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The first bars are reminiscent of a film score: a lonesome whistle like in an Italian western, sparingly placed tones like in a film noir. A high-pitched child’s voice calls out to us, “Clap Your Hands.” Lasting not even 50 seconds, ‘Mikado’ is the scene-setting first track from Double Fantasy, a foreword for an artist album of a truly special nature.
Although its protagonists have been an integral part of the international electronic scene for over fifteen years, this is – somewhat unbelievably – their first album. Friends since boyhood, Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung – better known as M.A.N.D.Y. – first formed at the Monza Club in Frankfurt. Originally an energetic DJ-collective with house music at their core, it wasn’t long before they started making music, with a 2001 remix for French Formation Galleon standing as their debut.
Dozens of other records followed, not last their celebrated ‘Body Language’, arguably the definitive club record of 2005 and one you’ll still hear frequently to this day. Bodmer and Jung are hard party-workers. They love to travel and entertain.
With their studio buddies Booka Shade and Thomas Koch’s alias DJ T., they founded their own label Get Physical, still viewed as one of the world’s most influential. Here, their understanding of sound — beyond their own work— found a solid home. Just like their parties, M.A.N.D.Y. stands for continuous commitment and free thought. Out of their exhilarating soundscapes, avant-garde cathedrals rise.
A tried and tested team both behind the decks and in the studio, M.A.N.D.Y.’s roots are in the old school sounds of early electronic music, hip-hop and electro, influences they return to once again on Double Fantasy.
“Of course we had the idea to make an official M.A.N.D.Y. album a long time ago” says Jung. “But we did not want a stapled-together snapshot. After all, we were and are on the road worldwide pretty much constantly. So the endeavour took a little bit longer than expected”. Bodmer adds, “In a career, it’s expected to release a long-format as soon as possible. For us, it was not the most important thing in the universe!”
It was from a pool of around 50 compositions that M.A.N.D.Y. chose twelve songs for Double Fantasy. And yes, their classic ‘Body Language’ is also back, of course, in a newly reworked version for 2016. The production was supported and accompanied by their long-time companion Stefan Eichinger (aka Lopazz) who as an accomplished mixmaster and engineer took care of the polished studio-cut.
The selection of international guest-artists highlights M.A.N.D.Y.’s broad array of styles. During the ghostly track ‘Whisper’, Bam from the New York hip-hop crew Jungle Brothers raps, his vocoder-inflected vocals impressively conjuring the long-held associations between house and hip-hop. Elsewhere the South African song-genius Nonku Phiri accompanies a polyphone-splatter by the classically schooled Francesco Tristano.
Further guest appearances from Jimmy Vallance from Canadian act Bob Moses (‘Tomorrow Is Another Night’), Brett Johnson (‘Rhythm & Soul’), and LD Nero (‘Rabbit Mountain’) complete the impressive list of studio partners.
M.A.N.D.Y. consciously set out to make a more thoughtful album than your average club record: an elegant body of work that would stand the test of time. This carefully curated debut shows the grand masters of organic house sounds in iridescent form: relaxed, inspired and breaking conventions with every turn. http://getphysicalmusic.com