Mantronix

King of the Beats: Anthology 1985-1988

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King of the Beats is the first set to anthologize both Mantronix and Kurtis Mantronik's productions for Sleeping Bag (and its Fresh subsidiary). It's an excellent summary, compiling all of Mantronik's major works with MC Tee, including "Fresh Is the Word," "Needle to the Groove," and "Bassline," as well as alternate 12" mixes. The second disc features a number of Mantronik productions that should be considered indispensable by all fans of mid-'80s hip-hop: Tricky Tee's "Johnny the Fox," Just Ice's "Cold Gettin' Dumb," T La Rock's "Breaking Bells." While the material is spread across two discs, there are roughly 40 minutes of dead space -- more than enough room to fit the missing Sleeping Bag A-sides "Ladies" and "Scream." Still, King of the Beats is the most thoughtful Mantronix/Mantronik package yet, showcasing the output of a master producer who merged hard-hitting beats with cunning samples.

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