Mixpak Records and Man Recordings just put out a joint EP called Pak Man and we are officially pumped. For the past couple of years, both labels have gradually become go-to sources for the cutting edge of globally minded dance music. Brooklyn-based Mixpak records is led by DJ and producer Dre Skull, and primarily focuses on a cloudily electronic take on Caribbean music. In addition to producers like Dubble Dutch and Porier, this past year saw the label release a stellar album from the dancehall star Popcaan. Man Recordings in Berlin specializes in electronic dance styles from the Lusophonic world, particularly focusing on Brazil’s booming tecno brega. For the story behind Man Records, be sure to check our interview with label boss Daniel Haaksman.
While the labels have had some previous crossover, sharing a few artists who have put out releases on both, they’ve never engaged like this before. More than just a compilation, each track on this EP is an original collaboration between one artist from each label. And the results certainly reflect both cohorts’ wide-ranging influences. Taken as a whole, the stylistic references of this EP are encyclopedic, ranging from from the grime-y “Control” to the melodic balafon featured on “Dembele,” with plenty of lasers and outer space sounds in between. What’s more, despite pointing musically in all directions, the EP holds together. Think of it less as the union of peanut butter and jelly, and more like a delicious musical stir fry. Enjoy.