Dawn of the Def

by Man Mantis

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Sealed in plastic and covered with a thin layer of dust these original CD copies of Dawn of the Def have been unearthed. Professionally pressed and printed back in 2005 - own a piece of history. Limited copies available.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Dawn of the Def via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days
    edition of 50 

      $9 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more




Waaaay back in 2004 I decided to form a label with my then producer partner Raku Potta.

At first, we only started the label to release our own music. Somewhere along the lines we got the bright idea to open it up to other artists. We decided to name this label after the Ruger pistol that we would frequently go shooting with in between studio sessions. The name of that shiny pistol was "Loretta".

We created a pretty basic website and convinced several local mom and pop shops to carry our music on consignment. The local college paper wrote a story on the burgeoning Madison hip hop scene and mentioned Loretta and what we were doing.

Shortly after that story came out we got an email from a young college student from Denver going to school here in Madison. His name was Mitch and he told us he was crafting an instrumental album using only his MPC, laptop and turntable. he was doing this all from this closet sized dorm room that he shared with a roommate. He wanted our help to bring this album to the masses.. His alias was Man Mantis and the album was going to be called "Dawn of the Def".

Now keep in mind - this was 13 years ago.. there was no Bandcamp, no online streaming and no easy way to setup a distribution chain. In addition, most duplication houses would only do minimum orders of 1000 pieces.. so that meant we had to order a ton of these and move them the old fashioned way.. at shows, out of the trunk of our cars or through consignment. Suffice to say, although we did help Mitch bring his album to physical form we completely failed at getting it in peoples hands.

Mantis ended up moving back to Colorado after college and since he didn't have an easy way to truck these several huge cases of CD's around he asked Raku and I to hold onto them.

While I always knew I still had these in my possession it wasn't until recently that I stumbled upon them again and gave this album a listen. It is a densely layered, lo-fi masterpiece that pays homage to horror movies, old school hiphop and it sounds just as relevant as it did then now.

These days Mantis still makes music, plays DJ sets and works as a visual artist. He has produced for Sole and several notable underground artists. He was kind enough to allow us a second shot at bringing this album to the people. Enjoy!

- Observe Since 98


released December 8, 2017

Produced by Man Mantis
Mastered by Raku Potta
Art direction by Pablo Thunder at Oculer Terror


all rights reserved



Loretta Records Madison, Wisconsin

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