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MANEL RUIZ EL ESPECIALISTA. A dj with a suitcase of records to travel through the sounds of the world

MANEL RUIZ EL ESPECIALISTA. A dj with a suitcase of records to travel through the sounds of the world

Manel is a classic of the capital’s nights and quality events where world music, WorldMusic, jazz and funk are its most recognizable banners.

We leave you our space to tell us about your life and work…

There is no waste…

”I am the eldest of 3 brothers, in my house a lot of radio was listened to, and yes, we had some music, a few singles, some Lp’s and a few cassettes, but my memory is that they were rather few and that they were listened to in On rare occasions, it is what it is to belong to a humble, hard-working family, with just enough time to work and raise 2 boys and 1 girl, all in a humble neighborhood such as Raval, Barcelona, ​​a neighborhood that was said to have prostitutes, camels and junkies, I suppose that over time I have become a music junkie, and eventually a music dealer.

In my first jobs, which I would combine with my studies as an Electronic Technician, they allowed me certain luxuries, such as attending Siniestro Total, Dire Straits, Sting, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, PJ Harvey concerts… and buying a motorcycle that made me live in an intense way, attending raves and electronic music sessions in places and industrial areas of Barcelona.

My music collection grew and expanded in different ways: Soul, Funk, Electronic, Rock, Blues… but it didn’t grow as much as in the years to come.

For work reasons I moved to live in Gran Canaria in 1998, my job involves traveling between islands, in a very intense and continuous way. During three years, I took advantage of those trips to discover the different record stores in the Canary Islands.

In 2001, after several turns in my life, my career began as a radio announcer for mc2 Radio on 91.5 FM, giving me a project that had been orphaned, El Especialista, baptizing me from that moment on with the alias, a program documentary making weekly specials, about artists, record labels or musical styles.

With the radio, the opportunity would come to present festivals such as WOMAD Las Palmas de GC, El Encuentro de Jóvenes del Fondillo produced by Juan Salan, Capital Sonora, Costa de Musicas, Fuertemusica today better known as FEM… those experiences in festivals led me to share time with Juan de La Torre, better known as Juan Gas, at that time a DJ for the Q&DO room, an old after party, converted into a nightclub, Juan would be the one who would give me the opportunity to enter the world of DJing, inviting me to sharing a booth with him, later with the blessing and consent of Rafael Sagrado, owner of the venue, I would end up becoming part of the team of regular Q&DO DJs.

Those nights served to make me evolve in my conception of what the dance floor should be, from an Indie, Electronic conception, to more organic and extensive sounds, thus developing what some have called good groove and better musical taste, navigating on the labels of what I call the journey of African music to the American continent and its return, starting with Jazz, traveling to Funk, passing through Boogaloo, Brazil and everything that has to do or sound like Africa.

I combined my work as a DJ for years with other jobs, until the time came when I decided that I had to bet on it, without reservations and with all my will.

They may believe that someone is a DJ, but until the final bet is made, it is only someone who has a hobby or a passion to which you dedicate part of your life, in reality it is when you decide what you will eat, dress and live with whatever you earn as a DJ, when at that point you really start to DJ, remember, a shoemaker is someone who makes shoes, a baker is someone who makes breads…

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Regarding the issue of formats, many consider me a Taliban staunch defender of vinyl, nothing could be further from reality, the format with which I have always felt more like is the CD.

I recognize that working with vinyl has given me the possibility of differentiating myself in such a mistreated market and committing myself to the music that I decide to play.”


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Photos by Iván Monagas, The Unique Wedding