Manamana: two healing powers

Manamana: two healing powers

11-07-2013 | 19.30

Besides classical music, Leipzig also represents some very big players in the electronic music scene. It seems like every German city has its main players, and in this one, Jan Barich (Map.ache) and Alexander Neuschulz (Sevensol) are already two of them. Together they perform as Manamana and this Saturday they’re doing their thing in de Verdieping. 

In a podcast you guys did for Oskar Offermann's radioshow, he sang the tune 'manamana tutuu dududu'. Did you actually get the name from the Muppet Show? 
Sevensol: "It's hard to believe, but Jan (Map.ache) didn't even know the Muppets song when we chose our name. For us it’s more about the spiritual meaning of ‘Mana’. In Hawaiian culture, Mana is a form of energy and healing power, which can exist in places, objects and persons. It's not like we are very spiritual persons, but we like it as meaning of power. And even twice, in our case!"
Map.ache: "Yes, that is true! I just liked the name when we were thinking of grabbing one for our dj-duo. When I would have known the song before, I’d probably say ‘come on, this is ridiculous!’, now we are very happy to be MANAMANA."
I believe this is the 5th time that you'll be performing together at Nachtdigital. Since you're both from Leipzig, is this festival something you really grew up with? 
Map.ache: "It does feel like we grew up with it, but only since 2008 we got invited for the first time. It was the time we got to know and felt in love with all the people around this beautiful summer camp. So we missed the early growing years. But ever since we have had the honor to play Nachtdigital, it hasn’t rained there!"
How did you experience the 'growth' of the festival?
Map.ache: "It’s amazing to see the huge development of the festival. They went from a passionate local friends-weekend, to one of the best and highly respected festivals with massive sense of open mind for music and atmosphere. I think it was the only way to establish the festival, as a manageable party - since people mostly visit events because of its familiar character. They’re looking for tickets the whole year without knowing any artists, because they can trust the musical know how of Nachtdigital. No need for big names, big advertising or other usual aspects, which turns a lot of festivals into soulless gatherings these days." 
Have you guys tried producing together, or are you going to in the future? 
Map.ache: "We’re running the label KANN together with our buddy Bender, who is producing together with Sevensol as Sevensol & Bender. I am producing under my solo alias Map.ache. Sometimes it’s kind of confusing for people to decode. The different roles in the small ‘label universe’ that we have aren’t the smartest if you look at it in a business point of view, but we are more than fine with it."
Sevensol: "We should try producing together, I think."
A lot of famous classical composers lived in Leipzig; I've also read that the city is well known for its opera. Is classical music something you grew up with or that has influenced you guys in a way? 
Map.ache: "Not only in school you learn a lot about the musical tradition of the city, the influence is noticeable everywhere! But both of us grew up with more musical influences coming from other genres like house, techno and punk hardcore or post rock stuff. Later, when you discover unique people like Bach, they do influence you. Only I noticed him for his outstanding musicianship, not because of his connection to Leipzig."
What's the reason you both prefer to play a very extended set or an all-nighter?
"Map.ache: Since we always do improvised back-to-back sets, every now and then it’s hard to find the connection to each other, because of dissent moods. That’s one reason that makes it harder to play the usual two-hours set. The other reason is that it’s very fun and challenging to play an entire night with all its ups and downs to soak up the vibe."
Is there a place in the world you haven't been before and would really like to perform? 
"Sevensol: There are so many places we would like to visit and travel, but there´s no favorite in a certain order though. Japan probably has a big attraction for every DJ. I can only hope that some of these journeys will become reality in the future."
Final question, do you have something special in store for this Saturday? 
Sevensol: "We have never played De Verdieping before, so we are very curious to find out how it feels in the Trouw basement. I would say, as we play after Philipp (Efdemin), a deeper techno based set would be cool for this night."
Map.ache: "Yes, but we never know beforehand what’s going to happen. So it always stays exciting for us. Lets bring on the night!"

Text: Ruben Leter