The first rule of professional magicians is that they must never reveal their secrets, and ridiculously-talented Producer and DJ-duo, Sleight of Hands, aren’t giving away any of their mystery any time soon. What they have inevitably divulged through their accomplishments is that when a Bay Area rave specialist and a British transplant with a classical music background come together, the resulting dynamism is no illusion. Manny Alferez and Phil Collis have artfully dedicated the focus of their wizardry to a shared passion for electronic music, and Sleight of Hands beams as a beacon of fresh disco-laden house sounds that is here to stay.
Neither Manny nor Phil was a stranger to the electronic music game. Manny staked his everlasting claim in the Bay Area community in 1990 as a key promoter and DJ, roles for which he took on the abbreviated appellation of M3, short for “Makes Me Move”. The M3 sound began as a fluid, down-tempo approach and eventually evolved to become a funk-charged expression of house and tech-bangers for which he is so well-known today. Manny quickly developed his own legendary party brand known as Green Gorilla and progressed to sharing the decks with industry icons such as Marshall Jefferson, Derrick Carter, Cajmere, Mark Farina, and Rick James. A well-deserved social buzz led M3 to notoriety which would land him bookings across the globe; this further developed Manny’s acumen for rhythm and cultural finesse, which set the stage for his bond with multifaceted performing arts crackerjack, Phil Collis.
Growing up with the sounds of Beethoven, Abba and Queen meant Phil’s musical destiny would be one with diverse chapters. By the early age of seven, he was already heralded a child Prodigy and performing classical piano music to audiences across the UK. By the age of nine Phil was inducted into the esteemed Royal Academy of Music and by the age of twelve he had already been tapped for his acting abilities starring in roles alongside Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Liam Neeson. But it was electronic music that would truly capture his heart and he strove to achieve transition. Finally, it was at one of Collis’ appearances that a deranged and confused fan unleashed a physical attack after failure to perform “Sussudio”; this would serve as the tipping point to inspire an artistic identity change, and Phil promptly funneled his efforts into founding his first band, Bachelors of Science. Like M3, Phil’s earlier approach to electronic music was a silky one, and Bachelor’s of Science quickly became one of the pioneers of the “liquid funk” genre while experimenting with a soulful approach to drum n’ bass.
Upon moving to San Francisco, Phil quickly became engrossed in the captivating house beats oozing from the subwoofer that was the Bay Area, instantly pointing him to Green Gorilla and M3. When each of them realized that the other was stupidly awesome, shared visions prevailed and a collaborative enterprise was born. With best-selling remixes completed for international superstars Groove Armada and Dirty Vegas, the duo has made quite an industrious mark in a very short period of time. The impact of holding multiple #1 spots on Beatport proved prosperous, landing Sleight of Hands 2013 performance slots at world-renowned festivals such as Outside Lands and Coachella.
Their magical musical approach to stylistic fusion makes listeners realize that the synergetic skills of Manny and Phil are anything but bluff. Today, relentless dedication in the studio along with a solid DJ residency at world-renowned SF nightlife staple, Monarch, continues to launch Sleight of Hands toward intergalactic success. For their next trick, they will feature a series of releases on illustrious underground record label, Smoke n’ Mirrors. First in line is their Premier twelve-inch EP, a trippy deep house number called “All Night”, followed by “Sometimes’ and “Seal the Deal”, two garage-infused chuggers with just enough grime to set off a dance floor. It can only be projected that there is plenty more mystifying amazingness to come from this enchanting doublet in the near future, so keep your ears open and your eyes sharp. Cards are officially out on the table and the stakes are high, so you’d better be watching.