Boomkat Product Review:
Following two sets of his Early Plates, Reinforced's series of handy digital comps assembling its chief operators' finest moments swings back round to Manix, this time focussing on his remixes from the early-mid-90s. Marc Clair's work in the ardkore arena as Manix is without parallel, really: he balances hysterical, helium-vocalled smash 'n grab rave energy with a sharply turned-out darkside sensibility, building up an exhilarating tension between euphoria and paranoia, steely precision and wild-eyed abandon. His version of Open Skies' 'Deep In Your Eyes' is a case in point: its piano vamps and female vox ("Deep in your eyes I see a secret…") pitch-bent and accelerated to the point where they become acutely psychedelic. For proof of his skill as a producer and prophet, look no further than the hollowed-out, proto-Eski-style synths and choppy drum-funk of Delirium's 'Days Of Our Lives'; for the best showcase of his mastery of breakbeat science, lose yourself all over again to his world-beating, still-dazzling rub of Nookie's 'Give A Little Love' - it just doesn't get more essential than that. Of course the Mac also knows how to rein it in and bliss it out a little too: witness his beautiful treatment of One II One's 'I Want You', a blue glide of breakbeat techno that looks ahead to the sparkling future-soul vistas of late 4Hero, the tightly coiled 'You Got To Slow Down' refix (Tek 9) and his rolling Gus Vibes version of his own uber-classic 'Feel Real Good'. There's some proper junglist ruffage to get your teeth into on the 4Hero & Manix remix of the latter's rude-as-f**k 'Special Request', and Tek 9's superlative horn-driven 'Partz One & Two'. 'Never Been To Belgium' probably distils the magic an momentousness of this period more effectively than any other track, bridging as it does the sci-fi thump of continental hardcore techno and hoodlum funk of UK breakbeat culture. Proper, proper, proper.