Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Production
Albums: From A to B, Anywhere, Warp
Anthony Charles Mansfield was born in Clapham, London in 1955. He is widely regarded as the driving force behind New Musik, with a vision to create a sound that perfected the balance between commerciality and "weirdness". A natural and gifted guitarist, he was also a self-taught keyboard player of some talent. He wrote the tracks and lyrics, and also fronted the band with vocals of understated quality.
What set Tony Mansfield apart though was his desire to understand and direct all aspects of the music making process, especially studio production techniques. New Musk fans can often spot "trademark" Tony Mansfield sounds a mile off, whether it be the lush synthesised atmospherics, "sonar" pings, reversed sounds / echo, or the myriad of other aspects that have become collectively known as "The Tony Mansfield sound". However, the rare commentary that exists from Tony Mansfield at the time paints a slightly strange and oblique picture of his mindset during this period. Despite presenting a sound of commercial "jollity", the lyrics eschewed associated norms and instead painted a picture of hum-drum existence at best, and doomy bleakness at worst.
After the band's brief existence from 1978 to 1982 Tony Mansfield went on to work on many other projects, perhaps most notably Captain Sensible, A-ha and Yukhiro Takahashi from Yellow Magic Orchestra. His CV during the 80's and into the 90's very much portrays the work of a successful jobbing producer, and though hints of a New Musik comeback have occasionally surfaced none have ever come to fruition. Informed sources suggest that in more recent years Tony ran a live music bar in south London.
The Smash Hits article from 1980 states that Tony was married and his wife was expecting a baby at the time (Maria Mansfield is credited on the sleeve of 'From A to B' - whether this is Tony M's wife is unconfirmed). It is believed Tony had a daughter, and that she was destined to sing on the New Musik follow-up project titled 'e-Musik'. Tony's younger brother Lee featured occasionally on New Musik's output, most notably the dialogue that closes 'On Islands'.
In 1989 he formed a label 100% Love Records Limited. There were some released from this label, most prominently The 2's 'Lovin You / We Is 1'. Further information on this label is sketchy and we believe it is no longer in operation.
More concrete background information is difficult to track down as Tony was, and still is, notoriously reclusive. Even during the New Musik peak it was clear he viewed any sort of publicity as a "necessary evil", and was much more at home locked in the studio crafting sounds. After the New Musik days Tony increasingly withdrew from the limelight to the point where, nowadays, even the smallest scraps of contemporary comment have faded, a situation which has only added to the mystique of a man many people still admire and idolise on so many levels.