20 Essential NZ Releases
MANUEL BUNDY presents 'Solephonic EP'
Let’s set the scene: Auckland, 2007.
On the last Friday of every month, 3 of the scenes most respected tastemakers Cian, Submariner & Manuel Bundy presented the monthly Turnaround parties at Rising Sun on K Rd. The Turnaround had an unparalleled reputation for keeping the rumps shaking and the brains baking, with the emphasis on keeping the party rockin’ in an old school style ‘til the break of dawn.
Elsewhere in Auckland, the promoter Sam Momeny utilised the Galatos for the 5am presents gigs which featured some of the worlds best international selectors from Ninja Tune & Warp Records. For the local musicians, Khuja had the liveliest of dancefloors with DJs working alongside live percussionists, while downtown you could always count on Rakinos where the CC&Dry was only $5 and everybody knew your name. To round it out, FuBar on Queen St was the Auckland home of DNB and the best concert venue in the city was the iconic St James.
Meanwhile within the local DJ scene, Serato had yet to take hold and most of the DJs were still playing vinyl in the clubs. With a healthy roster of DJs representing Base, George, bFM, KFM, Fleet & Up – the scene was in a good state.
So with the scene set, in June of 2007 when Manuel Bundy dropped his long awaited debut 12” vinyl through Sugarlicks Records, it was fully embraced by a vast group of local DJs and music lovers. Across the 5 tracks, ‘Solephonic EP’ reflected the musical styles that Manuel Bundy was known to play in his DJ sets: boom bap hiphop, jazz & funk flavoured beats and a reggae skank. Co-produced by Sugarlicks studio don Lukas ‘The Nabatean” Farry, the roll call of artists who feature on this release include Finsta Bundy, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ladi6 / Verse 2, Cherie Mathieson, Isaac Aesili, Jeremy Toy, Steph Brown, Tyna and Deva Mahal.
Check the original press release below.
SOLEPHONIC aka Manuel Bundy, The Don of DJing in NZ whether hip hop, house or otherwise. He has won more DJ awards than any other and has been a source of inspiration and knowledge for the scene since it started.
A fixture on the New Zealand dance music scene for nearly 20 years, Manuel (aka Manuel Matisi ) has toured the world as DJ of choice for artists such as Nathan Haines, Mark De Clive Lowe and OMC. He has also provided beats and scratches for the likes of King Kapisi, Dam Native, Breaks Co-Op and Nuvonesia, as well as producing his own beats under the Solephonic moniker.
He started djing in 1989 at High St’s De Bretts Hotel as resident til 1993. Then on to a regular Thursday at the Box in 1991 which led to a regular late nite set in the weekend with Rob Salmon (Yoshitoshi) in 1992.
While hip hop is the staple genre of a Manuel Bundy DJ set, he is able to effortlessly cover all the musical bases, with Funk, Soul, Reggae, Dancehall and House all being presented in their finest forms during one of his legendary stints behind the turntables. Manuel’s style is simple – anything goes, but it gots to be funky.
Manuel’s remix of Che Fu Misty Frequencies won remix of the year at the b-net awards 2002, and his second, a remix of One Million Dollars was a b-net favourite in 2004. For a year or two after Manuel helped establish and was programme director for Auckland’s only dedicated real hip hop reggae station Base fm (basefm.co.nz).
Manuel currently produces as Solephonic and his debut album is being recorded at Sugarlicks at the moment. Not quite in the can but its on track Pacific time … just released is the Solephonic album vinyl EP, stay tuned for a full length release soon.