Originally a home-recording project, Mantler (Chris A. Cummings) has in recent years become a regular presence on the Toronto live music scene. Playing a wurlitzer electric piano accompanied by a 1970s Rhythm Ace drum machine, Mantler has made many fans among Toronto’s music community.
Beginning with the longer, moody songs of 2000’s Doin’ It All, released on James Duncan’s Le Systeme label, and continuing through 2002’s Sadisfaction, the first Mantler album to be released on Germany’s Tomlab label, Cummings sought to impose tighter controls over his song structures. This culminated in Landau (Tomlab, 2004), which not only marked his first usage of programmed beats and interlocking parts, but was also the first Mantler album to be completely produced by longtime associate Zack G. It was rated #15 on Rolling Stone Germany’s Critic’s Chart in 2004.
In addition to playing live regularly in Toronto, Cummings made short solo tours of Italy and Germany in 2004. He also toured Europe and the UK in 2007 opening for Constellation artist Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo).
The new album, Monody, is co-produced by Zack G, Jeremy Greenspan (Junior Boys) and Leon Taheny (Final Fantasy), and was released by Tomlab and Tin Angel.
In 2010, Mantler was described by his manager as “maybe the coolest man I’ve ever met”. Watch the video, see what he means.
Mantler’s MySpace page