Over the past few years, Mano Le Tough has become one of the shooting stars of the international dance music scene. His impact has been so great that Kristian Beyer of Âme claimed recently in an interview that: “Thanks to Mano Le Tough, I have no fears for the future of House”. And not just Beyer, the entire Innervisions gang including Âme and Dixon have become fervent supporters of Mano Le Tough’s warm and melodic, yet driving sound.
Who is the man behind the music that currently inspires established DJs and music fans alike around the globe?
Niall Mannion as Mano is known to his parents, is originally from Greystones, a seaside village near Dublin, Ireland. After an eclectic musical youth and a move to Berlin, Mannion first popped up on the electronic music radar in 2009 with an ep on legendary disco Viking Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal label. With his unique mixture of modern disco, atmospheric house and electronica (although musical genres like these do not quite capture the essence of Mano’s music; he prefers to describe it as “cool songs” or “Folkal House” which seem in some way more appropriate), Niall quickly gained massive interest in his music. So it was no surprise that eps on such acclaimed labels as Tensnake’s Mirau imprint, Dirt Crew recordings and Ben Watt’s Buzzin Fly followed his remarkable debut. In no time Mano also became a much sought after remixer for the likes of Aloe Blacc , Midnight Magic, Flowers and Sea Creatures and Roisin Murphy.
That Mano also knows his onions as a DJ has been proven over the years at his monthly party in Berlin called Passion Beat, which he runs with his old friend and fellow paddy “The Drifter” (with him and their friend Baikal they also set up their own label “Maeve” in 2012 ). With his ever growing reputation, he soon got heavily booked worldwide and became a regular in some of the best clubs in the world including Panorama Bar, Trouw and Robert Johnson. All of his great experiences as a musician and artist culminate now in Mano Le Tough’s first long player, “Changing Days” on Permanent Vacation. Fully aware that the album format is still the most important statement of a musician, Mano succeeds in this field with flying colors by not falling into the obvious traps of making a “dance” album with 11 songs that all seem to sound that same. Similar to his labelmate and buddy John Talabot Mano manages to expand his stylistic palette to more than “just” dance or club music. Instead he creates his own distinct sound and musical vision with bittersweet melodies and atmospheric moods that should appeal to ravers and more pop trained ears alike. On the album Mano brings to perfection what he began to explore on his last few eps, especially by using his own voice as a unique musical instrument and as a transmitter to communicate with his audience.
But let the great Irishman speak for himself: “I guess I try and make music that has an emotional resonance without being overly sentimental or schmalzy. It means a lot to me to try and connect with the listener on a deeper level and add something to their lives that’s more than a hands in the air 5am moment in a club (although there is nothing wrong with that).”