It’s been a relentless, year-long project, culminating in an 11 track album, with a 4 track companion EP ‘Beatniks on Toast’. Building on the success of the previous album ‘Outsider’, which reached a number 2 spot in the NZ indie charts, number 2 in the Heatseeker album charts and 8 in the NZ album charts, this new release takes Manzo’s musical journey to the next level.
"Too much effort went into this album for it to be ignored. I urge, nay implore you to listen. To find a comfortable space away from your social media, your emails, your office job and listen. Listen and breathe. Live." Muzic.net.nz review
This is Manzo’s most complete piece yet. More mature, polished song and score-writing, with rich, punchy and spacious mixes. This collection takes the listener on a 47 minute adventure, each track flowing effortlessly into the next. Manzo’s influences are diverse and he flouts genre rules to bring a fusion of 60s, 80s, electro, pop, rock, blues, reggae and ballad on a smorgasbord of soundscapes. Manzo gets out from behind his DAW and takes on more live performances on this album, playing drums and synths throughout.
Social commentary is a key element of Manzo’s art. The album confronts themes of techno-dependence, the artificial replacing the real and the dehumanising of society. Even the music streaming industry comes in for a slap. This is juxtaposed against real human attachments, love, warmth, hope and optimism.
"Ultimately, I want the listener to come to the end of the album feeling good about life".
The 4 track 'Beatniks on Toast' EP is a delightful companion piece, with a lighter, raw, live feel, which will leave you with a smile on your face.
The Manzo family continues to grow – with introductions of fabulous new talent, including vocalists Harrison Nicol and Andrea Coulston, violinist Richard Taylor and harmonies from Sally Jarvis. Previous collaborators return to the fold, Laurence Cooper with his warm vocals and sublime Stratocaster, Allan Taotua and Anny da Silva Freitas on vocals, with Dave Hone on guitar and electric cello.
"I am especially proud of the consistency of the vocal performances we recorded. There is no comping. The listener will be hearing straight end-to-end takes".
Manzo continues to surprise. His unique style of experimenting with instrument choices, melodies and vocal styles culminates in a truly satisfying listening experience.
"I suppose the difference between those that hold on and those swept into obscurity is the spirit of the artist with which the few are imbued. That desire to create with every breath. Those that do it for the love of noise, or beauty, or expression. Those that need an outlet. Those like Manzo, who are releasing two albums simultaneously." Muzic.net.nz review