Mantus was the Disco group from Brooklyn that hit it huge with (Dance It) Freestyle Rhythm and Boogie to the Bop. They talk with DiscoMusic.com about their beginnings, the band's breakup and now their regrouping.
Written By Bernard Lopez of DiscoMusic.com
Going back in time always brings up the music that was being played at that point. For me that music was and still is Disco. "Mantus" is a group that immediately comes to mind when I think of Disco.
The first time I heard Mantus was in 1979 on the original WKTU in NYC which was then known as Disco 92. Hearing the driving beat of (Dance It) Freestyle and Rock It To The Top did it for me. The power that their music has is intense. It's raw and primitive and never over done. It's simply infectious.
Being an avid record collector, my mission was to get all their releases. I had most of them, but one that kept eluding me was the original 12 inch of "Boogie To The Bop". I had the LP, but I wanted the single as well. What a thrill to finally find a copy after having searched everywhere for it (even managed to find an "Omega Remix" as well). The love of music makes us do many strange things.
That love of Disco music is what also drove me to create this web site devoted to Disco on the internet . It went up in October of 1996. Within a short time I was contacted by Billy Amendola of Mantus. He wanted to say that they had just gotten back together. Having always loved Mantus I was thrilled to hear the news. Not only that, but he gave me the opportunity to listen to a number of new songs in different stages of production. It was a journey back in time and also into the future. Sure enough they still had that old magic while still moving ahead. What a wonderful feeling to know that a new generation will get to experience the magic of Mantus. "The Beat Is Back! "
Before I touch on the new stuff, here's a little history on Mantus. The group is comprised of Frank De Crescenzo (lead vocals, percussion and harmonica), Jimmy Maer (guitar, keyboards and vocals), John Kaz (bass, guitar and vocals) and finally Billy Amendola (drums, percussion and vocals).
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York (a boro of New York City) they originally went under the name Gypsy. In the summer of 1974 they changed their name to Mantus and played numerous shows in the tri-state area including the infamous C.B.G.B.'s. Their first single was Turn Around, Boogie Down in 1978. Shortly thereafter (Dance It) Freestyle Rhythm and Rock It To the Top were released as singles from the album Midnight Energy. In 1980 their self titled second album Mantus would yield the hit Boogie To the Bop.
Mantus disbanded in 1982 after eight years together. Well, you can't keep a good thing down. In 1995 the members decided to get back together and with the help of their original producer, Butch Jones (Talking Heads, B52's and Madonna), they laid down some new tracks. I've heard three of these (then new) songs.
- The Beat Is Back
- Can't Stop
The songs are full of energy and slamin' breaks so watch out! Keep your eyes and ears open for their release. I have been privy to other songs in various stages of production and can tell you that there is plenty more to come. You'll love them just like all their other work, but I can not post them here as of yet until I get their go-ahead.
In the meantime, you can pick up their Greatest Hits CD which contains their first two LP's Midnight Energy and Mantus.
If you are lucky enough to live in the New York City area then listen to WKTU 103.5 FM and Joe Causi for all your Disco favourites. Tell everyone to call KTU at 1-800-245-1035 and ask them to play Mantus both old and new.
Mantus Update April, 1999
The Disco group Mantus, who are best known for such classics as (Dance It) Freestyle and Boogie To The Bop, are back again. Mantus has been good friends of DiscoMusic.com since 1996 and have agreed to have their newest songs mentioned here.
- Singer, Dancer, Lover
- The Beat Is Back
Quick thanks to Joe Causi over at WKTU radio in New York City for inviting me to a recent airing (April, 1999) of his Studio 54 Clubhouse show (Sundays 6-9pm).
- Mantus Greatest Hits Collection - CD and MP3