Boomkat Product Review:
This is a bit of a treat – somehow 4AD have finally seen sense and gathered together everything ever put out from legendary electronic pioneers Colourbox and bundled it all together into a couple of releases for our pleasure. The band (made up of brothers Martyn and Steve Young and Lorita Grahame) were always an oddity on the 4AD label, even back in 1983 when their breakthrough EP (like all their other records, simply titled ‘Colourbox’) hit the shelves. To this day the band are still best known to contributing to M/A/R/R/S ‘Pump Up The Volume’, but their earlier material is far more exploratory and unpredictable. Jumping from the electro-flecked post-punk of ‘Just Give ‘Em Whiskey’ to the hazy dub-reggae of ‘Say You’ in a matter of minutes the band’s debut album (again self titled) was a marvel then and still holds up now. This is included in full here, and sits alongside the accompanying mini-album that was given away for free at the time. For real aficionados there’s even an extra album’s worth of material too, which collects up rare B-sides and 7” versions of the band’s classic tracks. Probably most notable (if not the best thing here) is the ‘Official Colourbox World Cup Theme’, which might just be the strangest footy song ever recorded. Trying to go into too much detail would take far too long and do the record a disservice – these days a lot of paid is put into people’s eclectic tastes, and it’s almost taken for granted that a record from hop from genre to genre without so much as a bat of the eyelid. Colourbox were doing it thirty years ago, and they were doing it far better than plenty of their illegitimate offspring. Totally essential stuff.