Saturday, August 7, 2010 Interview with CMC & Silenta of Manmade & Roca Records plus EXCLUSIVE downloadable Promo Mix & chance to win MM009!

We spoke to the guys behind Manmade & Roca Records - partners in crime CMC & Silenta.  Here they confess to being OAPs on crack - poised to ransack the scene and take over the industry.  Oh, and they also offer fans an exclusive download of their special Manmade promo CD, plus the chance to bag the next Manmade Release for free…

So - how did you guys meet, are you both responsible for Manmade and Roca Records?

CMC: We’ve known each other since childhood. We lived in the same city in the early days and didn’t have much contact for years, but both became involved in making music. I started DJing at the age of 16. It wasn't until I moved back to my hometown after studying and working in several cities, that we hooked up and started to produce our first tracks.

Silenta: I learned to play keyboard and took some saxophone lessons. I started producing beats when my keyboard teacher brought this hell of a Technics workstation in to the classroom. I spent ages in front of that thing and ditched playing annoying and well behaved keyboard songs. Two years later, I had a home recording studio with a friend and produced my first album with him under the name Mono:Poly.
CMC:  I always had an eye on Silenta’s development. At that time, I worked for a big German Hip-Hop Soul label called Four Music and played out with the Mars All Stars during two tours through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  I also played my resident nights with Mischinski in Stuttgart. With my contacts, I organised Silenta’s first releases on different labels.

Manmade and Roca Records are both my labels.  I manage the business, handle the distributors, artists, graphic etc. Silenta works more behind the scenes helping with some A&R work. We make the important decisions together and if I’m out of office he take over the reign, which is handy, as my second daughter was born three weeks ago!

Silenta: I’d say CMC is more the DJ and businessman.  I’m the producer and musician.

Tell us about both labels and how and why they started?

CMC: The label I used to work for [Four Music] was bought by Sony and I lost my job. I decided to take a trip around the world to find myself and think about what I wanted to do next in life. I moved back to Freiburg and decided to put all my experiences in the music business in to running my own label. I founded Manmade Records in late 2008.

Silenta: The plan was to primarily release our own mash-up tracks on Manmade. The first tracks were our own productions. Up to that point, I strictly worked without any samples in my tracks. CMC fortunately persuaded me to start integrating samples in to my sound. As a DJ, he has lots of experience in arranging tracks to make the party crowd go crazy. We produced our first track together and immediately knew – that’s the sh*t!  We planned to create more tracks, but CMC then had the idea to release them on our own mash-up label.

CMC: We got some important contacts via Autodidakt from Traktor Records to get us started. We knew there were lots of Nu Funk fans out there, who liked the same style of sound as we do.  We never imagined Manmade would be so successful. After some teething problems with a distributor, I changed to Kudos Records, who do a great job.  A large part of our success is owed to their work.  From the beginning, I always had a goal to release music on Vinyl or CD. I’m a vinyl junkie - I prefer the analogue sound quality.

Silenta: Roca Records is the next step - level two on our way to producing and releasing music.

CMC: With Roca Records we want to release high quality, non mash-up music from talented musicians and DJs. We focus on different genres, but mainly club tracks. I invest a lot in the releases and we have Whitenoise as our promotion partner.  We release everything physically on vinyl or CD - not only digitally. Roca is also the platform for our own sample-free tracks.

Tell us about the new Roca Records release, any stand out tracks? 

CMC: Yeah, watch out for the upcoming Funkanomics EP release on 10th of this month (August 2010). The promo has already caught a lot of attention and feedback by big names in the scene. Yesterday, the release hit number 12 in the Cool Cuts Chart and Kissy Sell Out played the CMC & Silenta Remix on his BBC Radio One show.

The idea was to release an EP by our friends from Bodensee. It's around 200 km from our town Freiburg. The guys are really nice and produce bombastic music. We chose three previously released tracks and let the guys mix two new versions for Roca, we also added a remix.  Have a listen HERE to make your own opinion. It’s my favourite release so far - Circle Kid Part II kills it on the dancefloor, I've been rocking this track out for months.

What artists can we expect to see on Roca in the future?

