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- Colourbox by Colourbox
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 24 May 2012
Now here is a band both ahead of and somehow of their time. Those people who whine that 4AD have gone insane by signing the likes of Zomby are probably forgetting that they did release some pretty out there stuff in the '80s and Colourbox were a kind of prototype to the sort of all encompassing dance act that came later in the likes of Massive Attack, Underworld, Chemical Brothers and to some extent Orbital. Comprising of a diverse mix of synthpop, indie, reggae, dub, soul and funk, they were faceless, imageless and extremely broad minded.
'Baby I Love You So' sounds just like Massive Attack with huge dubbed out drums, their 'Official World Cup Theme' is an alarmingly brilliant slab of power melody with a chorus as catchy as the hands of Peter Shilton. It also sounds disarmingly like the theme from Doctor Who. They also used samples of dialogue similar to Big Audio Dynamite, and pre-dated the sort of stuff Gorillaz messed around with several later. For an overtly dance act they used lots of chunky guitars and it has kind of dated a lot of their work, however impressive it is.
They were probably most well known for the number one smash 'Pump Up the Volume' as M/A/A/R/S after which they imploded on a bed of royalties. In this four CD box set CD1 is the 1985 album, 'Colourbox', and includes all the tracks from the free album that was included with the original 10,000 LPs. The second disc is the 7" singles and the third is the 12" mixes. The final disc has the four track mini-album, 'Colourbox', an unreleased early mix of 'Arena' and eight tracks recorded in session for the BBC.
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