Electro Funk: Mantronix – Bassline
Ask anybody THE old school electro funk drum machine, and their answer might be the Linndrum, SP12 or DMX. But chances are for most people, the first thing that is gonna come to mind is Roland’s big analogue bad boy, the TR808! With that trademark that booming kick, to the popping snare and of course the cowbell, in fact, it is safe to say that every single sound that comes out of the 808 is a staple of the electro sound. There is no doubt that electro would never sounded quite right without the Roland 808.
But that said, it doesn’t mean we should overlook TR808′s slightly younger brother, the TR909. While the 909 is definitely more known for its part in Detroit techno, Acid, Chicago House and even hardcore gabber, it has definitely played its part in electro too. Rude 66 paid tribute with his track My 909 on his ep De Machine Des Duivels (released on The Hague’s Bunker Records in March 2000), and the 909 is also the star of today’s track!
Released on Sleeping Bag Records in 1986, Bassline; while not Mantronix‘ biggest hit commercially, is definitely known to electro funk and old school rap heads alike as one of the dopest. With Kurtis Mantronik on beats and and MC Tee on the M.I.C, Bassline is a classic old school party jam. The full album is still available right here: Mantronix: The Album – so if you dig it make sure you cop that shit!
With a sound combining elements of electro funk, classic rap, early house music and extremely funky African log drumming style polyrhythms, Mantronix pioneered a very unique electro sound in their early releases. Mantronix went on to sign one of the first 7 figure deals for a hip hop group, with Capitol Records in 1987. Over the years they stuck to their electro/hip hop/dance crossover roots, but also went on to record other styles with rnb and new jack swing influences.
Mantronix were THE main inspiration for the hip house sound that became huge in the early 90s, and were also notably sampled by The Beastie Boys in their track Jimmy James from Check Your Head. Kurtis Mantronik also went on to produce beats for a lot of other dope eighties hip hop cats including T La Rock and Just-Ice.