Interview & Podcast: Manuel Lauro

Manuel Lauro is an upandcoming German dj and producer. He started his career in the 90’s in his hometown Kassel, where he also started off with his label Turntable Tools. After that he decided to pause his Dj career and studied law, after finishing law school, he was back on the decks in 2010. Since then he has djed at some of Germany’s most important festivals and events and has been an author at the most important German print magazing for electronic music Faze Mag. Listen to his podcast and read this interview to find out more about him. 

LSD: How did you record this mix (setup)?
ML: I used Traktor and did a studiomix. I was experimenting what to use over the last year. Records, CDj or Traktor. I started using Traktor first with 2, then 3 and 4 decks. I found out within the progress, that I 4 decks are too much at the same time, 3 decks are far enough for the human brain and your ears. I mean doing 4 tracks at the same time? I didn’t hear or can’t tell myself which tracks are running after listening to the recording. So this time, I hope I nailed it. This took me about over 1 year to find out how to get to the point without losing the mood and the suspense. Talking about Beatsync? I am glad, I can finally concentrate totally on the Mixdown and the 3-Band-EQ, the output matters and that’s the mixdown. Everybody is talking about beatsync nowadays. That’s what sucked longtime with record only, to finally get down to the mixdown. When you are using 3 decks, I am afraid you don’t have time to waste with beatsyncing. I have kept my 1210 Technics and I use them if I like to, but I am really happy to fully concentrate on the mixdown now.

LSD: What’s your process behind tracks selection for a mix?
ML: The first step is to find the right tracks, getting the right mood and arouse a certain point of suspense.  I mean that’s the hardest job nowadays after having got all these plenty input and productions nowadays. You normally start with an intro and finish everything with an outro. At Mayday 2018 I found out through Pappenheimer’s great closing set, that there is a certain signature basedrum in each track. Thank you, Jörg, for that experience. So that’s what makes it through my preselection. Then I will check on a first short mix, if the tracks really fit and the next day, when the ears are quite fresh, I will do the final mixdown. I tend to drop some during the mixdown but that’s only something you feel during the mixdown live. I decided to go back to 132 BPM, I see no sense in any of these 128 BPM lockdown stories. I would call my style Italian Techno. Just keeping the pedal pushed the whole time.

LSD: Let’s talk about Turntable Tools, what was your goal and why did it stop/ any plans of relaunching?
ML: Turntable Tools did stop because I decided to do something “normal”. Studying law science. I started the Label when I was still at school. During the career as lawyer in copy and media rights, esp. trade mark rights I got to the point that I should do more something where my passion lies and that’s Techno. You know it’s hard to find the right partner for that, so I am taking my to find that right partner I can trust. Same goes with the right producer who can put my ideas right into an arrangement.

LSD: With such a long career in the club scene, what has changed from your perspective?
ML: The digital wave made it possible for many people to get into DJ-ing and production. So the market in Europe is getting tighter but it is still jammed and it’s harder for everyone to get bookings and gigs. Before the commercialization in the Rave scene in 1994 the scene was more about idealism and underground. Today the discussion about underground is quite nonsense to me. I would define underground negative: Everything what is not Shazam is underground. This discussion leads nowhere. Play what you love and keep the crowd moving. That’s how it works!“ – The crowd has been changed. I would say: „It has grown smarter.“ They know the sound better the different music style and various productions. That’s a really cool development, that you have a crowd which knows what you play and honors that. So I think Shazam has really come in handy for that.

LSD: Any Artists/Labels we should be listening to these days?
ML: Drumcode is leading, Suara, Tronic, Terminal M, Kraftek, Involve und Pitch Perfect. Etruria Beat is also one of my favourite labels.

Tracklist:

1 Julian Jeweil – Intro Transmission (Drumcode)
2 Paride Saraceni – Mindrush (Tronic)
3 Ferhat Albayrak – Sundrowler (Tronic)
4 Julian Jeweil Dorsal – Transmission (Drumcode)
5 Zakari&Blange – Big Apple (Conjoint)
6 The Reason Y – Amalthea (Terminal M)
7 Spiros Kaloumenos – Running Out Of Excuses (Tronic)
8 Under Black Helmet – Mute (Code Is Law)
9 UMEK – Environs (Tronic)
10 Secret Cinema & Reinier Zonneveld – Pain Thing (Drumcode)
11 Pleasurekraft – Rigel (Kraftek)
12 Spektre – Back Into Consciousness (Kraftek)
13 ANNA V. Vs M.I.T.A. – The God Particle (MOOD)
14 Timmo – Cosmos (Drumcode)
15 dubspeeka – Garrison 1 Garrison
16 Ellen Alien – Call Me (ET Remix)(BPitch)
17 Victor Ruiz & Thomas Schumacher – Wonder (Electric Ballroom)
18 Julian Jeweil – Transmission (Drumcode)
19 Marco Faraone – Lunar Eclipse (Drumcode)
20 Victor Ruiz – Pulso (Drumcode)
21 Beico & MT93 – Strange Vision (Terminal M)
22 Mario Ochoa – Become Human (Tronic)
23 Thomas Schumacher – Unconfused (Noir Music)
24 Johannes Heil – B2 (EXILE)
25 Dusty Kid – Sysma (Suara)
26 Reform – Unconventional Spaces (Luca Agnelli Remix) (Etruria Beat)
27 Dave Simon – Stripes of Soden (Proper Techno Tunes)
28 Alignment – Punishment (Involve)
29 2pole – Magnetar (Suara)
30 Keith Carnal – Wonderful State (Second Degree)
31 Thomas Schumacher – The Unseen (Drumcode)
32 Layton Giordani – New York To Amsterdam (Drumcode)
33 Johannes Heil – A1 (EXILE)
34 Luca Agnelli – Shipment (Drumcode)
35 Nathan Jones – Pulsate (Delinquent Delivery)
36 Luca Agnelli – 7 O’Clock (Mikael Jonasson Remix) – Etruria Beat
37 Joyhauser – C166W (Short Version) – (Terminal M)
38 David Granha – Twenty Four Hours (Hydrozoa)
39 Regal – Babel (Involve)
40 Timmo – Spacetime (Drumcode)
41 Alignment – Mental Rave (Involve)
42 Dario Sorano – Capturing System State (Pitch Perfect Records)
43 Hefty – False Flag (RAGNARØK)
44 Dario Sorano Hybrid Amp – Capturing System State (Pitch Perfect)
45 Gary Beck – Seb (Sleaze Records)
46 Alignment – Revolt (Involve)
47 David Granha – Eucharist (Hydrozoa)
48 Spektre- Retrograde (Kraftek)
49 dubspeeka – Garrison 2 (Corpus 9)
50 Belocca Subconscious – Subconscious (Ballroom Records)
51 Julian Final – Transmission (Drumcode)

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