Israeli DJs and producers Khen and Guy Mantzur have launched a new collaboration: a two-track EP entitled ‘Where Is Home’ via John Digweed’s Bedrock records. After more than a decade of friendship and several years of making music together, they are planning new surprises for their fans.
We had the chance to chat with Khen and Guy about the new Bedrock release and other musical topics.
Electronic Groove: Hi Guys, welcome back to EG. Congratulations on your latest EP ‘Where Is Home’ on Bedrock Records that made the Top 20 on the overall chart. How did this collaboration come together?
Guy Mantzur: Hey EG, thanks for having us!
Khen: We love to create music with each other and our styles mesh really well. As for this collaboration, we had some talks about going back in the studio together earlier in the year to create a new track after we did ‘Children With No Name’ for my debut album, and this EP is the result. We’re very happy with how it came out and a lot of our friends in the scene and fans seem to like it as well.
EG: Tell us about working as a duo, how was the production process? Was it a “walk in the park” or did you encounter any differences?
Guy Mantzur: Regardless if we create music separately or together, we never take the fast or easy approach. We let the process take however long it needs to for us to find that magic. That spark. We love to explore, cross boundaries and reinvent ourselves in the creative process.
We can have long sessions just listening to music, not only electronic, and we both find it very inspiring and an important part of the process. We love to talk about the music we make and get an understanding about how we want the project to feel and how we want it to sound.
Khen: The fact that we’re really good friends and have the same taste in music helps a lot in the creative process. We’re very attentive to each other and stay open to any new ideas the other might have.
EG: You two have a long history, correct? How did you guys meet and how has the relationship evolved throughout the years?
Khen: Yes, we have been friends for many years. More than a decade. I was a young producer and someone introduced me to Guy, who at the time was the resident of a legendary Tel Aviv club called The Cat & Dog. We set up a meeting at his studio and listened to some of my productions, and then and there Guy signed my first EP to his label Plattenbank.
Guy Mantzur: I remember listening to Khen’s music for the first time and thinking to myself how incredibly talented this guy is, and from that day, we’ve had a long journey together full of collaborations, back-to-back shows and of course a personal friendship that goes very deep.
EG: Bedrock put out your latest release. What can you tell us about your relationship with the label?
Khen: Usually when we work on a track in the studio we avoid thinking of a specific label because that can limit your creative process. Once we finish the track and play it for a while, we both understand what the track needs and what label would be the perfect home for it, and Bedrock was a given in this case.
Guy Mantzur: We both released on Bedrock separately and have a special relationship with John (Digweed) and the label. It’s one of the most legendary imprints in all of dance music so it’s a great honor to have been invited back with this release.
“We are working on some special back-to-back shows that we hope to be able to announce soon”
EG: You’ve shared the decks a few times. What can you tell us about playing back-to-back? How do you plan your sets?
Khen: We love playing together. The only problem is that time flies so fast when we play together, so you always want more.
Guy Mantzur: We have a similar taste while maintaining a personal unique style and grooves, so there’s not so much planning that goes into it honestly. We know each other really well and can afford to wing it and just build. Sometimes we can have a chat during the set and figure out if we’re taking things in the right direction, but often times we don’t even need to do that.
EG: What do you think are Khen’s and Guy’s strengths and qualities as a DJ and a producer?
Khen: Guy is first and foremost a real musician. He has a lot of experience in the studio and in a live setting, which is something extremely valuable to have with you in the studio and as a DJ. In the booth, he has that groove and ability to feel a floor that you can’t really learn. He’s also very professional in the way he approaches his career, which I try to absorb and learn from best I can.
Guy Mantzur: I love that Khen keeps it fresh, exciting and always surprises me when we play or spend time in the studio. He also has an ability to read the crowd unlike any other, which is of course one of the most important aspects there are as a DJ.
EG: Do you guys have any shows coming up to support the EP?
Guy Mantzur: We are working on some special back-to-back shows that we hope to be able to announce soon. We plan on going all night long together!
EG: What do you feel are some of the advantages and disadvantages of working as a duo?
Khen: Our solo careers are our primary focus, we are in a position that when we decide to collaborate on a track we really pour our heart and soul into it and enjoy a lot, as it’s a different type of way of creative vent.
Guy: I agree. It feels really refreshing and inspiring to work with someone else every once in a while.
EG: Do you have any other gigs for the rest of the year you’re looking forward too?
Guy Mantzur: We both have some very exciting things coming up. I just came back from Ibiza where I played with Black Coffee at Hi, which was beautiful. Coming up I have Warung in Brazil, my own ‘Moments’ party at ADE, Resistance in Panama and Costa Rica and a bunch more.
Khen: Next up is a tour Asia. I’m visiting three cities in Japan as well as Sri Lanka and India. I’m playing Womb in Tokyo, which has been a dream for a long time. After that I have a 4 hour set at Warung in Brazil for its 17th birthday with Richie Hawtin, Anna and Renato Ratier, and of course ADE, where I’ll be playing the Vivrant showcase with Jeremy Olander, Marino Canal and MOLØ.
‘Where is Home’ is now available on Bedrock Records. Grab your copy here.