Interview: Guy Mantzur
Tel Aviv based Guy Mantzur specializes in creating electronic music that defies over-simple genre classification.
Drawing influences from Tech House, Techno and proper Progressive House, he creates his own distinctive musical template that has seen him establish himself as a top DJ/Producer worldwide. He is instantly recognisable through his unique hypnotic melodies and seductive grooves, both in his productions and his DJ sets.
Guy’s music often tops the Beatport sales charts and is played & supported by the biggest names around the globe. Recognised as a leading light in the ever-growing Tel Aviv underground music scene, Guy Mantzur is also the highly respected resident DJ at the city’s most popular club – The Cat & The Dog – where his unique style and unrivalled technique allows him to regularly play alongside a very diverse selection of international stars.
Tonight, Guy returns to Amsterdam where he will ring in the 2016 King’s Day Holiday alongside Nick Warren, Guy J, and Eelke Kleijn with The Sky is Orange at Q-Factory. Anticipating the event, we caught up with Guy to speak on Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, working with Guy J and more.
” I love this city and its really one of this places that makes me feel home.”
What was your first introduction to electronic music in Israel?
Back in the 90’s, the scene in Israel was really big, with every weekend 2-3 open air 5000 people, clubs as Pacha, Alenby 58 etc. I was making more chill out music at that times but I had lots of local DJ friends so I had chances to go there and discover this beautiful world of electronic music
Even though you are A&R and co-owner of Munich-based Plattenbank, you have not actually made the move to Germany. Why did you decide to stay in Tel Aviv rather than moving to Munich?
Yes that’s right, my partner and my label are both from Munich, I’m not sure everyone knows this but we also had Vinyl store named ‘Plattenbank’ back in the day.
As for moving: the only place I moved to for a while was Amsterdam, I love this city and its really one of this places that makes me feel home.
I think that I decided to stay in Tel Aviv because I’m traveling so much, sometimes I can be away for 3-4 weeks and there is nothing like this feeling of being back home in Tel Aviv with my friends, coming back to the people and places I love for so long, its filling me with amazing energy and inspiration and help me charge my soul to my next travels.
Speaking of Tel Aviv, you are also resident at the city’s famed The Cat & Dog club. How does your approach so a DJ set as a resident compare with your approach when on tour? Is there a specific way you build out a resident set? Would you take residencies anywhere else in the world?
My residency at the Cat & Dog is a very special thing, I was already working with them for 8 years, back in the day I had months that I was playing there 2-3 times.
These days its a bit different, I’m doing once in 2 months my own night named ‘secrets’ and I’m usually doing very long sets, sometimes also hosting friends. I had there Bart Skills, Marc Tomboy and have plans to do something with Guy J as well.
The difference between touring and a residency is that it gives me the options to do 100% what I want in turns of music guests, line up, sound, lights, decoration, etc. I have the full artistic freedom here and its priceless.
On April 26 you will be in Amsterdam playing “The Sky is Orange,” which also falls on King’s Night (one of Netherlands biggest holidays). When was your first time playing a gig in Amsterdam? How do you remember that?
My first gig in Amsterdam was on Kings Night as well, many years ago, it was with a group of young unknown promoters and they did it in some warehouse, I came there at the beginning of the party and the place was kind of empty, So I thought to myself, ‘ok, its one of those days’. After about 45 minutes the place filled up with a totally amazing crowd and I can still remember this night as one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Do you plan to stay for King’s Day after your gig?
I really wanted to but I have a Japan tour that starts from this weekend so I have to leave just after the show
At the event, you will be sharing the bill with the likes of Eelke Kleijn, Nick Warren, and Guy J. Recently, you have been touring quite heavily with Guy J. How do your DJ styles compliment each other?
Yes! we are traveling and playing a lot together, I think it changes from time to time, we are also playing bit different when are doing b2b or separate sets. The only thing that can be felt always is our friendship, we really listen to each others music during the set and trying to compliment each other.
What are your impressions on the city of Amsterdam as a hub for electronic music? How do you see Amsterdam compare with other “meccas” like London, Berlin or New York?
I think that Amsterdam is one of the best places in the world in general.
As for the electronic music, its one of the most important places in the world and the scene there is alive and pumping and has been for years. The worlds best festivals were made there and they happen there almost every weekend during summer, add to this that the crowd is always amazing and you’ve got yourself one of worlds best places for electronic music.
What are your plans heading into the summer? Anything in particular you are looking forward to?
I love the summer in Europe, the parties and locations are beautiful. I might move to Ibiza for 3-4 months, I have gigs over there and its easy place to travel from so that is something I’m really considering it and still working on it.
How do you prepare yourself mentally & physically for the rigors that the summer schedules bring? What do you usually do after summer is over to “wind down”?
I don’t have special preparations for the summer but still its a precious time that so much things happening. So you must plan your schedule in a way that will let you do all of this things you plan to.
I’m planning to do more Ibiza shows, Argentina tour and in august I’m planning long USA Tour that will finish up at Burning man festival.
I wish I could say wind down after the summer but I never take long breaks, usually I do it in between weekends, taking some days off on the beach or spending all week exploring a country I have never see.