Sunday, October 01, 2006

Do You Like Mantronix?

Throughout the mid-late 80's, Mantronix championed the combination of electronic beats & synthesisers with raw hard-core rap lyrics. Originally comprising Kurtis Mantronik (Kurtis Khaleel) & MC Tee (Toure Embden), the pair signed to Sleeping Bag Records & soon released their debut single "Fresh Is The Word".

The self-titled initial album contained the classics "Bassline" & "Ladies", which are still very listenable today, over 20 years on. As a teenager, MC Tee was one of my favourite MCs, being able to string out a single verse for almost two minutes - take Ladies for example. Simple, catchy, braggadocia lyrics backed up by Mantronik's skills on the 808 drum machine & Korg keyboards. The pair worked so well together.

Two years later came the second album, "In Full Effect". Personal favourites are "Simple Simon" & "Get Stupid (Part 3)" - another fine example of Kurtis's desire for a banging bassline that made you move your feet.

After this, MC Tee left to join the US Army & was later replaced with Bryce Luvah (a cousin of LL Cool J). Although the 3rd album ("This Should Move Ya") sold well, in the UK at least, I don't think Bryce complimented Kurtis's style the way that Tee did. Their music had become more commercial (now on Capitol Records) & was probably now too "soft" for the hardcore hip hop fan.

One thing's for sure, Mantronik was a hugely talented producer (working with artits like Just Ice, T La Rock, Ruth Joy & Kim Sims ) not afriad to experiment with different sounds & direction. I still play the original album from time to time & think to myself this guy was way ahead of his time & it's a shame he's not in the scene anymore....

A few links -

The Bassline video -

Simple Simon video -

Mantronic - The Album (courtesy of Tico In Japan) -

Mantronix - In Full Effect (courtesy of Bust The Facts) -

Mantronix - This Should Move Ya (again, courtesy of Bust The Facts) -

And the classic "King of the Beats", which didn't appear on any of their albums -


Blogger travis said...

Looks like this blog has some potential, I'll definately be checking it out. I like the write ups. Good luck!

12:35 AM  
Blogger Screaming Donkey said...

Thanks for the positive comments.
Not sure how often I'll be able to update this blog - though hopefully it'll be at least once a week.

You got a good blog going on, yourself. Will add it to my links on the side.

8:48 AM  
Blogger travis said...


I know the feeling of not being able to update much. If you actually write something, it gobbles up a lot of time updating these things.

I linked you up and I'll mention it in an upcoming post. The more attention to the good sites, the better we all are.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Screaming Donkey said...

This certainly is taking up more time than I first imagined it would!!!

Thanks for linking me on your site.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

music madness was the second album ...

4:52 PM  
Blogger Screaming Donkey said...

Anonympus - you're right, my mistake. And just for you, here's my favourite track off the second album - "Who Is It?" -

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is Mantronix live in 86 ...

3:17 PM  
Blogger Screaming Donkey said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the live link

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would appreciate more visual materials, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. But there is always place for improvement

1:00 PM  

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