The Vault: The classics of Electronic Music. The influential and the groundbreaking. The pioneering and the music we grew up on…
Yeah, yeah, I know. electronic rumors in ‘actually writing one of their supposedly ‘regular’ columns’ shocker!
Well, it was time to dust off The Vault and feature an artist I have been meaning to write about ever since I came up with The Vault idea.
Electro legend Man Parrish.
Not just instrumental in shaping the sound of Electro Hip-Hop, but influential in most electronic music to this day, Manuel ‘Manny’ Parrish took Hip-Hop to the Discos of New York and took Disco to the streets. Coming out of the Studio54 scene to become one of the original, if not the first, producer/artists in electronic music, Man used costume, theatrics and make–up, to put on an unforgettable live show that also had the side effect of concealing his identity (a Caucasian producer in an African American dominated Hip-Hop scene).
Man Parrish’s place in the history of Electro, ElectroPop and Club music is undeniable. Maybe even more than Arthur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa, Man brought electro Hip-Hop to the masses, even the UK charts, and along with the likes of Baker & Bambaata, Cybotron, and Mantronix shaped an electronic club sound that Hip-Hop would soon forsake but SynthPop, House and Techno would utilise as a base to build upon.
Just listen to these tracks off the self titled début album and the classic single ‘Boogie Down (Bronx)’, they still sound fresh today and the beats, lead lines and vocoders could easily be from any contemporary tune featured on electronic rumors. Most European readers will probably be most familiar with Manny’s work from his Italo/hi-RG collaboration with Man 2 Man from 1986.
Personally, I think 1984’s ‘Boogie Down (Bronx)’ was one of the first synthesizer riffs that got stuck in may head and I have always loved Man Parrish’s combination of the aggressive Funk of early Electro Hip-Hop and the riffs and lead lines of SynthPop. Oh, and the man wields a mean vocoder too!
Man Parrish is currently signed to Norman Cook’s Southern Fried Records.