COLOURBOX (Buy CDs by this artist)
Colourbox EP (UK 4AD) 1983
Colourbox (UK 4AD) 1985
Although this London trio's music is not particularly avant-garde, the group does fit in with the uncompromising 4AD family due to their steadfast determination to totally redefine a musical style. Instrumentalists Martyn and brother Steven Young, along with vocalist Lorita Grahame, take soul places it's never been and is unlikely to go again.
The eponymous EP three hours of sessions edited down to a half-hour of hip-hop/scratch and reggae/dub experiments, with a graphic depiction of horses mating on the cover largely earned its negative reception. The Colourbox LP, however, is a vast improvement, an eclectic display that embraces the entire realm of dance music: reggae, vibrant industrial, hard'n'heavy funk, '50s R&B. Screeching guitar on the near-metal "Maniac" segues into the highlight, a sparkling remake of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On." (The cassette of Colourbox is double-length, adding an LP's worth of remixes; initial quantities of the LP contained the same on a bonus disc.)
Other than the occasional one-off single, Colourbox remained unexpectedly dormant following the release of its LP. However, Steven and Martyn did achieve notoriety in 1987 due to their role in M/A/R/R/S (the "S" for Steven and the "M" for Martyn; the A and R come from the two members of A R Kane), the studio concoction responsible for the massively influential club smash "Pump Up the Volume."[Altricia Gethers]
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