CMC: Everyone who produces good NuFunk, Funky Breakbeat, Breaks, Hip-Hop or DnB. I have no idea which way Roca Records will go in the future, although rest assured you’ll see a lot of CMC & Silenta releases. If everything works as planned, we’ll have some releases from Beatbrenning - a young and amazingly talented beatboxer from our hometown.  He’s one of the best in Germany. He recently came to the Swiss Beatbox Championship as a nobody and scooped second place. We collaborated with him on our Dub Pistols remix that we put up on our SoundCloud.
You can also expect to hear some more Funkanomics releases and other artists who send us brilliant stuff.

Silenta: The third Roca release will be a track by us, a funky piece, which we invested a lot of time and heart’s blood recording.  It’s all original, no samples. It’s called Funky Town feat. Penny, with banging remixes by Slynk, Nick Thayer & Zamali. This one and the Funkanomics release will definitely be something for your fans out there! We’re also in the process of recording a complete album, but we always get interrupted by Manmade Releases, remix requests, family action, moving our studio/office in to an old railway station and things like that.

And what’s next on Manmade?

CMC: We have mm009/ Feature Funk Vol 6 in the pipeline, which includes five tracks and promises to be one of the best Manmade offerings yet. It features Tom Drummond, Moodbase, Telephunken and of course – CMC & Silenta. We decided to create a wide spread of style and tempo on this one. Tom Drummond comes with a mashup version of a downtempo funk classic, Moodbase took the hook of Smoke on the Water to produce a midtempo burner and Telephunken delivered an uptempo funky breaks tune. We took nine tracks and mashed them up.  If someone can name all nine correctly email me and get a feature funk vol 6 for free ;-).

The release date is 7th September, 2010.  The 10th release on Manmade will be a double LP with cover and full artwork, featuring Slynk, Tom Drummond, The Breakbeat Junkie, DJP, Badboe, Prosper, Funkanomics and more...

Would you say Manmade is on a par or as respected as Goodgroove Records for booty releases?

CMC: I don´t know. I think their founder - Slim should get the prize for outstanding contribution at the first Nu Funk Awards. He’s the guy who pushed the whole Nu Funk thing to the next level, with all his big vinyl series, Regrooved parties, podcasts etc. I never met him, but we emailed each other a lot in the beginning of Manmade and he helped me out at times, I really appreciated it. Manmade started as an idea to promote our stuff. Slim wanted to release great artists like Featurecast, we had different ideas for our labels. I think we´re one of the top mash-up labels, but that’s it!

Silenta: There’s no competition amongst the mash-up labels.  Most of us are in contact, they all work for the same goal: To release good music to dance to! There’s no money to earn with it anyway, as production, mastering, promotion, graphics and distribution costs are so high. We simply do it for the love of good music.

What do you think Manmade has to offer that other labels don’t?

CMC: A friend of mine told me he played over an hour DJ set solely with seven Manmade Records and the ladies went crazy. Maybe it’s that? I think there are so many great labels out there, we’re obviously doing something right!

The labels and artists that truly make it in the Nu Funk scene tend to have the right attitude, rather than develop egos when experiencing a taste of success.  Do you think it’s important to keep your feet on the ground in such a small scene?

CMC: Yes, that’s why I love this scene so much. Goodgroove's Slim voted for us at 2009 and promoted it on Facebook. It makes sense to work together to push things forward. As Silenta said, everybody knows you and everybody tries to help out, that’s how a community should work. We don’t tie artists to our labels. Labels like Goodgroove, Big M, Bombstrikes, Manmade etc promote the same style of music and feature almost the same artists. It´s not like in older days when artists were bound to one label.

Silenta: I hope it will be the same in years to come, the Nu Funk-scene is growing strong.  More and more labels are rising.  I hope this relaxed, working together attitude will remain.

Tell us about the Nu Funk scene in your country?

CMC: We have a small and nice Nu Funk scene in Germany, especially in our city.

