Denver-based duo Manufactured Superstars have wowed audiences across the globe with their ultra-high-energy DJ sets. Hailed for their fun, cross-generic style, often playing over 100 tunes per set, they’re huge on the festival circuit and have a big following for their club mixes, radio mixshows and podcasts.
With a string of remixes under their belt for the likes of Calvin Harris and Tiesto, the duo of Bradley Roulier (co-founder of Beatport no less) and Shawn Sabo have just released Manufactured Superstars’ debut album, appropriately titled Party All The Time. Together, they team up to give us the 10 tracks that have shaped their style.
Click through the gallery to read Manufactured Superstars’ selections and find out why they chose them...
Armand Van Helden - My My My
“Armand has made so many amazing tracks. He’s one of the best EDM producers of all time and has been such a huge influence throughout dance music’s evolution. From his early Garage sound to his nu-disco project with A-Trak, he’s proved time and time again why he is one of the best producers in dance history.
“He’s the king, or a close second, to DJ Shadow at finding samples and recycling them into pure gold. This song contains a sample of Comin’ Apart by Gary Wright and there’s also a vocal version of this track featuring Tara McDonald that was a huge hit in 2006. My My My is what we view as the perfect representation of a timeless House track: vocal loops that never get old, a bouncy baseline and crisp hi hats.
“We’ve played this track, along with remixes of it, so many times in our DJ sets, and this is a track that any DJ could drop for any crowd and get a sure-fire positive response.
2 Many DJ's - Soulwax Radio
“This isn’t one specific track, but Soulwax Radio’s DJ mixes were the early inspiration behind Manufactured Superstars. 2 Many DJs comprised the members of Soulwax - an alternative rock band, and brought a unique perspective to dance music.
“When we first starting playing we’d mash up all types of music - keeping the tempo at 128; this was before every DJ had jumped on the bandwagon. It was the first two mixes by 2 Many DJs that inspired us to start playing on Ableton with clips. I think they were the originators of the mashup sound. If you’ve never heard of them, we highly suggest listening to one of their mixes online – they’re timeless.”
The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
“If you can’t sing all the words to this track with us in the car then we probably aren't friends – ha! Hypnotize was produced by hip hop mogul Puff Daddy who sampled its beat from Herb Alpert’s 1979 hit, Rise.
“The hook was based on the Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh song La Di Da Di, which gave it all the ingredients it needed to be one of the most prolific hip hop tracks of all time. Hip hop was a huge part of both our youths and this song shows B.I.G.’s amazing talent for telling a story while working an unforgettable hook.
“The entire album was the sound of a generation taking the listener on a journey, and the production was based on some of the best samples ever used in our opinion.”
Underworld - Born Slippy
“From the first note of the delayed synth in the intro, this song takes us back to a time when there were no LED screens or lasers in the warehouses where we’d go to listen to our favourite DJs play. There’s two famous versions of this dance anthem. The first is an instrumental, then later the Nuxx Mix that contained the track’s well-known lyrics.
“The song contains tons of techno and industrial influences that were present in all early dance tracks - way before the term ‘EDM’ even existed.”
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
“This one might throw you for a loop, but we have always been eclectic in our music selection. This smash single taken from her third album is a perfect combination of a pop/dance fusion.
“We had a mash-up of this track with Deadmau5's Not Exactly that we played at so many big festivals to thousands of fans singing along. The guitar plucks in this track also inspired us to start using a similar sound in our music, which you can hear in Like Satellites and on our new album. We’ve been using layered guitar plucks in almost all of our songs now.”
N.E.R.D. - Things Are Getting Better
“Musically, Pharrell and The Neptunes have been a huge inspiration to us. The Neptunes have produced hits for Jay Z, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani, and won numerous Grammys. You can’t listen to the radio for an hour without hearing one of their tracks. Which leads us to N.E.R.D., a band formed by The Neptunes and the rock band Spymob that has become one of our favourite artists over the last decade.
“The band’s fusion of rock and hip hop was ahead of its time and has evolved so much over the years. I believe this lead to Pharrell's ability to create such an influential solo album. Things Are Getting Better is the perfect fusion of rock instruments, vocal chops, jazzy grooves and massive drum beats. This song makes me smile, and is kind of the unofficial theme song to our life. And to all you producers out there, the first bar of this track is also a great drum sample ;).”
Erick Morillo – Dancin' (I Got the Pills) Feat Jessica Eve
“Erick Morillo and Subliminal Records shaped America’s House sound, producing so many memorable club hits. This milestone 100th release in 2003 on the Essential House label was the perfect culmination of the sound that Erick was known for delivering and playing in his live DJ sets.
“This track’s muted synth piano chords and vocal hooks still make me feel like dancing in my chair. Early in our career, we had the opportunity to do an official remix of this track, which was such an honour since Erick has been a huge influence in both our lives.
“Our remix of Dancing was one of the first tracks that other DJs played in their sets, which was both inspirational and career-changing for us. As every dance music producer knows, there’s no greater feeling than walking into a club and hearing a DJ play your track.”
Run DMC – It's Tricky
“Another classic hip hop beat, with the snares in the beat crisp and sharp. This track was one of many singles from the band’s album, Raising Hell. This was the first cassette tape I owned - I stole it from my babysitter.
“I must have listened to this album 1,000 times; the guitar stabs and its amazing fluid raps make it a timeless classic. The track was also sampled in Jason Nevin’s dance hit It’s Like That, which was part of our and many other DJ sets.
“Prior to Manufactured Superstars, Brad booked Run DMC at one of the many raves he threw in the early 2000s, so we both had the honour of meeting them. They were the first non-DJ icons we’d ever met or hung with.”
Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
“One of the breakout hits for Bruno is this million-platinum-selling song, which has made girls all over the world melt. In our opinion, the simple looped breakbeat was a much-needed departure from the mostly over-produced pop music that was circulating at the time. It didn't sound like anything else on the radio, making it the perfect single and the reason it exploded worldwide. We were honoured to do an official remix of this track.
“Doing these pop remixes was such an important part of us developing as producers. It allowed us access to the stems of all these amazing songs so we could see how people were layering and stacking instruments and drums. We played our remix at our first residency in Las Vegas at the Rain nightclub; just the sound of the whistles in the track takes us back to that time in our career.”
Lil' Jon - Yeah!
“Our homie and long-time friend, and one of the most important hip hop artists to cross over and push dance music to the masses. This track with Usher and Ludacris was the first to premiere Lil Jon’s ‘Crunk&B’ (crunk and R&B) style, and was the precursor to his success in dance music.
“He has too many influential tracks in the dance world to pick just one, so we selected this track. We feel it’s the start of hearing Jon's voice over dance beats, which has been a part of so many dance anthems, from Turn Down for What to Turbulence. He’s the king of the hip-dance chants and one of the most down to earth guys in our industry.”