Profile: RAY MANG

Profile: RAY MANG / Raj Gupta first captured our imaginations with a sophisticated sense of house music that is laden with latin funk and psychedelic rock flavas and nu disco releases under his Ray Mang moniker.

His first EP entitled "Number One" in 1996 which, since its release, has became an underground classic. It has been included and critically cited as one of the strongest tracks on both Mixmag Presents "Monsieur Dimitris De-Luxe House Of Funk" and Groove Armada's "Back To Mine" compilations and there are still people feverishly trying to track down copies of the original 12” release on the Noid label!

This was followed by a string of 12” releases on his very own Mangled imprint finding their way into everyones boxes from Pete Tong to Harvey and back via Gilles Peterson, James Lavelle, Glimmer Twins, Daniel Wang, Trevor Jackson and Andy Weatherall, all demonstrating his trademark percussive sound.

Through the 90's, Ray signed up with the new trendiest label in Belgium, Eskimo Recordings, to release an album of some of his past 12” excursions, the Ray Mang debut album "Mangled", released in April 2002. He then went on to work with writer/keyboards/producer Peter Zivkovic, forming the nu-jazz-house project Block 16. The two have emerged as key players in the London Nu House scene, amassing a huge and diverse amount of credits between them, working alongside Ian Brown, Xpress 2, Terry Callier, Raisa, Midfield General, Faze Action, Zero 7, Soul Family Sensation, Idjut Boys, James Last, Pat Lundy, Saint Etienne and Nina Miranda. Having crossed paths numerous times working on various different projects in varying roles through the years (even ending up as flatmates at one stage!), they finally found the time to combine their respective talents to make something bigger than the both of them.

Block 16 have made remixes for Bloc Party ("Banquet") on V2, Zero 7 ("Distractions") on Ultimate Dilemma, James Hardway ("Speak Softly") on Hydrogen Dukebox and Terry Callier ("Sierra Leone") on Mr. Bongo. Production duties included over half an album for Belgian world beat/electronica duo Arsenal whose album "Oyebo Soul" was nominated for three Zamu awards (Belgian Grammy's).


some personal deep house anthems right here

Ray Mang joined a new band for writing and production duties early in 2004. Dirty Minds is a collaboration with Belgian DJs The Glimmer Twins and vocalist Tom Derie (Ultrasonic, Soapstone). The first single, "I'm For Pleasure", came out on Eskimo Recordings in 2004 and was followed by "Life Of Brian" and "Scream (I Want U)" (which was also featured on Truby Trio's DJ Kicks) in 2005.

All that collaborations has not stopped his solo output as Ray Mang. Just in 2005, he released a string of  singles, "Big Bambu" and "Tels Bells" and even found time for remix duties, included West Phillips 80's quirky funk classic "I'm Just A Sucker For A Pretty Face" on Eskimo Recordings, LB's techno rendition of James Browns "Super Bad" for the Trevor Jackson Output imprint, Banda Black Rio's "Tomorrow" for Mr Bongo, Mudds "Adventures In Bricket Wood" for Rong and Community Recordings "Electrotech" and "Left My Feet In San Francisco" for Totem.

the cover by ray mang x lady kier and the original from p-funk god george clinton

Around this time, he also started to work on collaborations with Lady Kier, Jhelisa, The Glimmers and Foolish Felix. "Disco Dementia", a collaboration with Foolish Felix came out on US West Coast label Smash Hit Music Co in early 2006 and also produced tracks for Jhelisa's 2006 album "A Primitive Guide To Being There" on German label Infracom!.

Now, let's also not forget another special collab with English disco blokes Idjut Boys, and Raj/Ray becomes LAJ, putting out the 'Beard Law' EP as early as 1995 on the Boys' U-Star Records, and a steady string of tracks through the 90's. And in 2000, they celebrated their partnership with a megamix CD "The U-Star Daze" consisting of all their favorites also including a track with another long-time U-Star collaborator Quakerman.


lovingly ripped and archived on soundcloud by a random Idjut fan here

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Singapore, Thu 29 Mar 2018, Artemis supported by Alan Dixon (Midnight Riots) & The Foundation DJs

Bali, Thu 5 Apr 2018, Ku De Ta

Jakarta, Fri 6 Apr 2018, The GOODS Diner

Bangkok, Sat 7 Apr 2018, Mojjo

 

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