DJ Manel isn’t just some run of the mill DJ. I actually have performed for some big names. Check out these reviews:
URB MAGAZINE: (Jan. 96) DJ MR. BILL – THE ULTIMATE TRIP
Bursting with positive vibes from the first beat, this voyage is indeed the ultimate trip into happy, funky, interplanetary house. With a bulletproof mix and a fresh supply of hyperactive hits, including Sasha’s remix of “Gulf Breeze”, “The Future” (Seal), and a funky rework of “Trick’s Theme”, Manel builds and breaks with no mistakes.
A command performance from one of the Southeast’s brightest talents. For all those people who think house rhythms lack energy, this tape will change your mind. For those of you who like Jon Bishop or Simply Jeff and have an insatiable thirst for Hi-NRG funky beats, this tape is a must have. With spots on both the Funky Techno Tribe and Megadog tours this fall, Manel is definitely a DJ on the way up. For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (Zeke Margolis – Urb) tape
URB MAGAZINE: (June 95) Pure, the latest Richmond club pops up. Looks like a great line-up of local and regional talent such as North Carolina’s favorite Manel. Every Tuesday night between 10pm and 3am at Club Colours, 536 N. Harrison St. $3 before 11 and $5 after. Dit-dit-dit: 800-228-8193 ext. 23275 (Dan Freelove – Urb).
ESP MAGAZINE: (August 3, 1994) TRIAD
DJ’s in the underground dance scene are not just committed to keeping people dancing and playing the most popular tunes. They are also dedicated to perpetuating a message of tranquility, unity and acceptance of different people.
A message evident on my site and when I’m on the dance floor. Especially by viewing the different walks of people who frequent the underground events. And if the message is not completely lived up to — in times of chaos and little positivity in society — it is admirable to know some DJ’s are at least trying to express a positive message to their audience.
The message, the mood of the songs and, of course, the intensity of the beat are all reasons why Bill Tanksley (a.k.a. DJ Manel) has been an advocate of underground dance music for six years.
“When I get a record, I’ll play it for a couple of weeks and then it’s old,” Tanksley said.
A record that costs around ten dollars for a mix of one song may seem unpractical for any other DJ, but for underground DJs, it is essential.
“The music changes because the feeling changes, and the importance of expression is important in the underground community,” Tanksley said.
Darin Rich (DJ Darin) of Babylon, Greensboro’s biggest underground club, reconfirms Tanksley’s position.
“If the DJs play what steers their soul and makes themselves feel good, they’re more likely to make their audience feel good.”
Throughout the years, Top-40 clubs have given many underground DJ’s no other choice but to spin at underground clubs, keeping the music separated from the mainstream. Rave and underground music came out in early 1989 (for example, “Total Confusion” and “I Sit On Acid”).
Their influence can now be heard on Top-40. Songs like “Movin’ On Up” by M-People or “Return To Innocence” by Enigma got Top-40 audiences interested in underground music.
DJ Manel saw that audience when Club Hellenbach first opened.
“The first week we got a lot of people wanting that pop-rave stuff, but we ran them off,” he said. “Now, it’s nothing but ravers, the real hardcore kids!”
“The people love the music,” DJ Darin says. “They don’t come just to pick up people, they come because they love to hear the music we play, and because of the ideals the underground community stands for.”
As the Top-40 clubs start to include more underground music on their regular playlists, the underground scene will continue to change and develop their styles. “The Top-40 crowd is now listening to what we listened to three or four summers ago, such as “Jump Mutha****a Jump” and “James Brown is Dead”, Manel said.
“We’re there for each other, the DJs and the crowd, and the music is there for all of us to go off on,” Manel said. (Anne Parker Davis – ESP)
TRIAD STYLE: (Sept. 1993) When it comes to rave music or techno, the mix is just as important as the sound, and DJ Manel is a master of mix.
The Technics 1200’s are his instruments as he transforms the thumping, psychedelic, monotonal pound of techno into an extemporaneous jazz-like form by shifting emphasis from turntable to turntable. Breakbeat, a speedy, kicking sound, is his specialty – and one of the most difficult forms of mix to manage. “It’s like juggling grenades”, says Manel, who is also known – at least to his parents – as Bill Tanksley. For booking call (910) 370-9725. (Nicole Crews – Triad Style)
MASSIVE #7: ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: (1993) Manel: High Time.
Back in the day we thought that Kentucky was a far location to go for a party – and upon travelling there we were put in our place. Then we went down to Atlanta expecting a kickin’ scene… But where were we told to go? North Carolina. DJ Manel, of Greensboro, NC, confirms this rather well, with his newest tape – High Time, a seamless house and acid house tape that struts a happy walk. For a little exposure to what’s going on in other realms of raveland, check this guy out! (Massive 7, Chicago)