Berlin-based producer Daniel Haaksman created the Man Recordings imprint in 2005 to share his love for tropical rhythms across the Northern Hemisphere, especially Brazilian sounds like baile funk. That means this year marks its 10-year anniversary of putting out some of the best tropical dancefloor bangers in recent history, made by excellent talents from all around the world. To celebrate this, they put together a very special compilation called The Best Of Man Recordings – Celebrating 10 Years, 2005-2015, collecting some of their most iconic hits from the past decade.
The compilation starts with the now-classic 2005 Diplo remix of Edu K‘s “Popozuda Rock N Roll,” the rock-influenced baile funk, which not only reminds us of what Man Records is all about, but also sets the tone for the rest of the selection. Baile funk is definitely the predominant genre here, and most of the tracks are pairings of Brazilian MCs and international producers. For instance, Crookers‘ “Para De Gracinha,” featuring MC Leka, is included, and it’s an electrifying techno spin on the genre. Seiji‘s “Todo Mundo” is a more straightforward interpretation on its Miami bass origins, with MC Dolores on the mic.
“Tamborzão con Scratchy,” by DJ Beware and MC Gringo, is pretty much what its title suggests, mixing baile funk percussion with vinyl scratches, and also some drum breaks, injecting a fair amount of 80s hip-hop. From Estonia, Bert on Beats puts the “global” in “global bass,” collaborating with MC Gi on “Alemão,” a hot and cold party monster with tons of flavor. CSS’ Lovefoxx joins João Brasil on “L.O.V.E. Banana,” a 80s-inspired laid-back track with provocative lyrics in English and a main riff that introduces the regional element of the accordion.
Haaksman himself appears twice here. He chips in with “Kid Conga,” his 2009 collaboration with MC Miltinho, which is probably one of the better known tracks on the compilation. Playful synth lines and heavy drums still work years later. Also included is Riva Starr‘s remix of his song “Who’s Afraid of Rio,” featuring MC Jennifer, with a more static but equally effective beat.
But there’s also room for others genres too. Take Portuguese producer Batida‘s remix of Ku Bo and Tshila‘s “Kaggua,” who bring the fun kuduro vibes to the table, or So Shifty‘s “Rumba,” which features Cuban group Madera Limpia, a track that’s a straight-up feel-good reggaeton moment. The most culturally diverse mix comes in “Ayoba,” where German duo Schlachthofbronx, South African artist Spoek Mathambo, and Serbian MC Gnucci join forces to serve an upbeat moment with a healthy dash of weird.
The Best Of Man Recordings – Celebrating 10 Years, 2005-2015 is an outstanding collection of songs that is here to remind everyone about the label’s continuous and tireless effort to take all these genres and present them to the world in new, creative, and unexpected ways.