• No Mana Works His Magic in This Exclusive EDC New York 2016 Mix

    Mana is the unit of magical power in role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy. No Mana is what you’ve got left when you cast spells in quick succession. It’s also the name of the hottest rising star on mau5trap records.

    “It’s an investment,” the young producer jokes about his depleted-magic moniker. It cost him a full bar just to get where he’s at.

    A few years ago, No Mana would have seemed no different from any video game-playing computer geek. His love of all things technological eventually pushed him to discover the wonders of computerized compositions, and thanks to a firm grasp on orchestral musicality and nearly a decade of experience playing violin, viola and guitar, his analog and digital worlds soon came to a comfortable collide.

    He fooled around for a while, trying his hand at different styles and tempos, pushing himself to home in on a vibe with attitude. His biggest influence was deadmau5, another game-obsessed gearhead. He mostly kept his head down, working from his home in Orange County, CA. Eventually, he became a little more serious and marked the occasion with a new handle.

    Within a year, he was releasing music on mau5trap, working closely with his electronic idol, and playing his first-ever live set as deadmau5’s opener at the Allentown Fair in Pennsylvania.

    “I’d never been on a stage like that before, and to think it would be with my #1 influence, it was just surreal,” No Mana says. “I was pretty nervous, but not in a negative way. I was more excited, because I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t really worried about screwing up.”

    He must have downed some Potion before he hit the stage, because the crowd threw their hands up at all the right moments, and No Mana soon found himself performing for even larger crowds. Three or four shows in, and the butterflies in his stomach all but disappeared.

    He’s slated to attack EDC New York this weekend, and he’s got a bag full of tricks in the form of unreleased tracks, handmade edits and personalized mashups. In as fast a fashion as he hit the scene, the stage has become his second home, but the mysterious man still feels happiest behind his hardware.

    “Most of the time, I prefer to be in the studio,” he says. “I just love being in here and working on music by myself. That’s where the magic happens. I can have full-on music manipulation within my studio, but I’m totally fine playing live. I think it’s fun. It’s an experience.”

    No Mana lets his love of computers and games leak into every aspect of his artistry. Many of his tracks are named in geeky terminology. Fans fawn over his freely downloadable tracks delivered in the numerical UP series. It’s a lifeline of new jams, from 1UP to 2UP, currently reaching 8UP at the time of writing and soon beyond.

    No Mana prides himself on his versatility. He doesn’t align himself with one style or genre over any other. One moment he’s deliciously atonal; the next, he’s exploring complex melodies one might expect from a classically trained composer. One thing is for sure: The deadmau5 influence lingers all over his sonic fingerprint—nothing worth dubbing a sound-jack, but a strong inspiration nonetheless. It only makes the young man a snugger fit in the mau5trap family.

    “I love working with them because they always do things from the heart, and I can tell they’ve enjoyed working with me, too,” he says. “I feel like I belong. In the big picture, I’m really glad I’m associating myself with this label right now. I just know I have someone to help me when I need it.”

    Not that he needs a lot of help to begin with, but it takes a lot of work recharging his mana.

    No Mana EDC New York 2016 Mix Track List:

    No Mana - ID
    No Mana - ID
    No Mana - ID
    No Mana - ID
    Imogen Heap “Headlock”
    No Mana - ID
    OceanLab “Satellite”
    No Mana - ID
    No Mana “What’s Your Wi-Fi”
    Pryda “Bytatag”
    No Mana “Tell Me”
    No Mana “Momentarily”
    No Mana - ID
    Michael Woods ft. Andrea Martin “Sleep” (No Mana Remix)

    Catch No Mana at EDC New York 2016 Saturday, May 14, at cosmicMEADOW presented by Audiotistic. Tickets are available now. For more information, visit the official website.

    Kat Bein is the IRL version of Link. Follow her on Twitter.

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