Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve just finished binge watching a law drama, but I came into this article wanting to make this review like a good legal argument: hard hitting, leaving a lasting impression. However, try as I might to believe in my own lexical prowess and thesaurus dependence, there’s no need for me to deliberate over the brilliance of Manny Fresh’s music because, simply put, it speaks for itself.
Manny Fresh’s flawless production speaks for itself; it has vision of the future whilst paying homage to the past. You can’t beat those fine chill beats.
Straight out of Christchurch, New Zealand, Manny Fresh is a promising producer who pieces together soulful, swelling beats that both complement and pay homage to contemporary R&B and soul artists. If transparency is the new honesty, then Manny would have to be one of the most honest producers in the Southern Hemisphere; he declares the impact and influence that artists like J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Mos Def have had on his work all over his Soundcloud, giving tribute in his words as well as his music. Complete with inspired instrumentals and remixes of greats like Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo, Manny Fresh’s music is clearly more closely aligned to that of fandom than of replication.
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Soul Food is the latest offering from Mr. Fresh. A rolling journey through the late 90s R&B rabbit hole, you will find yourself mesmerized by the shimmering electric piano work, the pitch shifted vocal samples that cascade over one another, and, of course, that silky synth line that’s sensual to the point that it’s practically NSFW. At its core, Soul Food is so absorbing because every individual sound that makes up this track mingles together so effortlessly and with the sort of sonic coherence most emerging producers strive towards. With some Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott samples thrown in for good measure, Manny’s arsenal of production skills and techniques are most effectively demonstrated in Soul Food.
You shouldn’t stop at this track, however: if you’re lacking a bit of soul in your day-to-day, take an hour out of your work schedule and drift away to the music of Manny Fresh. From his swaying samples, sly synth work and chill bass lines, this Christchurch producer channels some of the best elements of R&B, neo-soul and experimental jazz through his nostalgic, homemade compositions. I’m not sure what the future holds for Manny Fresh and his soulful music, but there’s no way that production work this well crafted and considered will go unnoticed for long.
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