Mantronix

Mantronix

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Members: Kurtis Khaleel & Touré Embden

Mantronix, one of the most innovative hip-hop acts of all time, was founded by Kurtis el Khaleel, who was born in Jamaica, though his family soon moved to Canada and ended up in New York by the late 1970s. During high school, Khaleel wanted to be in a band but couldn't find anyone who wanted to be in a band with him, so he bought a Roland TR-606 drum machine and a Roland TB-303 bass machine, and mastered them quickly. Taking the stage name Mantronik (although some sources claim he was born with that name), he soon began DJing around the city and was working behind the decks at Manhattan's Downtown Records when he met Haitian-born MC Tee, né Touré Embden. After the duo had assembled a demo tape, they gave it to William Socolov, president of Sleeping Bag Records. He signed Mantronix soon after hearing it, and released its debut single, "Fresh is the Word." The track lit up New York's streets and clubs during 1985.

In 1986, Mantronix's debut full-length The Album was released. Two new singles, "Needle to the Groove" and "Bassline," became big street hits in New York and, amazingly, even crossed over to join the first wave of hip-hop chart-makers in Britain. By that time, Mantronik had also begun working as an A&R representative at Sleeping Bag, where he signed EPMD, produced KRS-One's first credit ("Success Is the Word" by 12:41), and helmed other intense tracks by Tricky Tee, Just-Ice, and T La Rock.

The second Mantronix LP, Music Madness, continued to keep the duo fresh in the clubs. The increasing popularity of hip-hop gave Mantronix a chance at a major-label contract, and by 1987, the duo signed with Capitol/EMI, which created a legal battle between Sleeping Bag and the group—their old label claimed that they were owed two more albums.

In Full Effect was released in 1988, and it portrayed Mantronik jettisoning many his more hardcore inclinations in favor of a fusion of dance and R&B. The production excursion "Do You Like...Mantronik?" proved that Mantronik's ear for clever beats remained, however, and Mantronix's success in Britain prompted several of the first sampladelic hits, such "Pump up the Volume" by M/A/R/R/S and "Theme from S'Express" by S'Express.

Soon after its third album, MC Tee left to join the Air Force. Mantronik replaced him with Bryce Luvah (a cousin of LL Cool J) and DJ Dee (Mantronik's own cousin). With 1990's This Should Move Ya, Mantronik made the move from hip-hop into more straight-ahead dance music. With vocalist Wondress in tow, a pair of Mantronix singles stormed the British Top 20, including the top-five "Got to Have Your Love." Mantronik still used the MCs, he but continued to work in dance music with the group's last album, 1991's The Incredible Sound Machine. As a group entity, Mantronix disappeared at that point. Mantronik began producing other acts—mostly female vocalists or latin freestyle acts—and later exited music altogether, getting married and raising a family, eventually having a son nicknamed Boytronik.

Mantronik returned in the mid-1990s as a breakbeat elder statesman, recording as Kurtis Mantronik and providing remixes for EPMD, the Future Sound of London, and Violet. A Mantronix respective and several album reissues began filtering out in 1999, and Mantronik began recording a new solo album later that year.
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Mantronix Discography

Albums

Mantronix The Album (Album) Sleeping Bag Records US 1985 Sell This Version
Mantronix Music Madness (Album) Sleeping Bag Records US 1986 Sell This Version
Mantronix In Full Effect (Album) Capitol Records UK 1988 Sell This Version
Mantronix This Should Move Ya (Album) Capitol Records Europe 1989 Sell This Version
Mantronix The Incredible Sound Machine (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records US 1991 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Mantronix Fresh Is The Word (Single, Maxi) Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records US 1985 Sell This Version
Mantronix Needle To The Groove (Single) Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records US 1985 Sell This Version
Mantronix Ladies (Single, Maxi) Sleeping Bag Records UK 1986 Sell This Version
Mantronix Bassline (Single) Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records UK 1986 Sell This Version
Mantronix Scream (Single) Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records US 1987 Sell This Version
Mantronix Who Is It? (Single, Maxi) Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records, Sleeping Bag Records UK 1986 Sell This Version
Mantronix Sing A Song (Break It Down) (Single) Capitol Records US 1987 Sell This Version
Mantronix Simple Simon (You Gotta Regard) (Single) Capitol Records UK 1988 Sell This Version
Mantronix Join Me Please... (Home Boys - Make Some Noise) Capitol Records US 1988 Sell This Version
Mantronix Got To Have Your Love (Single, Maxi) Capitol Records US 1989 Sell This Version
Mantronix Take Your Time (Maxi, Single) Capitol Records UK 1990 Sell This Version
RP 196 Mantronix Sex-N-Drugs And Rock-N-Roll(12", Promo) Champion RP 196 UK 1990 Sell This Version
DIXDJ 91 Mantronix The Best Of (1986-88) Sampler(12", Promo) 10 Records DIXDJ 91 UK 1990 Sell This Version
Mantronix Flower Child (Maxi, Single) Capitol Records Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
Mantronix Step To Me [Do Me] (Single, Maxi) Capitol Records US 1991 Sell This Version
Mantronix Don't Go Messin' With My Heart (Single, Maxi) Capitol Records Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
OG 4237 Mantronix Got To Have Your Love / Take Your Time(12") Old Gold (2) OG 4237 UK 1992 Sell This Version
Mantronix Featuring Althea McQueen Mantronix Featuring Althea McQueen - It's Time To Party (Single) Freeze Dance US 1996 Sell This Version
12RHYDJ25 Mantronix - Traylude Mantronix - Traylude - One Time, Feel Fine(CDr, Single, Promo) Rhythm Series, Parlophone, OMW (Oxygen Music Works) 12RHYDJ25 UK 1999 Sell This Version
PIASB 021 T Mantronix We Can Do This(12", W/Lbl, Promo) Play It Again Sam [PIAS] PIASB 021 T 2000 Sell This Version

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nativ

nativ

June 11, 2013
Mantronix also did the complete soundtrack for the videogame Trickstyle ( Sega Dreamcast ) Very nice, echoes of Aphex Twin somehow!
browza5000

browza5000

November 4, 2002
Mantronix is one of the rawest hip-hop acts ever.

Even now if I hear mantronix, it takes me back to body popping and dancing on my knees.... ahhhhh! Those days gone by.

I have a couple of 7" singles that aren't included on the list. But I also have a gatefold edition of Music madness with killer remixes of Scream, Who is it....etc which was on ten records. But i'm not sure of the tracklisting or the cat#no.

Definately one of my favourite and most influential producers........

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