Manzel – Midnight Theme


A very, very obscure instrumental funk group from the mid-’70s, Manzel would find much fame decades later once numerous hip-hop producers sampled the drum intro from “Midnight Theme” and, in turn, sent breakbeat collectors scurrying for copies of the original record. During their heyday, Manzel didn’t amount to anything more than a pair of 45 rpm singles for the independent Fraternity Records. It was only later, during the ’90s, that the group attained notoriety. The drum intro from “Midnight Theme” — the A-side of the second of the group’s two 45s — was sampled numerous times, and quite famously at that: most gloriously by Prince Paul (on De La Soul’s “Plug Tunin’,” from the trio’s classic 3 Feet High and Rising album), and later by DJ Muggs (on Cypress Hill’s breakthrough single, “How I Could Just Kill a Man”) and RZA (on Ghostface Killah’s debut single, “Winter Warz”). These are just three instances, though. You can also hear Manzel sampled on recordings by Eric B & Rakim and Ultramagnetic MC’s among other, less well-known instances. Such famous and widespread sampling made Manzel so renowned among beat heads that Kenny Dope (of Masters at Work) and the Undercover Brother (born Victor Piagneri) dug up the original recordings, remastered and remixed them, and reissued them via Dopebrother Records in 2004.


01. Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 7 Inch Remix)
02. Sugar Dreams (Dopebrother Remix)
03. Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty (Dopebrother Remix)
04. Just For You (Dopebrother Remix)
05. Long Way Home (Dopebrother Remix)
06. The Party (Dopebrother Remix)
07. It’s Over Now (Dopebrother Remix)
08. Space Funk (Dopebrother 7 Inch Remix)
09. Vera Cruz (Dopebrother Remix)
10. Jump Street
11. Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 12 Inch Remix)
12. Space Funk (Dopebrother 12 Inch Remix)
13. It’s Over Now (Dopebrother Remix)
14. It’s Over Now (Extended Remix)

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