Born, raised and still residing on the southwest side of Detroit, Manuel Gonzales, aka MGUN, is living proof that the city’s electronic landscape is neither a long-gone legacy, nor will it be making a comeback. Rather, the metropolis he has always called home remains a creative enclave, continuously pumping out producers of the highest order.
Brought up on a healthy diet of Gary Chandler, Earl Mixxin McKinney and DJ Zap’s radio shows from a very young age, MGUN claims he “was the only dork in class, on my block and in my family listening to this shit.” It was during this same period when he began taking “music classes that I learned nothing in. At that time I just wanted to take an instrument home and fuck with it there. I did catch a few things from classes. One teacher brought in his Alesis digital recorder and we talked DATs. Another time a class introduced Sony Acid Pro. I remember knowing what a loop was at the time.” He was in middle school.
Gonzales’ innate interest in analog equipment paved the way for a clear calling in production. In addition to touring with both Underground Resistance’s Timeline and Interstellar Fugitives collective as the band DJ, he now has well-received releases on fellow Detroit native Kyle Hall’s Wild Oats imprint, as well as Trilogy Tapes and Don’t Be Afraid. Most recently, he has put out “Filth,” a three-track, vinyl-only release on Ukraine’s Wicked Bass, and “Full Frontal” on Berceuse Heroique, which includes the collaborative track, “Blowout,” with Ramon Ramirez.
Of his recent outputs he offers, “'Filth' is recorded in mono and is directed towards eastern European heads. It's hard as fuck, and I believe I have much to offer those folks. 'Full Frontal' can be taken however you want. Some have said this sound has been done before. I say, if it ain't broke don't try to fix it. Then ‘Blowout’ gives the listeners a chance to go back in time before any MGUN's existed.”
Citing a production process that necessitates an empty stomach, his Paradigm mini monitors, Soundcraft Spirit Studio LE and Casio CA-110 tone bank, MGUN draws heavily on his surroundings for inspiration, yet prefers working alone to linking up with the cliques of his contemporaries. Producing an acid-soaked sound as raw, rough and gritty as the city itself, he’s part of a new era of producers who refuse to be confined to Detroit’s past by creating the sounds that define its present.
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