Просмотр полной версии : Colourbox

06.09.2009, 01:56

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Colourbox were an English electronic musical group on the 4AD record label in the 1980s. They attempted an electronically-tinged reggae and soul influenced pop music, constrained by the technology they had access to at the time.[citation needed] They released a number of records from 1982 until 1987. The band was formed by the brothers Martyn and Steve Young, with guest singers until Lorita Grahame joined as a permanent member in 1983.

Colourbox stood apart from most, if not all, of their then label-mates - bands such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil (although the Young brothers contributed to tracks on the latter project's first two albums "It'll End In Tears" and "Filigree And Shadow"). Their sound was eclectic, drawing from the aforementioned reggae and soul influences (with intriguing covers of tracks by U-Roy and Augustus Pablo released as singles) to beat-box driven hip-hop rhythms, contemporary pop to Art Of Noise-style scratch'n'dub sound collages - often with snatches of sampled dialogue taken from classic Brit-flicks, sci-fi films and spaghetti westerns.

The first release - a four track mini-album simply titled "Colourbox" released in 1983 - displayed the band's fledgling experimental sound - with pop tunes fractured and distorted out of shape by all manner of cut-and-paste tomfoolery. After a handful of singles, a full album followed in 1985 - also titled "Colourbox" - which further refined the band's diverse palette, mixing sample-splattered power-punk instrumentals with elegaic piano pieces ("Just Give 'Em Whiskey" and "Sleepwalker" respectively), commercial pop ("The Moon Is Blue", "Suspicion") and more reggae and soul covers (U-Roy's "Say You" and The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On"). It was to remain the band's only proper album.

In 1986, the band issued two completely different singles simultaneously on the same day - a first for any independent label: one was a rousing, punchy instrumental initially intended - tongue-in-cheek perhaps - as a world cup anthem ("The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme"), the other featured third member Lorita Grahame on vocals (an inspired cover of Augustus Pablo's "Baby I Love You So").

The band had an international hit in 1987 with "Pump Up The Volume", a collaboration with A R Kane under the name M/A/R/R/S. The song was notable for being constructed almost entirely from samples of other records, a novelty for a popular record at that time. The pressures of sudden success and the long running litigation caused by the use of samples ended up causing the band never to record again.

However, for a brief time Martyn Young's name would still appear as a producer credit on records by acts as diverse as The Christians and fellow label-mates The Wolfgang Press, whilst former singer Lorita Grahame was last seen gracing vocal duties on a record released by short-lived One Little Indian act Hit The Floor (a cover of Edwin Starr's late-70s disco smash "Contact"). Since then, very little has been heard from any of the members from the camp save for a brief return to promotional duties for Martyn Young in 2001 to oversee the release of the rather disappointing and anything-but-fully-representative "The Best Of Colourbox 82-87".

06.09.2009, 02:00

The Best Of Colourbox 82-87

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