Silenta: Quincy Jointz also lives here and has already played here with some other great DJs. Ramp Fm is based here, too.  They regularly broadcast great shows like Lebrosk’s Funk Sessions. Lebrosk has a brilliant show with interesting guests like Lee from the Plump DJs or recently Badboe – he’s a big supporter of our sound - check him out HERE. Our friend Chris is a good booker and a big Breakbeat fan.  He regularly books guys like DJ Deekline.

CMC: We work in a collective in an old railway station, Chris also has his record store here: The is the best Breakbeat and Electronic music record shop I know in the south of Germany. If anyone comes to our area, call Chris and get your personal opening evening. It’s killer. He’s got around 8000 Breakbeat records from the last 15 years.

Here in the south, we also have the Stamina Agency from Marten Hörger, the Funkanomics live in a town around the corner. The posse around Jayl Funk is based in Nürnberg and some more great NuFunk mates like Basement Freaks and the guys from Big M Productions are spread over the country.  I think there will be more and more in the coming years. The party people understand that Minimal, Techno and House are getting boring. I think they’ll soon realise that Nu Funk is the bouncing bridge between Old Skool, Hip-Hop and Nu Breaks.  It has more soul than other types of music. Roca Records and the Urban Records Store/Agency try to support the sound around here with some great artists from the scene.

What are your proudest achievements?

CMC: My two little daughters, my wife and my friends. Musically, that we have almost finished our new studio and have found the beautiful place to stay and make music. Manmade and Roca - my babes.

Silenta: I’m also proud of my family and what we have achieved with our music and the new studio.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music?

CMC: Oh that’s difficult. Our musical background is the 80s and 90s hip-hop, especially the West Coast stuff and Beastie Boys. I love fast club music, a hiphop touch mixed with the 90s style to sampled funk beats. Making a Manmade track is totally different to my own original production. If we create a mash-up, one of us is looking for a sample, cuts it in to little pieces.  We add some drums, bass lines and risers and afterwards we look for a vocal. If we have up to 2-5 different parts fitting in a track we start to arrange them. If we record our own production, we start with a bass, guitar, or Rhodes hook.

Silenta: Afterwards, we add all other instruments or invite other musicians to add some recordings. When we’re almost finished we invite a vocalist. We take a lot of time to get the right sound. I have a lot of influences.  I also listen to many different genres of music. That’s why we produce more than just funky styled tracks.

CMC: I think my biggest influence is the DJing and the feeling that you get rocking out to party people, especially when the ladies shake their ass.  A DJ friend always calls me LL CMC.

Tell us something about CMC & Silenta that nobody else knows?

Silenta: In reality we’re not producing or DJing, we’re crack dealers, but don’t tell anyone. In fact we’re old age pensioners, camouflaged as young men in an undercover mission to hijack the DJ scene and to seize the power of the worldwide music market.

What are you thoughts about the launch of and the community?

CMC: It's nice to see what you’re doing. Something for all of us, the community gets free stuff and interesting information and the artists get attention. You support a growing audience of our favourite music. We've had an eye on what you’ve been doing since we met Hayz via Myspace two years ago and it’s nice to see that the team are seriously pushing things forward. It gives a nice feeling of community. Nowadays, there are many people working on projects, but only few really invest time to produce quality.

And finally, tell us about the free downloadable Mix CD you've kindly offered up - exclusively for members? 

CMC: We produced a mixed CD to promote our stuff when we play gigs. We gave the half of them to Kudos as a give away. Also the first 50 sold records of mm008 got one for free at Juno Records The mixed CD has all of our tracks from mm001-mm007 (except for Voodoo). We also put some remixes on it we did ourselves and a track from Slynk, Basement Freaks, Funkanomics and Javier Morillas. It’s mixed, mastered and tracked. We got a lot of positive feedback and now we’re giving it to as an exclusive download, accessible in your VIP Vault for all members.

To get your mitts on this exclusive Downloadable Promo Mix, head over to our Member's Vault at the forum. You can't get in if you're not a member of, in fact the forum is invisible until you sign in.

Once you sign in, the password for the Vault is in the forum description. We've spray-painted it out in the picture below, but you get the idea:
And if you're not a member yet then get on it and stop missing out on all the fun-k HERE

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