• Renato Martins

Daniel Haaksman – The “Man” of Man Recordings

To understand more about electrofunk boom in the years 2005 to 2008, we did an exclusive interview with one of the key parts of this whole story, Daniel Haaskman. He is a DJ, producer and creator of the label Man Recordings. Let’s go to interviews with Daniel and understand the boom of electrofunk:

Observação: Segue o link da entrevista em Português.

Funk na Caixa: So Daniel, tell us how and when happened your first contact with baile funk music? And what do you thought about the style?

Daniel Haaksman: I first heard Baile Funk in 2003 when a friend of mine returned from Brazil bringing me a stack of CDs he bought on the streets of Rio. He said: “Check it out, this is what people hear in Rio”. When I heard the first tracks, I was blown away. The fierce raps, the energy of the music, the frantic sampling with references to Electro Funk, Samba, Techno Hop, Miami Bass, Euro House and Pop were very exciting to hear. At that time I was in a kind of DJ crisis. Whatever I would find in record shops was very boring to me, so Baile Funk was a fresh inspiration for my DJ sets.

Funk na Caixa: When and why do you decided to create Man Recordings?

Daniel Haaksman: In 2004 I released the compilation “Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats” on my old label Essay Recordings, which I used to run together with Shantel (the gypsy music impressario). The compilation became a big international success, it received massive media feedback and sold really well. The success of this compilation showed me that there´s a market and an audience for baile funk so I decided to start my own label Man Recordings in 2005. This year we´ll celebrate 5 year anniversary and the 50th release of the label.

Funk na Caixa: Before that, do you worked with music? I mean, before you met baile funk.

Daniel Haaksman: I´ve been a club DJ since 1990, parallely I was working as a music journalist for various German magazines. In 1997 I moved to Berlin, continued to DJ and write but also worked for a couple of years in contemporary arts, I was a curator for the 1st Berlin Biennale For Contemporary Art in 1998 and later co-run a gallery until 2002. So I wasnt working in music 100% all the time. But then in 2005 I decided to work exclusively in music and started my label.

Funk na Caixa: In the years 2006 to 2008 happened a electrofunk boom in world. Alot of Dj’s and producer’s was producing and playing ‘baile funk’. The Man Recordings has influenced it with or it just happened? How do you saw this boom and you think the funk earned his place in the world?

Daniel Haaksman: Yes, baile funk was pretty hip between 2006-2008, I allow myself to say it was kick-started with my compilation “Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats”, and then half a year later, M.I.A. released her track “Bucky Done Gun” which was based on “Deize Tigrona´s “Injeção“. On top of that Diplo did his “Favela On Blast” mixtapes, so all this added up to a wave of releases that would introduce a global, Non-Brazilian audience to baile funk. Diplo, M.I.A. and me were kind of the foreign ambassadors of funk. But then I think this is the classic mission of a DJ: Find a new sound that no one knows, introduce it to your audience and play around with it, remix it, etc – that´s what I did with baile funk. The international wave was also fed with all the releases on Man Recordings: Edu K  released his first singles on Man Recordings, remixed by Diplo. Edu K was basically the first white Brasilian rock guy to pick up baile funk in 1999 with his punk band De Falla, releasing the album “Miami Rock 2000” on which “Popozuda Rock n´Roll” was released, which until today is one of the biggest hits of funk, especially outside of Brasil. Many Brasilians may dont know it but “Popozuda Rock n´Roll” was so big it was used in a Coca Cola campaign in Germany and a Nike campaign in Italy. Also part of the wave of 2005, 2006  was Bonde Do Rôle from Curitiba which represented baile funk as a party music with big beats. So in 2005, 2006 people in Europe, the USA and Japan would now get presented real artists, that would tour and perform live. I think this was leading baile funk to a new sound with it´s own artists, labels, etc.

This whole wave grew with my Man Recordings releases of artists like Crookers, Sinden but also DJ Sandrinho, Sany Pitbull etc. on my label, which opened the sound of baile funk to a bigger audience. With my series “Funk Mundial” I´ve send acappellas of funk MCs which I recorded in Rio to producers in Europe such as Crookers, Sinden, Seiji, Jesse Rose etc so they could make their beats using baile funk elements and a baile funk MC. These releases put baile funk into a total different context, you would have a house or an electro beat and a funk MC singing over it. This spread the sound of funk into many directions, and today you have many people in Europe or US that work with MCs from Brasil and also Angola. Because of its soft sound to foreign ears, Portugese has become a sort of alternative language for club music that is considered new and fresh. Just look at the French house don DJ Gregory, he just released a few singles with MCs from Angola – and people love it!!

