Recently I had a chance to sit down (on Facebook) and talk (message) Chris Manley, one-third of the chart-topping moombahton/electro/party music group known as “Team Jaguar.”
NC: Thanks for taking the time to sit down, Chris. Could you start by providing a little background into the founding of Team Jaguar?
TJ: Well, Team Jaguar is myself (Manley), Ben Danner and Colin Johnson. We started DJing and producing together as Team Jaguar about a year ago, before that I was playing under the TJ name with someone else but she decided to quit DJing. Ben, Colin and I were making music together for fun on the side and DJing our party, Menace Beach, and then it struck us that we should do things together. So yeah, we’re just three music nerds making sexy dance music.
NC: Talk about what you guys have been up to lately, and what got you into the moombahton scene.
TJ: We’ve been trying to keep as busy as possible, making edits and working on our EP, just keep that momentum going. We also have several remixes slated to come out in the next few weeks, one we are super excited for is an official Gregor Salto remix, we are so proud of that one. It’s a moombahton remix actually. And yeah, we’ve been producing a lot of moombahton lately, it’s just so much fun. Personally it reminds me of crazy parties we had years ago – we’d play bmore, kids would be going nuts, it was the best. Moombahton brings the party and just feels awesome.
NC: Word. Talk about Team Jaguar’s musical style- what you feel defines you guys as artists.
TJ: Haha, I don’t really know how to answer that one. Being called an “artist” is a little weird. We take ourselves seriously but not too seriously. We are just trying to provide folks with a good time. If our “art” can do that then we’re happy.
NC: So tell me a little bit about your production setup. What kind of hardware and software do you guys work with? Spill the beans.
TJ: We go analog for most of our sounds – we use a Jupiter 6, Juno 106, Korg M1, Future Retro XS and a Vermona DRM1 MKII – but we also rely on Maschine pretty heavily, it’s a tight production tool. And then we run everything into Ableton for arrangement and plug-in work.
NC: As a personal follow up, how the HELL do you guys get such deep, knocking bass out of your tracks?
TJ: Ancient Chinese Secret.
NC: Hahaha. Okay. Do you guys have any influences or other artists that you either draw inspiration from, or just enjoy working with?
TJ: Well each of us personally draw inspiration from so many different types of DJs and genres, its hard to pin down even a short list of names. Currently though we’ve been admiring the work of people like Sazon Booya, gLAdiator, ETC!ETC!, Dooze Jackers, Torro Torro, JWLS, Heartbreak, J-Trick, Willy Joy, Munchi, Nadastrom, Hot Pink Delorean and of course Designer Drugs and the rest of the Sex Cult Records fam.
NC: Is there anything in particular you have noticed in the electronic music community (specifically or non-specifically moombah/electro/party music) that you either really enjoy, or wish you could change?
TJ: Well, we’ve been throwing parties for going on four years now so I’ve seen things change. Small promoter parties like ours are kinda a dying breed nowadays. Which is a damn shame cause it’s the mid-sized, regional parties where you get to see talent worth your time, where artists grow and hone their game. There’s a lot more larger events popping up around the country, which are rad don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t wanna see homegrown parties die off in favor of festival events.
NC: Any final thoughts? How do you see the scene evolving in the future?
TJ: This is the biggest time for dance music right now, and the funny thing I remember thinking that 2 years ago and it’s just gone and got bigger. So yeah, I don’t know where the scene is going but I certainly don’t see it slowing down any time soon. We will certainly be there to rock a party though.
These guys are the shit. Plain and simple.
Special thanks to Annie Elizabeth Photography and the Menace Beach crew for supplying the photos.