The Mixtape Vol. 109

Creating sounds from anything, Aero Manyelo expresses himself through music

South African house DJ and producer Aero Manyelo has been touring internationally with Batuk, and is about to head to Venezuela with them to perform once again. His most recent single, 'Mooki', released off Get Physical Records, has been doing really well too. 

Today The Way of Us is privileged to share an exclusive mix from the artist, who first caught the attention of the South African music industry when Oskido used his track ‘Mexican Girl’ on Oskido’s Church Grooves 7 compilation, which resulted in some heavy rotation on YFM. 

Manyelo's original tracks have garnered international and local attention following their inclusion on compilations like Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela, opened by the producer's 'Aero Mathata', which has the distinction of being fronted by veteran singers The Mahotella Queens. If you're familiar with Maelstrom’s 'USSR', Malian duo Amadou & Mariam’s 'Ce N’est Pas Bon',  and Jupiter & Okwess International’s 'Margarita', then you've already been treated to his remix talents. 

Over the past decade, Manyelo’s career has seen steady growth thanks to a strong lineup of releases: four-track EP Home (Sound Pellegrino, 2013), albums Kasi Vibes (Out Here Records, 2013), Herbs Abroad (Akwaaba Music, 2014), and Dictionary of Herbs (Herbal 3 Records, 2014).

Get to know the man behind the Township Electro sound a bit better after the jump.

What’s your sound story?

It's just me trying to express myself through music. I create sounds from anything. My mobile phone is my emergency recorder, and if I hear some strange or nice sounds wherever I'm at, I record them and then later I’ll clean up the sounds and put on the sampler.

Batuk teams you up with Spoek Mathambo and Manteiga. What do collaborations like this mean to you as an artist who usually works solo?

Collaborations are always important, because you always experience the other side of yourself that you didn't know about.

Tell us about Batuk’s recent European tour.

It was good, we are really enjoying travelling around the world and meeting new audiences all the time.

How does your ‘Township Electro’ differ from traditional house music?

I can't use the word differ, but I can say it’s special in its own way. It’s like I don't have any boundaries and can do anything on my records.

Your track, 'Mooki', is getting lots of attention. What do you think made this track resonate worldwide?

I think the song itself is special, the swings and everything about it, but I can say mainly because it was played by Dixon, M.A.N.D.Y, Damian Lazarus etc. who are the biggest tastemakers in the techno scene.

Tell us about your Boiler Room set in 2015 and how the world is becoming more interested in sounds from the continent?

That was such a great energy and experience. People are starting to realise how unique our personal take on different genres is.

What did ‘Mexican Girl’ being picked up by Oskido do for you as an artist?

I can say that was the official launch of my career as Aero.

You now have the opportunity to put younger artists on blast, what are you doing via your label Herbal 3 Records?

Herbal 3 Records has always been about putting out underground music to rock the masses. When we started the movement, more and more people wanted to join. Initially I put out my music only, and then when time went buy I started to receive lots of amazing demo's and my partners and I decided that we should make it a home for up and coming producers, too.

Seen this?
Mac Motel
Diamond Thug