Funk na Caixa: Have you been in a real “baile funk” in Rio de Janeiro? If yes, how was the experience?

Daniel Haaksman: I´ve been to various bailes in Rio and it was always an intense experiene. Especially sonically, as the DJs would play on very big sound systems and it was loud as hell, and the way the DJs would play crazy stuff with their MPCs was exciting too.

Funk na Caixa: How the Germans receive the baile funk in clubs?

They absolutely love it. There arent many regular club nights in Germany playing baile funk, it´s still considered a new and exotic sound, but people dance to it very similarly like they do in Brasil. They dont understand the lyrics, but they feel the power of the beats and the energy of the music.

Funk na Caixa: Have you ever played in Brazil? If yes, how the people received baile funk?

Daniel Haaksman: I played a couple of times in Rio and also Florianopolis and São Paulo. I always saw that people in the clubs really like baile funk and they would always sing along the lyrics. What people were a bit confused by where when I played the European adaptations of baile funk and my releases on Man Recordings – for them, putting together a baile funk MC with electro or house beats wouldnt fit.

Funk na Caixa: There is one video of Man Recordings, showing you and Beware playing the Rio Baile funk Breaks Vinyl. This vinyl is to play in battles or do you normaly play with to?

Daniel Haaksman: DJ Beware who had the idea to the vinyl is an original Turntablist DJ so he suggested to make a battle vinyl exclusively made from baile funk sounds and elements. So far I didnt see any battle made in public with this  ivly.

Funk na Caixa: In your opinion, who is the brazilian producer who more calls your attention?

Daniel Haaksman: There´s a couple: I really love Edu K productions they always surprise, João Brasil from Rio is great, DJ Chernobyl from São Paulo is doing excellent stuff, Mixhell of course too. Then I lik DJ Cremoso from Belem who is doing amazing Tecno Brega remixes, and in Rio I like the work of DJ Sandrinho, DJ Edgar, Sany Pitbull, Amazing Clay, DJ Marrentinho and the DJs Fu and Dinho.

Funk na Caixa: And in world, who is the producer that understand the baile funk essence?

Daniel Haaksman: I think there arent many producers outside of Brasil that understood the baile funk essence. I mean I can say that my own productions and releases, the EPs “Whos Afraid Of Rio”? and the “Gostoso” EP are my artistic interpretation of baile funk and in these tracks I put all the knowledge I have from both baile funk and European club music. Besides there´s a few names that made a handful of tracks that use baile funk elements but I wouldnt say there´s one producer who exclusively draws his inspiration from baile funk.  Diplo made some great baile funk inspired tracks, currently there´s this French producer called French Fries who does tracks that are spiced with baile funk elements, other French producers inspired by baile funk are Lazy Ants or Voltair. From the vocal side I think the foreigner who understood baile funk the best is German MC Gringo who lives in Rio and is a big lover of baile funk – he made an album on Man Recordings which is the first baile funk album made by a foreign artist. But all in all I think there still arent enough foreign producers and artists that make baile funk!

Funk na Caixa: Now to finish, what we can expects from Man Records in 2010?

Daniel Haaksman: We are celebrating 5 years of Man Recordings this summer with the release of a compilaton called “Valeu” where the current major artists on Man Rec such as Edu K, Crookers, Schlachthfobronx, Bert On Beats, Ku Bo, Beware+Motorpitch, Joyce Muniz, João Brasil or myself have made exclusive tracks for. In 2010, there will be the debut albums by Ku Bo of Vienna who is producing Afro-Brasilian beats, plus there´s the debut album by Bert On Beats, from Tallinn, Estonia, who is doing a mix of Kuduro and Dubstep. And there will be also many other exciting new single releases, I have a new EP scheduled for July, Edu K will release a new single in August etc. etc. etc.




Vem que tem (Daniel Haaksman remix) – Schlachtofobronx:


Daniel Haaksman – Pobum Coco:


Daniel Haaksman – Minimix for Jackmode Agency:

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