“Got To Have Your Love” by Mantronix feat. Wondress (1989)

Mantronix was a hip-hop outfit led by DJ Curtis Mantronik. Originally, Mantronix’s music was firmly old-school electro rap in the “Planet Rock”/Whodini vein. As times changed, so did Mantronix’s sound. By 1989, Curtis’s crew had undergone personnel shifts, a label change (to Capitol from indie Sleeping Bag) and a sonic renovation.

“Got To Have Your Love” finds Mantronix firmly in a Soul II Soul-esque dance/R&B vein. It’s not house, it’s not hip-hop (although a remixed version subs in a variant of the legendary “Funky Drummer” loop), it’s not exactly new jack swing either; but it has elements of all three sub-genres. Ultimately, it’s an anthemic uptempo contemporary soul number with a summery feel. A vocalist by the name of Wondress (apparently her real name) serves up some diva-tude on the track, and the result was a top 30 R&B hit and a top 5 hit in the UK. Curtis stated that “Got To Have Your Love” was made with the express purpose of having a radio hit, and while Mantronix never broke through to the mainstream in a major way, “Got To Have Your Love” is probably their best known song. That, of course, is relative to Mantronix’s level of success, which wasn’t great, all things considered. It’s a jam, though. If I was just 10 years older, I’d have been jammin’ hard to this in the club.

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