Masterminded by Raul Acosta (best-known for his work with Oro Solido), Manikkomio is as notable for its visual gimmick as for its blend of merengue and club-ready house: each vocalist always performs wearing a Friday the 13th-style hockey mask (in keeping with the group’s name). Acosta assembled the group in his native Dominican Republic in 1997, hiring a posse of well-built young men to handle vocals: Orlando, Luis Rafael, Eric, Tito, and Joel.

The group’s self-titled debut was released in 1998, producing the club hits «Piensa en Mi» and «El Kolmo.» The 1999 follow-up, Manikkomio International, was a bit more consistent, and produced the group’s biggest hit yet in «Lokko Enamorado.» A label switch from Sonolux to Platano preceded the release of the group’s third album, Manikkomio 2001 (subtitled «There Baaaack!» [sic]); it produced hits in «Ya Tu Sabes» and «La Jonronera.»