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Profile: DJ TENNIS
published 1 March 2018
Life & Death, the "soulful dance music label with a post-rock aesthetic" is the brainchild of Manfredi Romano, reborned as DJ Tennis, the choice of name baffles one at first until we find out Manfredi was a semi-professional player and (of course) DJ'd at his tennis club. Earned it.
And his recent Beats In Space mix (#924, Feb 2018) is a taster of the width and depth of the label and its founder, also having done the first ever double-CD 'DJ Kicks' of the legendary DJ mix compilation by the label !K7, one of the longest running DJ series ever released since 1993.
Even when most of the biographical articles recounts Manfredi as a punk rocker who managed rock bands, he counted labels like Warp and bands like Pansonic as early influences turning on a two sided love between rock music and electronica. Perhaps growing up between Italy and the US may also have contributed to his expansive library of music and taste. He named McEnroe as his tennis hero and has lamented the greatness in tennis was lost when technicality has taken over creativity, tactics and psychological warefare, and in the same vine, the creativity of music seems to have been missing, and that's the reason why Life & Death came about. A label sharing the polarities of each founder - Greg Oreck of Thugfucker, Matteo Milleri of Tales Of Us and Tennis - will only result in signings that are adventurous, deep and musical.
In between a steady stream of productions and remixes with labels like Kompakt and Rhythm Assault, touring and traveling, Manfredi even found time to start another label project, this time with fellow hip-af Italian duo Marvin & Guy. This is somewhat a "cultural" label that is digging deep into the early dance scene in Tuscany and its "Pre-Progressive" movement around 1991 - 1993. Life Of Marvin is re-releasing racks taken from the original catalogue of the Interactive Test Record label owned by Franco Falsini, that became key figures in the Italian Disco scene since the early 80's, the likes of Roby J, Model Citizen, Sick Hardcore, Francesco Farfa, Gabry Fasano and Marco Calderoni.
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