Miami may not have completely shed its reputation as a party mecca, even for its full-time residents. But with cats like DJ Manuvers coming up and taking over, we might one day also be known for our work ethic.
Of course, you might expect some fast action from one whose name is both a noun and a verb conjugation. (His real name is similarly double-sided though he was born Francisco de Pablo in Santiago, Chile, his pals just call him "Pancho.") His DJ name springs from a friend, and the spelling comes from hip-hop's phonetic tradition. Its meaning, however as in, say, one who makes the moves is all him.
Those moves have included boothing up everywhere from Soho Lounge and Opium Hard Rock to Barcelona's Sonar Festival, where Manuvers spun alongside everyone from Carl Cox to 2 Many DJs. These days, those moves run another gamut, from Electric Pickle's weekly Champion Sound Wednesday to Purdy Lounge's Chocolate Sundays, with News Lounge in the middle.
Manuvers's moves also included helping helm the now-defunct Counterflow Recordings, which in its five-year existence gave us some 60 to 70 releases, the majority of them on beloved vinyl.
These days, he's all about a new project, Hometeam Music, which will join forces with DJ Induce's Wondersound Recordings for this summer's much-anticipated album, The Wonderful World of Induce. Though it's technically an Induce solo album, Manuvers is the coproducer on the effort, twiddling the knobs just as he's doing for other artists such as Miles (with MC Seven Star) and Metraletta (a Latin rap act). Those latter two releases should both see a late 2010 street date.
Manuvers's sound has all the energy of hip-hop (his "first love"), but its soar is all soul. That means you're as likely to hear Tom Browne's classic "Funkin' for Jamaica" as you are Q-Tip's more modern "Let's Ride." You'll also hear a whole lot of the music that Manuvers is making these days, which seems intent on making Miami the mecca it once was, way back during the glorious heyday of TK Records.
And that, of course, takes work. Manuvers's work ethic is very un-Miami well, at least not like what Miami's best been known for, anyway. He rises early, and he works late. And he hasn't waited for a door to open since he learned how to kick them in.
Our town could do with more guys like Manuvers. Until that time, though, we can at least be assured there's one head spinner who's not afraid to put in the hours it takes to reach greatness. It's something to consider next time you hear the soul-drenched sound of this man on the move. Then again, knowing how much play Manuvers is making for himself, you've probably already heard it and given him the consideration he deserves.