they all come together nicely.

What was the most challenging part of bringing this release together?

The most challenging part was probably to find the right order of the individual tracks to make everything come together as a whole.

As a prolific house and techno producer, did you have any concerns about putting something out so chilled?

To be honest, I haven’t thought about that. Genres are nothing I’m particularly concerned about or interested in.

It’s great to hear the other side of you as a producer for sure. Is there more of this tempo in the pipeline?

I've always recorded music like this, but I think it's just harder to get it out into the music market these days because a lot of labels understandably don't know how to sell it without losing money. As for "Intertextural", the pandemic situation and the ability to release music on platforms like Bandcamp nowadays certainly helped me make the decision to just put this one out in the first place.

You are releasing on your own label Spaced Repetitions. What can you tell us about the imprint and its mission?

Spaced Repetitions is another project fuelled by the pandemic. I had received some money from my city's cultural council's Covid relief fund to press up some vinyl records of unreleased tracks. It was only after I received the funds that I realised I needed to come up with a label name and logo to put out a record in the first place. So, I ended up releasing a record called “Alphalpha EP” under the label name Spaced Repetitions, which sold well enough that I thought the label might be worth continuing as a platform for my own music that doesn't fit in with the other labels I usually work with.

Tell us a little about the studio work that you do.

I run a studio with my musical partner Adrian, with whom I have also been doing side projects such as Clavis, Class Compliance or Amberoom. We converted a 200 square meter, century-old carpentry workshop into separate rooms to work on different projects, which is a lot of fun.

This album marks a lot of years in the music business, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how your creative process has changed and remained the same over the years. Do you approach anything differently now?

It's hard to tell, because sometimes I stumble across an old track of mine that I haven't heard in ages, and I can't even remember how I made it or how I approached it at the time. I might remember some of the technical aspects such as what gear was used or what the room was like, but I would not be able to reimagine my thinking at the time which ultimately is at the core of every creative process.

I suppose our creative approach changes over the years as we change as people, but I couldn't say to what extent.

What drives you to continue creating music do you think?

Ultimately, I guess, making music has become a central habit in my life.

What has been one of your favorite moments from the past year?

On a personal level, the last couple of years have been a bit tough, but I've found relief in experiencing some exceptional works of art in film and literature.

On a professional level, I was very flattered by the big positive response to my "Soft Clip EP", the second release I put out on Spaced Repetition without any PR behind it, which I wasn't expecting at all.

Where do you find the most inspiration when it comes to discovering new music these days?

Like most people these days I find a lot of new music via the internet - the algorithms of social media and streaming platforms can be a good thing if made used of properly. I also browse record shops for new releases from time to time.

Who do you think is making great music currently?

I usually don’t get overly enthusiastic about individual artists, but I try to keep my ears open to anything that resonates with me, no matter what part of the music spectrum it comes from. Last week I bought the new albums by Chateau Flight and Dua Lipa, so that's about the range of artists I listen to.

What can we hope to see next from Manuel Tur?

Following up on the vinyl release of “Intertextural,” I’m excited to share an EP with freshly commissioned remixes of four of the album’s tracks by DJ Counselling, All Is Well and Yuu Udagawa very soon.


Check out the latest release from Manuel Tur.


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