TOP 5: MANHIGH Recordings
Unique and fiercely independent, Henning Baer’s MANHIGH is legit. We check out Five of the label’s best releases…
In the not-too-distant past of 2009, the now celebrated Henning Baer, in collaboration with partner Michael Müller, recognised an opportunity to fill a gap in a Berlin club scene that at the time wasn’t yet awash with the techno of today. The Grounded Theory club night came to be, opening to much acclaim with the booking of Norman Nodge, Steve Rachmad and Function at Arena Club.
The success of the brand was verified just a decade later with Grounded Theory’s 10-year anniversary at Tresor, spearheaded by Baer with support from Helena Hauff, Tham and Stranger. A celebration such as this makes 2019 an ideal time for Baer to return to Australian shores following a 3-year absence.
While hosting and supporting some of the biggest industry names [Ostgut Ton’s Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann and Answer Code Request], Henning Baer’s technical ability is most apparent in the productions that make up the releases on MANHIGH, his inimitable attempt at true musical independence. Ahead of his eagerly anticipated arrival we’ve selected five of our favourite MANHIGH tracks, to give an impression of what’s to come from one of techno’s most meticulous contributors.
Henning Baer – Pittsburgh Left [MANHIGH002]
Sharing its name with the title of the EP itself, the second track on the 2016 sophomore release from MANHIGH stands proudly as a prime example of Henning Baer’s ability to produce an immense dancefloor number. Not wishing to defer the introduction of its booming kick sequence, ‘Pittsburgh Left’ comes out with an all guns blazing coupling of a relentlessly booming kick drum with a deep, hypnotic synth. As the track progressively builds on this with rhythmic undulation, the incoming elements of the track manage to stay unpredictable and fresh.
2. MATRiXXMAN – Deep Mind [MANHIGH003]
‘MANHIGH’s third instalment was left in the very capable of hands of USA’s own Charlie Duff aka MATRiXXMAN. The peak of this EP rests solely with the driving audible force that is ‘Deep Mind’, the second track on the 2017 release. A bass-reduced beginning forecloses a much quicker tempo than the previous EP, before the 132BPM track is awash with an energetic burly kick drum. Its omnipresent bell loop combined with abrupt, powerful drops makes this a worthy inclusion in our list.
3. Henning Baer – Magnetic [MANHIGH005]
‘If his earlier releases were deemed heavy, it could be argued that ‘Magnetic’ requires a step-up in vocabulary. Moving on from past instances of clean, sharp kicks, this track administers a delightfully overpowering reverb throughout as the ears are greeted by the product of Baer’s ingenuity. The fourth track of a bountiful eleven-track EP, 2017’s ‘Shatterproof’, Magnetic’s powerful bassline combines with echoing claps and timely base switch-ups to make this a commendable release for the German.’
4. Sciahri - Demur (Henning Baer Remix) [MANHIGH006]
‘Switching it up somewhat, Baer’s inclusion of a personal take on a track originally produced by Italy’s Sciahri on 2018’s ‘Demur’ EP gives further credit to his production abilities. With Sciahri’s original being of par standard, Baer’s version administers a necessary increase in tempo, and most noticeably a sharp, acidic synth that reverberates throughout. Though not an original of his own making, Baer’s remix aptly demonstrates his ability to repurpose and decorate with his own unique feel.’
5. Henning Baer – Rigger [MANHIGH007]
‘Last but certainly not least is the titular track of 2019 release ‘Rigger’. Techno music is sometimes pigeon-holed into simple repetitions; however, the evocative nature of ‘Rigger’ serves to generate the visualisation of one’s most nostalgic club memories. Baer’s diversity as a producer is aptly on show here when these MANHIGH tracks are viewed collectively, as this energising acidic, kick drum-riddled piece represents yet another essential listen for those looking for a quality brand of techno.’