French artist Mangabey has made a name for himself locally and internationally by utilising his passion for synthesisers to blend electronica with world and jazz influences. This month, he launches this new label ‘José Records’ with the EP, ‘Capitale Sympathique’.

Mangabey - Interview

Hey José! Thanks for sitting down with Minimal Mag. How’s your 2024 going so far?

Hello Minimal Mag! Thanks for the support, it’s a pleasure. The start of 2024 has been very sentimental for me with the release of the first EP of my new project, José Records. 🙂

You’re launching your new imprint, José Records, with the EP ‘Capitale Sympathique’. What can you tell us about the release as well as what you aim to achieve with this label?

The first EP ‘Capitale Sympathique’ is out now! It’s a first for me to start my own label. This EP somewhat traces my experience in music and my influences since I started. My main reason for starting this label is to show my very 90s rave and club vision to people who get lost in this world full of music. I want to go back to the roots of electro house and free music in a fun and danceable way, and to be able to see people dance freely.

Stellar 90s inspired house sounds from your latest release here José! Its use of synthesizers is definitely a highlight; are there any notable pieces of kit that you use?

Since I started, I’ve been working mainly with hardware, as it’s much warmer and more comfortable to work with. Here, I work essentially with a TR909 and sounds from other drums that are integrated into my TR8s for the drums. For everything synthesized, it goes from analog with Moog and Prophet (P8 Maelstrom and Rave2Tam) for bass and pads, to FM and digital with my DX7 and my Hydra synth for stabs, sequences, chords; also, FX (Traveling Brain & Diablo) and samples with my MPC. It’s a mix of all these machines, reminiscent of the 90s and beyond! I like to approach listening with as much ‘physicality’ as possible.

When did your passion for electronic music start?

My passion for music goes back to my beginnings in this world, haha, as I started piano from a really early age. But as far as electronic music is concerned, that came a little later. I listened to a lot of electronic music as a kid: Daft Punk with ‘Homework’, Massive Attack, even Lil Louis – but I was more into hip hop as a teenager. The idea of making electronic music came to me later, when I discovered the world of the synth and all its possibilities!


Who would you say is your biggest influence and why?

My influences are very diverse and I don’t limit myself to talking about just one artist because there’s always more to say than going in one direction. It’s fair to say that artists like MOBY, Fela Kuti, Aphex Twin, Larry Heard, Nougaro, The Who and even Fantastic Man (to name a few…), have shaped my musical mind over the years, despite the differences in genre and style.

As a French DJ/Producer, what sets apart your local scene from the rest of the world?

The French scene has definitely its place the world, for its mix of compression production and micro-sampling, its ‘French touch’ spirit you might say, but also in its willingness to take risks by mixing genres and doing daring things. Apart from that, I don’t want to lock DJs/Producers into boxes such as countries, genres, etc., as I think that with the world around us we should be one single organism of exchange and mutual aid, as we all have skills and cultures to share.

Away from the studio and club, do you have any other personal passions or hobbies?

Cooking isn’t necessarily my forte, but I admit I’m a gourmet! Eating well is a noble passion of mine, as is drinking a good glass of wine, haha. With that, I really enjoy human relationships and spending time with my friends and family. I’m also passionate about theatre and films, which is why I occasionally compose for film projects.

Can you tell us anything about the next José Records release?

The first José Records EP, out March 1st, consists of 4 tracks:

The first is a single released in mid-February, ‘Rave2Tam’. It’s a multi-faceted track that plunges us into the rave world at two in the morning, but also into Tam’s (the woman speaking) dream, a feminist dream, a vision of a safe space in a free party.

For the second track, ‘Traveling Brain’, I wanted people to dance until they forgot their brains, so they could embark on a long, unhindered journey.

The third is ‘Diablo’, with this one, we melt into the world of the night, the oozing club, and the strobes! Enough to make people dance with the devil in their bodies.

The fourth, ‘P8 Maelstrom’, is a slightly geeky way (P8 stands for Prophet 8, the synth I used to make almost all the synths on the track) of creating a storm that takes us back to the days of dancing and joy.

The name of the EP ‘Capitale Sympathique’ is a pun on ‘sympathy capital,’ reflecting the friendly spirit of JOSÉ RECORDS, with the notion that I produced this EP in Paris, the capital, for the first time.

Mangabey - Links

Get in touch with us!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Spread the love
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x