Night of the Jaguar meet… Manfredas 8th April, 2015


Manfredas is somewhat of a hero in his home-town of Vilnius. Holding a residency at the famous Opium club, he’s DJed alongside the biggest names in the business. Now, with a killer EP on Ivan Smagghe’s Les Disques De La Mort imprint and with an ever expanding tour and remix schedule, it’s time for him to come into his own as a world conqueror. Night of the Jaguar caught up with him to chat about his origins as a fourteen year old hip hop mogul, italo-disco raves in the Baltic dunes, the perfect track to cure a hangover plus much, much more. Check out the interview below, then listen to the exclusive mix he prepared for us ahead of his DJ set in the Vic Bar at Night of the Jaguar on Friday.

What has your relationship with music been like? When and how did you get into DJing?
20 years ago I was doing hip hop show on the radio. It did not pay any money so i decided to start my fan club. Members who had to pay monthly were offered free hip hop lyrics, printed of the internet, copies of my hip hop tapes, free copies of my zine which never come out and free entrance to my events. Bussiness did not go that well – in the end i had like six members who were willing to pay so i finished up doing only one party. But i continued dj’ing after that.

What’s the best thing about the scene in Vilnius?
It’s a small town and people who go out all know each other so you never dance alone. Sure that can suck sometimes too as it’s impossible to go fuck up yourself incognito. But what freaks want that?

I am really lucky that we had cool people all the time, friends, programming music on radio, tv’s and clubs, smart people writing on music, pushing the right stuff so the things that should be niche is kind of the mainstream here. To put in simple – folks dig music. We have one of the best line ups in the Europe every friday and the Opium club where everybody wants play. We even have a cold wave festival here. Only thing that is missing here is records.

How did you get involved with Ivan Smagghe and Les Disques de la Mort?
People love Ivan in Vilnius since Blackstrobe days. I did play warm up sets for him over the years and played even more times instead of him when he was sick. My tunes being released on his label was very natural thing. I was doing all kinds of music over the years, but when i finished this recent stuff, i knew exactly that Ivan is the one who could make this music work so i did not even give it to anybody else. Kept it in my pocket until his next gig here.

Where are your favourite places to find new music?
As the new, exciting music for me is usually something that is not new at all in terms of date, it can be vinyl markets, second hand shops selling porcelain and very often youtube or soulseek. Crazy things out there. For the new new music i don’t see a big difference where to shop. I went to Kristina records in Dalston recently and they gave me dope stuff. But again it wasn’t even new.

And you’re favourite place(s) to play?
I enjoyed Tel Aviv’s Bootleg a lot. So as the city and people there. Can’t wait to go back.

But my favourite place has to be the dunes on the Baltic coast. We do this illegal party in the middle of nowhere every 3-4 years and you can play only italo disco there for two days non stop. And now its the only place i can make a lot of my old fart friends with babies come to party. It is classic.

What track have you got on repeat at the moment?
Half of the day it was Primitivni Ples “Du Du A”. Vladimir Ivkovic posted it on facebook today. Now i am listening to Vito Ricci “I’m At That Party Right Now”. This songs feels very much like my head today. I am having such a big hangover that, honestly, i don’t think i did anything else, but listened to these two songs today. Maybe stared at that wall pretty good too.

Are there any little known/up and coming artists that you’re particularly excited about at the moment?
Autarkic, who did vocals for my Headman remix has some great sounds coming out and i am looking forward to do more music with him too, DJ Sundae who is still littlle known outside France is amazing DJ and I’m pushing him to make music, Mutado Pintado of Paranoid London fame has a project called Warmducher which is fun, he also has his EP coming out on Les Disques De La Mort very soon. And Tolouse Low Tax who’s been one of my favourite producers for a while i think still did not receive the attention his music deserved. He should play everywhere.

How did you approach making this mix for us?
Usually i enjoy making just selections of nice music as i never listen to club mixes myself, but now it felt like its time to remind people that i am somebody who makes living playing clubs, not just playing tunes for sad people.

What can we expect from Manfredas in the rest of 2015?
Making more music for Les Disques De La Mort, a cool release with Multi Culti, remixes for friends, taking over America, starting my own radio station and start skateboarding again. Maybe a members club would go better this time?