A bottle of Held Vodka with Mano Le Tough

von Till Kolter

Mano le Tough – Ire, DJ und wohnhaft in Frittenhain.Vor vier Jahren drückte er in Dublin Prins Thomas eine CD mit seinen Tracks in die Hand. Eineinhalb Jahre später kam die Demo als Warhorn EP auf Prins Thomas’ Label Internasjonal heraus. Der Weg für die musikalische Karriere Manos war somit geebnet.

Plötzlich fragte man sich “Wer ist das denn?” “Wo kommt der denn auf einmal her?”

und BAM (Eurodancer EP/Mirau)

BAM (Oblique/Internasjonal)

BAM (Baby, let’s love/Dirt Crew)

folgten noch drei weitere Releases mit denen er plötzlich von sich Reden machte. Stolz präsentierte er mir seine Chartplatzierung in der Groove als wir zwischendurch beim Späti waren.

Mano: I think everybody has got a drinking problem now.


First question, why do you call yourself Mano le Tough?

Mano: There was a group of us, a band in Ireland about five years ago, me and four friends. We started a live electro band. We used to practice in my parents house and we were called “Hang Tough”. We were just messing like using “Le Tough” as our second names and I was always called Mano, it’s an abbreviation of my surname.

It just kind of stuck. We all moved into a big house then, where we used to have a lot of parties. And then we got into a band fight in the house and we never practiced again. The band was totally disintegrated, but our band names stayed.

How old are you?

Mano: 27.

When did you move to Berlin?

Mano: 3 years ago.


Mano: I was visiting every month. I am from the Esmerald isle and I wanted to live somewhere else and Berlin is quite cool. That’s why I moved here. If you want to do anything in Ireland it’s pretty annoying. The possibilites are bigger here. Your peers are here and they are successful artists here. You should surround yourself with your peers.

How come your first release was on Internasjonal?

Mano: The first track I made was “Warhorn”. I put it on myspace and I had a stupid GIF of a horse with two legs running. And Tensnake saw it and he was like “this is great”. And then he wanted to do it on Mirau Music, his own label. But then Mirau lost it’s distribution, so I gave Prins Thomas a CD. It still took two years to come out after that.


What would you call your sound?

Mano: Electronic dance music? I make a lot of slow stuff, kind of disco and I make a lot of house stuff. And I guess some stuff it’s kind of Techno. House, Techno, Disco music! Pretty mixed.

Do you have any special influences?

Mano: At the start I was really influenced by Prins Thomas and Lindstrom stuff. Also Detroit Techno and Chicago house, the usual stuff.

When did you start djing?

Mano: 2003 maybe.

Do you know what “Gobshite” means?


Mano: Kind of. That’s what my Dad calls me when he’s really angry. There’s no real translation. Let’s see what Wikipedia says. Oh, okay, if someone talks a lot of shit. Let’s see what Wikipedia says. Oh, okay, if someone talks a lot of shit.


Okay, let’s get back to the topic music. What are your plans for the future? Are you going to have any new releases?

Mano: I’ve got a few releases lined up. And I’m doing more stuff for Internasjonal. I’m working on an album for them.

On which label would you like to release a record?

Mano: I’d like to release on Permanent Vacation and stuff like that. I have a few remixes coming out. One on Dirt Crew coming out next week and one for a friend’s label, which I got finished yesterday. I just started working with John Talabot. We just started doing a collaboration together. It’s going to be called JTMT – the initials of John Talabot and Mano le Tough.

Does John Talabot live in Berlin?

Mano: No, he lives in Barcelona.

So how do you work together?

Mano: We just send each other our ideas.


There’s this David Bowie Edit, you’ve done on Soundcloud. Why don’t you release it?

Mano: I don’t want to release edit, just doing it for fun. When I make one, I just give them away.

Do you speak German?

Mano: A little bit.

Say something!

Mano: Like what?

I don’t know.

Mano: Alles klar, Herr Kommissar!


Do you think Pop music has a chance to enter the more traditionally techno locations?

Mano: Yeah, I definitely do so. I think it’s changing. Three years ago in Berlin there used to be Minimal everywhere, but now everyone plays house. People are so much more open now then it was three years ago.

What to you do in your free time?

Mano: Making music. *laughter* Hang around in the internet for a while. Usually I spend every day with making music.

Have you studied anything before?

Mano: Yeah, I’ve got a degree in economics.

What would you do one day if you get bored of making music?

Mano: Joining the french foreign legin. *laughter* No, serious, I would start some small business like a sandwich shop or something.


Do you like cooking?

Mano: I am cooking all the time. I ‘m vegetarian now. So I cook vegetables.

Do you know Irish cooking?

Mano: I know a few. We have a lot of stews.

No, I heard Irish cooking means to start cooking and drinking at the same time. At the end you are too drunk to eat the meal.

Mano: Irish people have such a bad name. *laughter*


How many instruments do you play?

Mano: I play a few, but badly. I play guitar like a lot. And bass a bit. And keyboards a bit. And then drums a bit. But it’s pretty cool, because sometimes when I’m making music you have a subverting on a loop and then you can play it live and make the melody and afterwards use the synth.

You are making blueprints with it?

Mano: Exactly. It’s fun.

But you don’t sample your guitar?

Mano: Not really. I started to it a little bit.

How about bass guitar lines?

Mano: Totally! I had one in Ireland. I need to get one.

Who is your favorite producer at the moment?

Mano: John Talabot, really. He’s going to play at our “Passion Beat Night” at Kleine Reise in October the 29th. Should be an amazing night.





Para: Das kommt auch ins Interview. Richard, du faule Sau, mach mal Fotos!

Hey, what’s this song?

Mano: This is the new song of mine. I think it’s going to come out on Internasjonal.

What’s the name of this song?

Mano: “Dropping bombs”.

(Mano’s flatmate and partner in crime Mark Flynn appears.)

Hey Mark, let’s have a shot


Mark: Sláinte!

What does it mean?

Mark: That’s how we say “cheers” in Ireland.

Mark, are you also a DJ?

Mano: Yeah, he’s “The Drifter”.

Do you produce as well?

Mark: I started to do and I’m trying to get used to it. I do also singing. I did a couple of things with Tensnake, but it’s not released yet.

Mano: We’re also planning to start a label called “Passion Beat Records”. It’s related to the name of our monthly party at Kleine Reise (Passion Beat).

( Sláinte)

(Mano plays a song)

Mano: This is the first song we are starting a label with. We are hopefully going to have a Remix by me and John Talabot.

Who’s the artist?

Mark: His name is “Lazer Tom & the Blast Crew”, an Irish guy. A friend of us from home.

Mano: He’s producing amazing tunes. We like this song and said “Why don’t you release it by ourselves?”. It’s a slow groove around 100 BPM.

Yeah, sounds awesome! Are you going to release it this year?

Mano: This year or next year. The release party will be at Kleine Reise of course.

Sounds good. We’re looking forward to this release and your next Passion Beat party with John Talabot!


Danach artete das Interview in einem Besäufnis aus, das sich lieber keiner vorstellen mag. Mano bewies mit diesem Interview seine Trinkfestigkeit und wir mussten feststellen, dass das eher ein Absturz und kein Interview war. Dennoch ein PROST auf Mano, Held Vodka und natürlich die proud!


Interview Till Kolter & Paramida Sabay

Photos Richard Kirschstein

mano le tough – baby, let’s love by manoletough


Till Kolter

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