In 1988 Alessio Argenteri aka Manna joined the Bologna squatter collective Isola nel Kantiere with which he took part in musical productions over 2 years spanning everything from hardcore punk to italian hip hop. The sound of groups like Fugazi and Henry Rollins’ Bad Brains and the birth of Italy’s hip hop scene influence his musical tastes leading to the formation in 1989 of Papa Ricky and the Ganja Prophets alongside other members of Isola nel Kantiere. The band became residents of the centro sociale in Bologna and represent the city’s first such cross over group.
Following this, Mannaman takes part in a succession of activity throughout the centri sociali across Italy, culminating in the following year at the Parco Lambro music festival in Milan. On stage the same night is Casino Royale and DJ Gruff. In 1990, Mannaman joins the Isola Posse All Stars, who produced Stop Al Panico in the same year, one of the first underground Italian hip hop releases. In this band Mannaman plays bass on top of productions laid down by the DJ or live drums from Neffa, who also joined Isola Posse All Stars as a rapper and drummer. DJ Gruff also joins the collective, and Mannaman works with him on various collaborations and productions for Century Vox, a seminal Italian hip hop label.
It’s in 1992 that Alioscia from Casino Royale contacts Mannaman and invites him to join the already succesful band with whoom he records the album Dainamaita, which came out the following year on Black Out/Polygram and marks the official beginning of his professional career. With Casino Royale he records the follow up Sempre Piu Vicini, produced by the English Ben Young for Polygram in 1995. The album includes Cose Difficili, a track which became one of the band’s most successful singles and carries Mannaman’s signature in both lyrics and music. Following this relesae, Mannaman starts a heavy period of live activity both in Italy and abroad. In 1996 the band release 1996 Adesso! a live album from the Sempre Piu Vicini tour and in 1997 the album Crx is recorded in London, notably co-produced by Tim Holmes the future leader of Death in Vegas and collaborator with Primal Scream and Chemical Brothers. The success of Crx led the band to support U2 during the Italian dates of their Pop Mart tour in 1998.
During this time Mannaman continues to collaborate with DJ Gruff with whom he performs as a trio alongside the bass and string player Bruno Briscik. In 1998 Casino Royal disbands following the departure of the vocalist Guiliano Palma. After a pause in London for two years, Mannaman returns to Italy and starts to work with various artists including Angela Baraldi and Esa aka Il Presidente. In 2004 he is once more working with Casino Royale, now reformed, for their live shows while at the same time working on Ezra’s 2005 studio album In Grembo. Also that year his track Tu Tu Tu Tu features on the soundtrack for the movie La Vita Che Vorrei by Guiseppe Piccioni. In June 2006 Mannaman returns to the studio with Casino Royale to record the album Reale under the guidance of Howie B. Following the release of this album, Casino Royale tour for the whole of 2007 while Howie B produces a remix album, Howie B vs Casino Royale / Not In The Face, for Universal. This remix album gets released in both the UK and United States as well as Italy. In the autumn of 2008, Mannaman returns to the studio with Casino Royale for the Royale Rockers – The Reggae Sessions album, released on Universal and which sees the band return to its reggae roots. In 2009 he joins the recording sessions for Shape of Fear and Bravery, the debut album from Bolognese singer Suz and follows this by joining the live band which takes the album on the road.
Mannaman is currently working on his first solo project, titled Trash Dub, under the name Black Job.
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