Manuel Gaines first encountered footwork while out with his brother at a party he was too young to be at. While growing up in Illinois, he found himself so consumed by the genre that he’d spend his weekends through middle school dancing at parties, which is where he met DJ Spinn and the late DJ Rashad, who taught him how to make beats around the age of 14. Through this tutelage, Gaines developed an adventurous ear and learned how to harness grace and power to make music that makes you want to move your feet. In 2017, as DJ Manny, he became one of the youngest members of the Teklife community with his debut album, melding the classic footwork blueprint with vintage jungle to cement his status as one of footwork’s most original yet unsung talents. Until his recent album on Planet Mu, he’d limited his releases to small, digital-only imprints and maintained a lower profile compared to those around him, including DJ Taye, whom we’ve featured before.
Now based in New York, where he lives with partner, SUCIA!, Gaines has used the album to turn a page in his career as an artist. While Signals In My Head, available on July 23, is filled with the precise drum programming and clever synth lines of Gaines’ classic footwork cuts, it also looks forward, introducing elements of R&B, a genre which he’s become more accustomed to since his move north. These once-foreign tropes became vehicles to widen his sound and add what he calls a “romantic edge” to his work. They also underline his ambition to “do something that nobody (in footwork) had ever done before,” namely a “love-type of album but still keeping it footwork, juke, house, techno, with a few breaks.” But even if his sound has evolved, the function remains the same: to ignite dancefloors, which is exactly what his EDMjunkies podcast is sure to do.
Recorded earlier this month in New York, Gaines’ EDMjunkies podcast is a collection of tracks from his friends. You’ll hear unreleased tracks from Manny himself, plus SUCIA!, DJ Taye, and DJ Phil, and there’s even a white-label from DJ Rashad. You’ll also hear some tracks from the Signals In My Head for the first time, giving you a taste of this new romantic sound—but make no mistake, this a mix of classic footwork with jungle, from one of the game’s finest. Like the album, it’s uplifting and joyful, and it’s sure to get you dancing.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Well, I’m actually working on a house EP and album that I’ll be self-releasing.
02. How has the lockdown period for you?
The lockdown period has been an eye opener. Shows got canceled, and I’ve lost family members, so its been a rough one!
03. Your new album, Signals In My Head, is coming soon. How are you feeling about it?
I feel so good about this album. It’s so uplifting and joyful.
04. It’s described as an “R&B footwork” album. What exactly were the inspirations behind it?
My inspiration for this album was based off my relationship, not gonna lie.
05. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix from home on June 14, 2021.
06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I had a few I knew I was going to play but it’s mostly freestyle.
07. What can the listener expect?
You can expect all new tracks from my homies and myself. It’s all Chicago footwork music, with jungle. It’s definitely a mix you could put on repeat.
EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. DJ Phil “House Love” (Unreleased)
02. DJ Manny “Crossover” (Unreleased)
03. Mel G “Fromdaback” (Unreleased)
04. DJ Manny “Get the Money” (Moveltraxx)
05. DJ Rashad & DJ Manny “Drums Please” (Hyperdub)
06. DJ Chap “Boris” (Unreleased)
07. DJ Manny “No Snares” (Self-Released)
08. SUCIA! “Freaq Nation” (Unreleased)
09. DJ Manny “Make it Work” (Unreleased)
10. DJ Manny “Spaceship” (Unreleased)
11. Mel G “Dawn Is Filled” (Unreleased)
12. SUCIA! “Keep Me Wondering” (DJ Manny Remix) (Unreleased)
13. DJ Manny & DJ Phil “Having Fun” (Planet Mu)
14. DJ Taye “Grayboy” (Unreleased)
15. DJ Manny “Good Love” (Planet Mu)
16. Kush Jones “JV Dance” (Self-Released)
17. DJ Manny “Move Ya Body” (Unreleased)
18. DJ Manny “Read Ya Mind (Unreleased)
19. DJ Manny “Signals in my Head” (Planet Mu)
20. DJ Manny “Hurting the Game” (Unreleased)
21. DJ Rashad “Reverb” (White-Label)
22. DJ Manny “Unblock” (Unreleased)
23. DJ Jalen “Chicago Shit” (Unreleased)
24. DJ Phil “Waiting 4 U” (Remix) (Unreleased)
25. DJ Manny & SUCIA! “Backup Hardrive” (Unreleased)
26. DJ Taye & DJ Manny “Panjami Test” (Unreleased)
27. DJ Manny “Freaky 4 Me (Unreleased)
28. DJ Manny, DJ Phil & Chap “That Bill” (Unreleased)
29. TAMAGUCCI “2 Wrongs Don’t Make It Right” (White-Label)
30. DJ Rashad, MoonDoctor & FreshTillDef “Ethno” (Freshmoon Records)
31. SUCIA! “When the Lights Go Out” (New York Dance Music)
32. Distorted Sensory “Gant-Man” (Kode 9 Remix) (Teklife)
33. DJ Manny “Get Down” (Self-Released)
34. DJ Manny “Smoke N Faded Away” (Planet Mu)
35. DJ Manny & DJ Phil “Acid Bits” (Unreleased)
36. DJ Manny “Ghost Drop Skate (Unreleased)
37. GANT-MAN “Big Bass” (Unreleased)
38. DJ Manny & SUCIA! “Honey” (Unreleased)
39. DJ Manny “Virus” (Unreleased)