Warm, fuzzy and overflowing with sentiments of joy, Hanoi-based DJ Manikk approaches his craft as if he’s a curator of love stories.
Hypnotic, love-laced moments reign most of the set that he’s prepared for this week’s episode of Mixmag Asia Radio, as he sifts through tracks by Jex Opolis, Paula Tape, Coyote, Todd Terje and a head of Balearic-tinged delights.
To our pleasant surprise, Manikk’s selection breaks away from the surge of DJs opting for a more rampant tempo — he keeps it steady, and breezy with the odd ear-perking twist and hypnotic dive.
A DJ with an experiential stance on Hanoi’s clubbing scene, we’ve been impatiently waiting to share Manikk’s sounds across Mixmag Asia airwaves. Get to know Manikk as you tune in below.
Where are you based and how did you get there?
I'm based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and have been digging, playing, and working in the scene here since 2011.
After a few years of developing myself through learning and understanding more about dance music and club culture, I became a resident DJ of Savage. I’m also the manager of Mirage, a new venue we have been working on for almost two years now.
What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?
The people — we are lucky to have so many talented DJs, producers, promoters, and artists from around the world, who have fallen in love with Vietnam and have chosen here to make it their second home. It’s wonderful when people share their passion and create a sense of community that is fun, joyful and full of adventures.
What do your DJ sets sound like?
Energy-driving, funky, groovy, fun & free, morning vibe.
And in three words, how would you describe yourself?
Dance, laugh, love.
What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to? Have you caught onto them?
Rare electro or house or techno dance tunes for club/festival. Also Balearic and nu disco or old school hidden gems for the morning after parties.
Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention?
Saint Guel, Philippines: housey, dubby and full of flavour of pacific coast sounds, his productions are remarkable. He is also the most humble, open and joyful person, with so much love and passion.
CYK , Japan: The Tokyo crew’s set from Wonderfruit festival is still singing in my ears. So, so good!
Kabuto, Japan: He played in Savage a few months ago for the Metro Night, with fruity, dynamic, high energy and out-of-mind performance on vinyl. It was something that inspired me and I could tell that it inspired other DJs too!
Describe one prediction you have about dance music in a post-pandemic world that’s being driven by new technologies.
Livestream radio or YouTube channels are getting bigger, with high-quality music, content, visuals, that really help people on both sides.
Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix - what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?
I curated this one based on my favourite tracks of nu-disco and electro house, some old 90s gems, with lots of bright energy, making it easy to listen to wherever you want, whenever you can — at home, outdoors, while driving to work or while cleaning your room.
What equipment did you record this mix on?
XDJ 1000 MK2 with Xone 43c.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happening from the DJ booth?
A girl comes up to me and requests for me to play jazz music on an electro party night. I like jazz too, but not tonight, dear. It turned out to be a bit awkward when she kept yelling at me and overreacting, so we had to ask her to leave. It was all just so weird.
Where can we hear you playing next?
Monthly weekend nights in Savage and Mirage. Also, Equation Festival in Moc Chau Hoa Binh, Vietnam, on April 8 with a four-hour opening set at the festival. Then there's Studio Adventure in Hoi An, Vietnam, on April 30. Going to Singapore in April and on a Europe trip in July — these are just a few of my overseas gigs that I’m looking forward to.